The purpose of Saraswati Muse is to showcase and honour the many ways that the creative feminine force can manifest, as well as to provide content that is thoughtful and uplifting. Through this platform we aim to encourage members of our community to explore their own creativity and support them in having a voice.
Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge, music, art and wisdom. The name Saraswati translates to “One Who Flows” in acknowledgement of the original form she took as a river in India. It is said that she transformed to that which is formless to inspire human beings in bringing forth their most creative expressions.Yasodhara Ashram is part of the Saraswati yoga lineage.
Silence The word that resonates, commemorates, permeates this space, is silence. Close your eyes and let your inner voice provide guidance. Tones that used to be tense, so relentlessly loud, anxiety ridden, full of doubt are now bright, calm and proud. This new voice born of silence reflects my glowing, green heart. Everything is self-evident, the words of René Descartes. This new age, a philosophical one, with each stage sacred knowledge is one. Realization, spiritual coronation – no more spiraling narration from that dark voice in my head. There’s just… silence. “I wrote ‘With Grace’ in gratitude and with love to the Ashram, as a way to articulate how the time there greatly impacted me. I wrote ‘Silence’ during quarantine when I first arrived at the Ashram and ‘Ocean Song’ as an ode to the water and it’s unpredictable, humbling, healing qualities. My work is rooted in experiences of love, loss, a sheer awe for life and predominantly emerges from reflecting on the world around me. ” Katie Isabel –– aspiring spoken word artist from the UK, who performed poetry for an audience for the first time whilst living at the ashram in the spring of 2021 With grace: Ocean Song:
The Reluctant Yogi by Jamieson Child “I got the idea for the Reluctant Yogi from an old comic I would doodle sometimes about a homeless guy down on his luck –– sometimes spouting wisdom, but mostly just down and out in the city and making the best of his situation, whether it was rooting through trash, loitering around coffee shops or begging for change. He was called the Functioning Hobo. I stopped drawing him about a year ago. I stopped drawing almost altogether a year ago. I think I started doing the Reluctant Yogi while at the Ashram because I was inspired by the people around me creating such great work, just because –– nothing fancy, but with a lot of talent. Some of this stuff could be in an art gallery in the city! I know I have this desire to draw and this little feeble talent for cartoons. It’s dormant mostly unless I force it, because most times I don’t want to sit down for an hour or more to draw. But once I get in the mood, through some effort and knowing that I do actually enjoy the work, I enjoy myself and being able to express some aspect of my thoughts or personality. I like drawing comics because it doesn’t take too much of a time commitment and can convey a brief idea in a small space. It’s a way for me to express what’s going on –– pain, criticism, joy, humour –– in a lighthearted, comical way. It’s like journaling but with a cartoon. I’m a fan of the Peanuts strips and indie comics. So for the Reluctant Yogi strip I adapted my old character to be a little more inspirational and less self deprecating. Maybe, hopefully, someone gets a chuckle or reflects for a second when they see it, and it inspires them in some way.” Jamieson Child, 2021 YDC participant, karma yogi, and badminton aficionado > To see more of Jamieson’s comics, come to the Ashram this summer and check out the green corkboard outside the dining room, where a new adventure of The Reluctant Yogi shows up every month or so.
Melanie is a songwriter and singer from Toronto who is influenced by the present moment. She takes inspiration from her day or an interaction and symbolically works with what her muse brings to her through dreams, thought and feelings. She enjoys helping others blossom through song and making connections through music-making. How it came about: This song came to me at 4:30am on the morning of my 29th birthday. The day before, my Karma Yoga offering had been drilling screws into logs, putting together a structure for the chicken coop project. The resonating vibrations of the drill, the nails forcibly making their way through the log, creating holes in the log, seemed to have been drilled in my subconscious. We took a break during the day’s work to close our eyes and do a Light invocation – my first one of the season. When I opened my eyes, I remembered where I was – physically, among clear, abundant water and sunshine. But I also remember where I stood symbolically – working my way to being whole. You can hear her wonderful music by clicking the “Play” button below. https://www.yasodhara.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Wholes-2021-03-10-6.56-PM.mp3 Back to the Saraswati Muse
“I started painting about 3 years ago, drawn to it by a deep yearning to explore myself more deeply. Self put down thoughts such as ‘I can’t draw’ ‘I’m useless’, ‘I’m past it’ became… ‘who says so’? This opened a window of opportunity to explore old habits, beliefs and ideas my mind kept telling me about myself, each and every time I sat down to paint! I sat through waves of anxiety, grumpiness, the perfectionist in me, the comparer. The list was long! I’ve not had lessons, as of yet, to date enjoying the innocent nature of my being shining the way through each step of the process. The more I’ve trusted this process, the more I’m growing as a human being. I refer to my paintings as spiritual art, not just because they are primarily of Hindu Gods/ Goddesses and yantra, but because each painting is an honouring of the whole creative process. Each canvas and piece of art paper can be likened to human life. A spiritual analogy of our lives is sometimes portrayed through use of a movie screen. The movie screen, or in the case of art a blank canvas, is that from which life becomes manifest. It is essential. Light and energy then pass through a projector reel, creating shadows which appear as images on the movie screen. With art the projector is replaced with a pencil or brush! With this analogy in mind, each blank canvas is a human life. It is its own expression wanting to be realised and I feel fortunate to watch each and every one unfold before my very eyes as I paint.” Myca includes some Ashram scenes on her website, and will donate profits from their sale to the Ashram. www.mycapalmer.com Art Back to the Saraswati Muse