Make someone’s day.
Make someone’s day.
Danielle and I recently attended the Minneapolis Basilica Block Party and participated in a Michael Franti concert. It was an amazing show. In today’s world of quick tweets and Instagram photos, I’m writing this longer recap post to share this incredible experience with our readers.
I hadn’t heard of Michael Franti but Danielle loves his music and assured me that I would too.
From the very beginning of the set, Michael connected with us. His message was one of presence, positivity, peace, fun, oneness and unity among all humans regardless of race/religion/geographic location. Michael began by making a tribute to Minneapolis’ beautiful Basilica Church (a fitting location for this concert) and all the people who worship there and help others.
Of course, the songs were amazing. However, even more unique/noteworthy was the conversation Michael had with the crowd in between songs. Michael talked about enjoying each moment, embracing and expressing who you are, loving all races, and treating everyone the same. In between songs, Michael spoke about not just tolerating diversity but embracing and celebrating it. He spoke about treating everyone the same regardless of whether they have two moms or two dads, etc.
As the show started, I quickly found out that you don’t listen to Michael’s music…. you are absorbed by it. He’s one of those artists that is amazing as a live performer…. probably because each lyric/note comes from an authentic, conscious individual who strives to be present in each moment. His music has the power to remove layers and barriers and reveal the love and peace that exists inside of all of us.
Danielle and I somehow managed to find a spot in to the middle of the fourth row (Danielle was consequentially able to get all the great photos in this post!), giving us an up close and personal view of the passion and positive energy that Michael brings in his performance.
When Michael took the stage, we could tell there was a special/different energy that he brought. He was certainly lucid throughout the show and he excelled in engaging with and connecting to the crowd.
At one point in the show, Danielle and I noticed that Michael was barefoot. I thought of the sensations of the connection with our bodies and the Earth that Brian and I had when we “earthing it” in Thailand for ten days. I later learned that Michael has been earthing (not wearing shoes) since 2000 (yes, really).
I’m not a believer in labeling music but the best description of the style of Michael’s music is blend of reggae, jazz, and pop. But the difference between Michael’s songs and most “pop” music is that each line of each song has true meaning. Michael’s fresh sound is certainly unique.
Danielle and I laughed, danced, jumped (literally!), sweat, and cried (especially during Michael’s song about his 16 year old son who was recently diagnosed with a rare kidney disease… Michael, the Lucid Practice community’s prayers are with your son!) during Michael’s hour and a half set.
Sound of Sunshine
Say Hey (I love you)
A little more of a reggae feel:
East to the West
Here are a few powerful lines from the above Michael Franti song:
Music’s too large for just one station
Love is too big for just one nation
God is too big for just one religion
Here’s an interview with Michael talking about how he practices yoga with fans before concerts:
Danielle was recently awarded a fellowship, she’ll be in China for nine months. This concert was a special experience and helped us grow closer together at an important time in our relationship.
I hope this post serves as an inspiration for our readers to listen to Michael and spread his message far and wide. I encourage everyone to go a Michael Franti concert and to listen to Michael Franti and the Spearheads!
Michael, thank you for a great show. Your message of love, oneness, and being alive…. of being connected to our fellow humans….it’s needed today. The more people who are attuned to oneness, the better will be our world.
Words cannot express how much this man has given to others. Thank you, Mr. Iyengar! Please comment with a notable BKS Iyengar lesson/memory in the comments section as a tribute to BKS.
14 December, 1918 ~ 20 August, 2014.
Keith Mitchell talks about his experience of football leading him into the world of yoga and meditation in the attached video made for NFL films.
As a former player I can only agree with everything Keith says. After putting more than fifteen years into the sport and it all ending so suddenly, I too was forced to reevaluate life. Yoga helped this process. Instead of looking for external validation and others to tell me that I was still a success, the practice and process on and off the mat taught me to appreciate the moment and to not worry about the things I couldn’t control. I have yet to experience any feeling so incredible as some of the meditation experiences both during and after challenging yoga practices.
I was recently in Siem Reap Cambodia, teaching Art and English and learning the Khmer language. Here’s a reflection I wrote about my second week in Cambodia. Hope you enjoy.
Upon reflecting on my second week in Siem Reap, Cambodia I feel I’ve settled in more and my schedule has not been as hectic (click here for Week 1 Siem Reap reflection). I was still busy teaching at Pchey school, attending classes, and helping TGC for their Khmer New Year party, but it all felt easier this week. I knew more staff and students by name and I knew how to get around the city on my bicycle. This last week was also nice because students were on break so I did not feel the pressure to prepare for lesson plans.
The bike ride to Phnom Krom on Friday morning was great. I did not realize Hannah, Abby, and I hiked all the way up such a large hill until our way back — we had stopped to take photographs at a lotus flower field and I saw Phnom Krom in the background and said, “Did we really just hike all the way up that?!” It was such a treat to experience temples for the first time, even if Phnom Krom is considered small.
Traveling to Angkor Wat, Angor Thom , and Ta Prohm Temple with Ponheary was incredible. These sites were a stark contrast from Phnom Krom. The structure of the temples and the details engraved are unbelievable! It was a long 8 hour day, but I was thankful we took an air conditioned van.
Angkor Thom translates in English to mean “great city” in Khmer — this is a fitting description. It is believed that at one point in time, over 1 million people lived here. The temples were then consumed by the forest until hundreds of years later. Check out the amazing engravings (believed to have been from the year 1150) below.
It is so impressive that Ponheary (as well as others) were/are able to withstand a career as a tour guide day in and day out. The heat of the sun, long hours of trekking, and ability to remember and articulate the immense amount of history is a great skill.
I found it interesting that Ponheary is still a tour guide. I thought that she now dedicated all her time to PLF and the guesthouse, but I guess I was wrong. Ponheary was confused why we chose this particular weekend out of all 10 of our weekends to go to Angkor Wat because of the vast amount of tourists during this time for Khmer New Year, but we coexisted, the other tourists only enhanced our fun.
We asked Ponheary what her favorite temple was and she said, “all of them.” For me, I think Ta Prohm Temple was my favorite because I love how the trees are a part of the structure. It’s so interesting that the trees grow through, around, and on top of the walls. I also like that it Ta Prohm Temple is smaller and less popular than Angkor Wat. Ta Prohm Temple is a place where one can read, relax, and enjoy the day in a comfortable area. I am so thankful I was able to go on the tour with such a great tour guide and I look forward to seeing more of Cambodia’s historic constructions in these upcoming weeks!