Being An Artist In A Fast Changing World

Davidson Yeager spiritual teacher and musician

“How’s your writing going?” someone asked me today. She was referring to my songwriting. I was flattered like anybody is when someone is interested in what we do.

“It’s going great!” I confidently shot back. And in truth, it is. This person is a musician also (in a professional orchestra) and was in town for rehearsals and shows.

sidenote: this took place after a Zumba class where Mary will often play my songs for the cool down at the end of classes.

I explained further that I am fortunate to work on it everyday — albeit and hour here, 2 hours there, 30 minutes there.

I went further and shared that I’d made a decision many years ago that no matter what the world said or didn’t say in regard to my music didn’t matter.

“I don’t need the world’s permission to be an artist!” I said.

She agreed. Then she said, “ but it must be so hard. I mean everybody here loves your music and appreciates it, but there’s so much competition (and noise!)”

I replied “true, but that’s how I know that there are people who will genuinely appreciate my music. It’s up to me to find more of them somehow.”

 

Being An Artist…

This brief conversation got me reflecting on my decisions a bit. And I decided to write about it here.

I know I’ve talked before about being at the “crossroads.” And it wasn’t to make a deal with the devil, it was feeling frustrated with being a musician.

Having a calling can be a double edged sword. A blessing or a curse depending upon how you look at it.

And the view can change dynamically in real time as your life unfolds and depending upon context.

It also depends a great deal upon how you’ve integrated the lessons involved.

By lessons I mean there’s a wild untamed spirit inside of us all. We get socialized. I have nothing against society. There are many benefits to being a member.

But I realize that I’ve never allowed my wild spirit to be completley squandered. By wild spirit I’m not talking about having issues with authority and rebelling (been there, done that!) .

 

How I Managed To Do This Despite The Best Efforts Of Others Is Revealed Below…

It’s useful to be able to use the various personas and masks that we all develop in order to interact with society.

I just never completely bought into them. I almost have at times. But fortunately for me, I always managed to escape at the last minute.

I’m finally beginning to learn and assimilate how to be true to myself and also contribute to society and the lives of others at the same time.

Most of us are unbalanced on one side or the other. Many people sacrifice themselves and then end up resenting or being cynical. It’s not easy — no one gets taught these things in school, that’s for sure! Of course, it’s the opposite.

 

Beginners In Love

You could say that society and relationships were first designed for survival. But we all know that Life is more than mere survival. “Work to get money to buy food to get strength to work to get money to buy food to get strength…”

But after thousands of years, humans in general seem to be at a crossroads. One where relationships are chosen for a sense of connection and intimacy. A synergy between the partners.

I’ve seen this type of relationship coined a “vital” relationship.

And this synergy can expand into the community and into the world.

So we’re all beginners in this expansion  together. It’s pretty cool do this dance. Is there one word I could use to say what method I personally used? Yes. Love.

If you read this far, keep the fires of love for yourself and Life burning. Whatever it takes, do this! This creates an alchemy of character and soul that no science can ever explain.

Nothing in the world will ever be able to hurt you.

The Goal Of Meditation

The goal of meditation is to realize that you are not your thoughts or feelings. It’s to realize your true nature — Consciousness or Beingness.

Meditation can’t really be learned, it’s more like it’s “given” to you. There are many techniques that can assist you with realizing your true nature, but they are not the thing itself.

However, most of us can make good use of these techniques — especially in the beginning stages.

Some examples of techniques are breathing, visualizing, chanting and the “technique that requires no technique.”

There are other paths as well. These are outlined very well in yoga literature. For example the path of service — karma yoga. Or the path of devotion — bhakti yoga.

No one path is better than any other. The best one is the one that works for you. Everyone has a technique that will work best for them.

Don’t overthink it. If you’re inspired by spiritual growth and discovering your true nature, anwhere you start is good. From there, your intuition will gradually open up to the point where your own Inner Guide(s)/Teacher will begin to instruct you.


The Mind Is Noisy

Just like your heart beats and your fingernails grow, your mind makes noise. It chatters. It thinks. It “chews” on things.

In other words, our minds are simply a tool (like any organ in our body) for our Beings to use in order to experience ourselves in the physical dimension. In time.

The mind can’t be found, because it’s simply a composite of programs. Most of which were created in childhood.

Does this mean you need to spend years in therapy? In my experience the answer is no. Although an enlightened therapist can be helpful for some, focusing on “fixing” and digging up the past is not very effective.

It’s much more direct to simply drop the whole thing.

How? Again, when you meditate — and remember you can meditate with your eyes open and in the midst of action — you observe your thoughts and feelings and have the direct experience that you are the one watching them. You are not them.

As soon as you see this for yourself, the pull of these patterns begins to weaken. With persistence, you can free yourself from many of these problematic patterns.

 

How Much Do You Want Freedom?

One of the keys is to want freedom more than you want the world. I believe Jesus is quoted as saying this in the New Testament. And of course, none of this is new. One of my favourite spiritual teachers Lester Levenson (founder of the Sedona Method) is fond of saying this.

Most of these insights have been around for thousands of years. It’s just that they don’t have a big audience.

Most people want to get their happiness from external things in the world. This is futile. Have you ever seen the movie Ice Age? The mini animation at the beginning features a sabre toothed squirrel named Skrat. Skirt will do anything to protect his acorn. Search out the video if you haven’t seen it — it’s very funny because it’s how most of us live our lives.

It’s not that you won’t have some successes and wins, it’s just that if you pin all your hopes on things of the world your going to be waiting to be happy.

note: as a matter of fact, our minds are storehouses of great potential creative power. We have to power to co create our lives. We are not victims of fate. I will be writing about this more in the future.

 

The Goal Of Meditation: Work From The “Inside” To The “Outside”

Instead of wanting a certain condition (a spouse to behave in a certain way, a promotion, your children to do better in school, etc.) to make you happy, you can give yourself the happiness directly.

It’s as simple as making a decision to not need that person, place or thing to be a certain way in order to be happy.

Another way of looking at it is the things that make you unhappy no longer need to be a reason to create more suffering for yourself.

I realize this is not easy. It takes practice. It goes against the grain of everything in our culture and conditioning.

But the more you practice, the more and more freedom will open up inside of you. And one day you’ll find yourself noticing how much of your power you’ve taken back.

Like anything, we’ll all probably have to practice this for the rest of our lives. But the cool thing is that you’ll gain your own direct experiences.

Many people are stressed because they are overly identified with their mind and body as being the totality of who they are.

When you believe you are the body, you know that you don’t know when your planned expiration date is. Just that it will happen.

 

What Are You?

But when you have direct insights into the truth of who you are, you realize the answer to the question “what happens when the body dies?” Nothing. Nothing happens.

You are pure awareness. You are Beingness. You are. You were never born and you’ll never die. You are Unlimited Beingness playing at being limited in a human form.

When you have those insights for yourself more often you begin to relax more. You start to become more spontaneous and loving to the people around you.

You may still get upset at times — but instead of being something that you use to be right and to cut yourself off from others, you use it as an opportunity to let go and get back into alignment with your own inner happiness. It’s always a choice.

Our ego’s/minds want to hold on to the suffering because that sense of being a separate individual is what feeds the ego.

But what we find out as we relax into the feelings and allow them to flow through us is that we’re still here.

I’m planning another meditation and mindfulness workshop in October — depending on when I can book the room.

I have some new and fun experiential mindfulness techniques to explore with you — as well as some new guided meditations.

I’ll keep you posted as to the date.


 

Yoga Classes

Yoga is a great mindfulness exercise in and of itself. Be mindful and get fit at the same time!

Classes are on Monday’s at 6:15pm at St. Nicholas Church 1512 Kingston Rd. (at Warden)

Tuesdays at 7:00pm at Kingston Rd. United Church 975 Kingston Rd.

Saturday’s at 10:00 am at Kingston Rd. United Church

note: These yoga classes are in Toronto, Canada.

My Recent Bob Dylan Phase

 

I recently went through a Bob Dylan phase.

Every once in a while I go through a phase where I get obsessed with an artist or song. I listen to them. I read about them. I check out interviews.

My musical influences are many and fairly eclectic.

But as I said, right now I’m in a Bob Dylan phase. “Dylan?” you say, “that’s nothing new.”

No. He’s been around for a while. And I know some people who refuse to listen to him because they don’t like his voice. I say, who cares about that. I like his voice. It’s Bob Dylan.

But you know what? His lyrics and melodies break your heart open if you listen and can understand the symbolic language of poetry.

Leave your left brain at the door when listening to Bob Dylan and you’ll be well rewarded.

 

Not My First Bob Dylan Phase

This is not the first time I’ve had an intense phase of learning about Dylan’s muse. The previous several times were more focused on the work that everybody associates with him. “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Tangled Up In Blue”, etc.

This time ‘round I’m really digging into a larger span of his work. A brilliant album from 1983 called “Infidels” that was produced by Mark Knopfler and features Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones) and Sly and Robbie (drum and bass duo from Bob Marley’s band).

I love most of the songs on this LP. Check out this gorgeous song called “Sweetheart Like You.”

Also some stuff from an album in 1997 called “Time Out Of Mind” that was produced by Canada’s own Daniel Lanios (producer of U2’s The Joshua Tree, etc.)

And there’s a really cool song he released in 2000 for a movie soundtrack called Wonder Boys. The song is called “Things Have Changed” and ended up winning a Grammy for song of the year.

Did you know that his lyrics are now studied in major universities such as Harvard?

He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”

He’s definitely an interesting cat. To quote the New York Times, it’s something about his Trickster Mystique.

Earlier in the summer I had a Burton Cummings/The Guess Who phase. I love the way he can either croon like butter or sing raspy and menacing. High or low. Crazy set of pipes on him. And he’s from Winnipeg which just happens to be where I was born.

Before that it was Led Zeppelin(again). And I also had a mini phase looking at Bobby Darin.

Mary says that because I have a Cancerian influence in astrology that it gives me an appreciation of the past. Cool.

 


New Songs In The Fire

I’ve been busy writing and recording new songs. I’m really looking forward to sharing them with you!

I also have some new and unexpected developments happening in terms of my music. I’ll let you know as it unfolds more.

This year has been full of so much change for me! I’ve been at the crossroads several times before — where I wondered if continuing to make music was worth it. And I’ve always been guided to continue. And it’s been more than worth it everytime.

This is the one time I really thought I had to put my dreams away. And I have. They were old dreams. Related to an old point of view.

Funny thing is, that the music is flowing through me even stronger.

Maybe because I don’t care as much. Maybe because I’m not as attached to any outcome. I just love to create music and share it — as long as I don’t have to compromise my happiness by being away from home and family a lot.

So I’m still an artist. It’s my calling. I didn’t choose it. I was born this way. 

I am however, branching out. As you know, I now teach yoga. Love it!

 

note: Monday’s at 6:15pm at St. Nicholas Church (Warden and Kingston Rd.) if you’re interested.

 

I’ve always been a mystic and poet at heart and studied metaphysics. So helping Mary with her psychic business and doing some tarot readings to teach people wisdom is a perfect fit.

And of course my meditation/mindfulness workshops. It’s all about letting go of baggage. Y’know?


My Life Vision

I put my Life Vision into words this summer: “To inspire and teach people that the true source of love and happiness is within. And to make as much music along the way as possible.”

Yoga Teacher Trainings And Intensives

 

I’ve just completed a series of yoga teacher trainings and intensives. What is going on? Well, I’ve always appreciated (hatha) yoga as a form of fitness and self care.

And my insights into “who am I?” and “what is this Life?” are pretty much aligned with the “spiritual” and “philosophical” branches of yoga.

Yoga Teacher Trainings YogaFit Level 1
My YogaFit Level 1 Karma Hours completed 🙂

 

I have practiced hatha yoga since the millenium — I had a great teacher whose classes I used to attend regularly. He’s now retired, but he was a really cool older english gentleman who was also a jazz musician.

His classes were filled to capacity back in the day and I really enjoyed them.

However, once I started to practice on my own and look around at some other yoga schools, I just didn’t find a fit.

Although I entertained the idea of yoga teacher trainings, I never took it seriously at the time. I was far too busy being a musician!

And frankly, some of the poses were quite daunting. But I kept up a somewhat consistent practice of it throughout the years along with more traditional forms of fitness.

Mary has also been involved with yoga for a while — she even had the same teacher as me, but we didn’t attend the same years.

As someone who was already successfully teaching fitness classes, she had no trouble jumping in and getting some yoga teacher training.

I watched her and was so proud of her for going after something she’d always wanted to do.

 

Yoga Teacher Trainings: Wanna Try Level 1, Honey?

Yoga Teacher Training
Mary picking me up after yoga teacher training

Recently, after she had quite a few training levels under her belt and had also been teaching her own yoga classes for several months, she suggested I try my Level 1 yoga teacher training.

I resisted a bit, but then thought “what the heck. I enjoy yoga and I can always learn more!” So we went to the training together.

Even though Mary already had her Level 3 training plus some other necessary courses under her belt, all yoga teachers have to take a Level 1 retraining at some point. So she got hers out of the way.

It was an all day 2 day training. Very intense! The teacher was a master instructor with many years or experience — not to mention being an expert on anatomy. She is completing her degree in osteopathy.

I loved it! The next thing I know, I signed up for Level 2 a couple weeks later. After Level 2, I signed up right away for Level 3!! I was hooked and on a roll.

Level 2 was with another master instructor who had a different approach. He was absolutely amazing and brought a level of “game” to the training that was extremely high.

After that, Mary and I both took the Meditation and Mindfulness intensive to add to our training hours.

I’m now taking a break, catching my breath and digesting the massive amounts of information I processed during the trainings.

I am looking forward to doing some more yoga teacher trainings and completing my 200 hours.

 

Yoga Karma Classes

I am teaching a few “karma” classes in August. These are free classes. We have to teach 8 karma hours to receive our Level 1 certificate — mine are done! But I’m doing a couple more just to get some practice and to promote my classes a bit.

My classes will be put on the schedule at St. Nicholas Church on Mondays at 6:15 pm starting in September 2016.

I’ll see how it develops from there.

The school we are studying with is incredibly well put together and thought out. I’ll write another article about it sometime. It’s called YogaFit and you can read about it here.

Yoga Teacher Training
Final meditation/relaxation at one of my karma classes

 

Growing My Positive Mind

Meanwhile, when I haven’t been at yoga teacher trainings, I’ve also been involved in studying and taking tests from the Postive Psychology approach to life. It’s essentially about discovering our inherent strengths and then focusing on them.

Apparently our weaknesses change very little (3 to 7% at most) over the course of a lifetime — and even that’s only in people who are actively engaged in self improvement or 12 step programs.

However, our strengths are almost unlimited in the potential they offer us to grow and be creative and deal with the challenges of our lives.

note: By the way, this book/course was actually on the resources reading list in one of the yoga teacher training manuals. I’m checking it out independently because I love this kind of stuff. Almost as much as music!

It’s called Growing The Positive Mind: With the Emotional Gym & The Positive Mind Test.  Just to let you know, this is an affiliate link to Amazon. That simply means I’ll get a few shekels if you buy the book 🙂

One of the assignments from this positive psychology is to divide our lives into 15 areas:

  • Professional
  • Financial
  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Intimacy
  • Home and Environment
  • Play and Fun
  • Education/New Learning
  • Adventure
  • Growth
  • The Completley New and Novel
  • New Learning
  • Breaking Taboos
  • Wild and Frivolous Wants

Many of these areas overlap. But the idea is to come up with about 15 or 20 ideas for each area. Write them down on sticky notes. Eventually these areas will be collapsed to about 6 or 8 areas.

For now it’s simply about dumping out the brain of everything. Even ridiculous or sublime desires are to be acknowledged.

By doing this work, and weeding through the sticky notes, themes will begin to emerge.

This will lead to 6 or 8 five year goals.

There’s more involved than this brief description, but you get the idea. It’s both fun and very enlightening.

Especially for someone like me who is currently navigating a major transition in my life’s journey.

 

We Can Grow More Intelligent Brains

Oh — and did you know that current brain research shows that our brains are designed by nature to expand and grow as we age and go through transitional stages in our lives?

The more positive our attitudes to the changes we encounter as we age, the more complexity unfolds in our brain.

That’s why as people get older they think they are losing their memory. But they aren’t! It’s just that our brains don’t want to be bothered with “diddle” such as phone numbers, names, etc.

We are using our processing power to see the big picture instead.

Research has shown that young people do better at remembering minor details such as numbers, names, etc. but the older people in the studies do much better at the deeper comprehension of the big picture.

I always felt this to be true within myself and through my own self observation. I always thought I was getting wiser and stronger. One would hope 😉

 

Music Sweet Music

I’m supremely inspired with music right now! I know, it seems strange because of the decision I made recently about giving up on any commercial aspirations. Aspirations that’d been with me since I was a teenager.

Other than continuing to teach my guitar and piano students and perhaps get a song or two licensed to a movie or tv show, I currently have no commercial plans or intentions.

But I feel as if I’m still growing as an artist and getting even better and more authentic. Man, I love music!!

I have some really cool new songs in the works. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to take me until September to “concretize” my goal setting work as I stated above.

Thanks for reading and supporting — I love you 🙂

Why Am I A Spiritual Teacher?

Why am I a spiritual teacher and what do I bring to the table? Someone recently inquired as to my background. Teachers I’ve studied with, books I’ve read, practices, etc.

So I thought it may be helpful for some of you to understand what has led to my being a spiritual teacher.

Amongst other things, of course.

Childhood Mystical Experiences

As a child I had “mystical” experiences. As an adult reflecting upon those experiences it was very tempting to put them off as childhood imaginings.

However, upon doing more research and thinking, I’ve come to the conclusion that they were valid experiences.

One of the motifs in my teaching and philosophy is that we are heavily conditioned by the current myth of scientific materialism.

Note: I have no issue with science, of course. It’s helped humanity immensely. I only take issue with the fundamentalist approach whether that is in spiritual matters or science.

 

Existential Angst And Scientific Materialism

This environment of materialism — that only things that can be measured are real — has led to an epidemic of existential angst. Depression, anxieties and the like are all extremely common in our culture.

 

Memories Of Reincarnation?

Back to childhood. One of the most vivid experiences I had was when I was 4 or 5 years old and living in Winnipeg. I can recall going down the stairs to the basement of a neighbor’s house and suddenly being overcome by the knowingness that I’d been here before.

A voice inside said “Oh! This place again. I’m here again.” Meaning in physical form upon the earth.

I had many other experiences as a child such as knowing what song was about to play on the radio or who was calling on the phone.

“Some things have to be believed to be seen.” Ralph Hodgson

 

Follow Your Heart

As a teenager, I can remember thinking about what the Christian churches were teaching. And I remember thinking to myself that if good deeds and kindness didn’t come from the heart, but were just an obedience out of fear of punishment, then it didn’t mean anything true.

I thought about things like this a lot as a teen.

“Make sure that your religion is a matter between you and God only.” Wittgenstein

 

Sex, Drugs And Rock n Roll

Too many “aha moments” and “satori” to list here. I’ll skip ahead to my next major awakening. I’d been going through a period in my life where I was really lost and depressed.

I was playing in rock bands at the top clubs around Toronto at night and working in kitchens and teaching guitar by day.

And I was drinking and doing drugs. My life was out of control.

I tried stopping on my own. And I’d succeed from time to time. A couple of weeks here, a month there, a few days there. But the behaviour patterns that were driving me were compulsive.

One day I got on my knees and prayed for help. I felt a sudden calm. I was drawn to the closest public library.

I went in to the psychology section and took down all the books relating to addiction I could find.

Several books suggested AA as being one of the best ways to really deal with the issue of addiction.

That was it. I looked up meetings in Toronto and I was at my first meeting that night. Over the course of the next 6 months, I went to no less than one meeting everyday. I worked the 12 steps with my sponsor and am now closing in on 20 years of sobriety.

If you’re reading this and addiction to alcohol or drugs is an issue, I can’t recommend AA highly enough.

Even though after 6 months I never went to anymore meetings. That was my path. We all have our own path to navigate.

My internal guidance at this time said it was time for me to spread my wings. I didn’t want to tell the story of my being “wounded” anymore.

 

Freedom

I was free of that story.

By this time I had cultivated a dedicated and strong spiritual connection with my Higher Power. I had a meditation practice in place and dove into studying and working on myself.

One of the first things I did was read John Bradshaw’s work on the inner child and family dynamics. I also did most of the exercises he suggested.
I then got into studying some Buddhism along with all the psychology I could get my hands on.

One of the coolest spiritual practices I engaged with was allowing myself to feel what I was feeling instead of distracting myself.

This led to quite a bit of healing. To the point where having been estranged from my family as a teenage runaway, I was now on very good terms with them.

10 years ago I discovered and began to practice one of the single most powerful tools I’ve ever encountered. It’s called the Sedona Method.

In a nutshell, it’s the practice of letting go of negativity and limiting feelings/thoughts.

I’ve been using this daily — and I can honestly say that if someone approaches this tool with sincerity and honesty, they can achieve as much in a few months as doing several years of traditional meditation.

I still use traditional meditation along with the Sedona Method.

 

The Power Of Now

Another teacher who had a huge impact on me when I first read The Power of Now back in 1999 or 2000 was Eckhart Tolle. I remember at the time of reading I thought “so this is what Krishnamurti was talking about!”  (J. Krishnamurti is a very powerful spiritual teacher from the 20th century who I read a lot of as a teen. I was then living and working in Toronto on my own).

Thanks to Tolle’s teachings, I still practice being present. Noticing if I’m avoiding the “present moment” by using it as a means to an end or not. Feeling my inner energy field.

Am I feeling resistance to things that are happening? Can I say “yes” to these things I’m resisting — including the resistance itself?  These are practices that have been ingrained in my daily life whether I’m in a conversation or typing an article such as this.

Note: By the way, saying “yes” to the present moment doesn’t mean giving up the power to change things. As a matter of fact, we have more power, creativity and intelligence at our disposal when we are not in a state of emotional resistance to “what is.” This requires a willingness to be honest with oneself, of course 🙂

I still get triggered and feel negative emotional states. But now I have tools to deal with them rather quickly.

Most of the time I’m able to let go of them within seconds or minutes. Sometimes it takes a little longer, but never longer than an hour or so. Once in a blue moon something’s lasted a bit longer than that. Perhaps 2 hours or so.

These are not set parameters — just a way for me to communicate that we can take our power back. We do have the power to choose happiness and freedom over wanting to control things.

And like anyone, I’ve had my share of disappointments, “failures”, and challenges. But through all of that, I can say that it’s been many many years since I’ve had a bad day.

 

Why Am I A Spiritual Teacher?

I feel called to be a spiritual teacher. I don’t think I “know” anything that anybody else doesn’t know.

Just that when I say things, it may resonate with a deeper part of you that you previously didn’t have access to.

I’m simply a friend along the way. Maybe I’ve got a candle that you can use to light your own candle.

My motive is that I want to be the change I wish to see in the world. And if the Universe conspires to bring people to listen to the words I’m using to point at the moon with, then great! Maybe we can all change this world together.

Optimistically yours,
Dave

Meditation Workshop Toronto Beaches

Meditation Workshop Toronto Beaches

Learn How To Meditate And Bring More Peace To Daily Life. Saturday October 15, 2016

11:15 am to 12:45 at Kingston Rd. United Church

Cost: $20 per person advance or $25 at the door

Pay at the door or
buy online now with PayPal




  • Learn some basic meditation techniques you can start using in your life right away!
  • Learn the true purpose of meditation. Without this understanding your progress will be severely hampered.
  • Find the techniques that work best for you and your busy lifestyle!
  • Reduce stress and sabotaging patterns right now
  • Only a few minutes a day along with a serious intention to “make your life a work of art” is all you need
  • Take your mind on a different route than usual. Explore. Have fun!

Why Meditate?

You’ve heard all about the benefits of meditation. I’ll go ahead and list just a few. Maybe there are a couple you didn’t know about — and the rest will reinforce your intention to begin.

  • Reduced stress
  • Improve sleep patterns
  • Less reactive to others
  • Lower and/or stabilize blood pressure
  • Improved digestion and circulation
  • Improved creativity
  • More general happiness and peace
  • Improved health
  • Recent studies even suggest that meditation increases gray matter and lengthens telomeres which helps to retard the effects of ageing in the brain.

Meditation Workshop Toronto Beaches
Meditation: Anyone Can Do It!

 

Improved Brain Function

Meditation Increases Gray Matter, Lengthens Telomeres Which Slows Ageing In The Brain: The human brain starts to decrease in volume and weight as we age, but research suggests that experienced meditators have healthier brains than non-meditators as they get older. They have more gray matter and while the older aged meditators do have some volume loss, it was not nearly as much as the older aged non-meditators.

It also helps lengthen our telomeres. These are protective caps at the ends of our chromosomes. They are longest when we are young and shorten as we get older. Shorter telomeres have been shown to be associated with stress and higher risk for diseases including cancer.

Research shows that meditators have much higher telomerase activity than non meditators.

There is a LOT more research showing benefits to the brain from meditation. You can look it up yourself.

The main thing is you will feel better. Less stressed, better able to cope with day to day issues.

This leads to less drama — which is an investment that grows and increases exponentially over time.

The wonderful thing about meditation is that it is completely portable and self contained. In other words, once you learn how to do it (and everybody already has the knack for it!) you’ve got it for life.

Research also shows that even several daily “meditation blasts” of just anywhere from 5 seconds up to a minute have positive results.

Are There Any Spiritual Benefits To Meditation?

An unequivocal yes! In my experience, most definitely. And based on how many spiritual teachers and religions recommend meditation as a practice, again it’s a yes.

The great thing is it doesn’t matter what your religious or cultural background is. It’s not about beliefs. It’s about going beyond conditioned beliefs. Even if you’re a “hardboiled materialist” meditation can help you bring more peace, love and creativity to your world.

At the very least, regular meditation will give you greater peace of mind and more inner freedom. And isn’t that what all “spiritual” paths are about?

And with regular practice, you may even experience the truth of who you are beyond your name and story. Cool beans!

 How Do You Meditate?

There are as many meditation techniques as there are flavours of ice cream!

But at the end of the day meditation has one goal. To get your brain waves into alpha or theta states.

Our brain waves can be measured. Most adults in our society are operating in what is called beta. This is critical thinking and analytical thinking. But it is also survival mode. Hence, the stress.

We enter what is called delta when we are in deep sleep. We normally go down the scale from beta to alpha to theta and finally delta.

People who suffer from insomnia have trouble stepping down the brain wave scales.

They are “addicted” to the cues from the external world that keep them in beta. They literally cannot stop thinking!

Perhaps you can remember a time when you felt super creative. In the flow. Maybe you were in nature with a beautiful golden shimmering sunset. Or driving somewhere beautiful soaking up the scenery with no time deadlines tick tocking in the background.

Perhaps you were absorbed in a favorite hobby or artistic pursuit and you felt “in the zone.”

In these cases you were possibly experiencing alpha brain wave states.

Meditation is actually something that we humans are designed to do naturally. However, do to our social conditioning (conforming/rebelling) and all the programmed beliefs we have, formal meditation is a powerful tool for helping us with breaking through limiting beliefs — and accessing a greater sense of ease with what is going on around us.

 

What You Will Learn In This Meditation Workshop

In this workshop you will learn some basic meditation techniques to help you get started at home.

It’s really difficult to learn how to meditate from a book. It’s not impossible, but it’s similar to learning a musical instrument.

Some people are naturally talented and can pick it up without a live teacher. If you’re in the Toronto Beaches area, and are interested in

learning how to meditate, you’ll want to come to the workshop!

One of the simplest of all — and the most powerful — is to learn to meditate on the breath.

There are many traditions on the planet from yoga to buddhism that use this technique.

Again, it doesn’t matter what your spiritual beliefs are or are not.

We’ll learn the basic technique of focusing on our breath and observing our thoughts.

This helps us to begin to realize our thoughts are not who we are. Simply by observing thoughts come and go.

Usually, in beta, we unconsciously identify with our thoughts. And since our thoughts are connected with our emotions, we are slaves to our very powerful minds.

Ideally, our minds are designed to be our tool for functioning with our bodies in the physical world.

We’ll also cover a few other medition techniques such as chanting and guided meditations.

The whole point of meditation is to be able to bring that awareness into your daily life and challenges.

There’s no point of meditating if your buttons are still getting pushed all the time.

 

Guided Meditation CD Included!

When beginning meditation, due to the nature of our restless minds, many people give up when left to their own devices.

It has been found that guided meditations are extremely effective for this reason.

As a matter of fact, many therapists now use guided meditations to help their clients with various issues ranging from depression to insomnia.

A guided meditation is simply a voice giving you cues and a stream of images to focus on. The narrator’s voice is accompanied by relaxing meditation music designed to help your brain find alpha or even theta brain wave states more easily.

This is where deep learning and healing can occur!

I have created an original and professionally recorded guided meditation for you. I recorded it in my own recording studio.

Anyone who attends this workshop will receive a link to download it and begin using it at home immediately!

note: If you are a real “technophobe” and do not feel comfortable with downloading an mp3, please let me know. I can provide you with a hardcopy (CD) for a minimal fee.

 

What To Expect

  • Dress in comfortable clothing
  • Water will be provided
  • You may want to bring a light snack for afterwards
  • The workshop is 90 minutes long
  • Don’t worry! We will be using chairs to sit. If you prefer to sit on the floor or lie down, that’s ok too.

About The Instructor

Meditation Workshop Toronto Beaches
Dave Yeager

Dave Yeager (pronounced like Jaeger) is an experienced meditator and self empowerment expert. He was introduced to meditation and eastern philosophy in 1980 at 17, but began a more formal and grounded practice in 1997.

After an intense spiritual awakening in 1997, Dave took to his healing and spiritual path quietly — but with commitment and gusto.

He’s recently been dragged kicking and screaming by the Universe into this role of researching, reporting and teaching about Life — and being human.

He’s also a musician and lives with his incredible wife and their cat in Canada.

Once A Musician Always A Musician

If you’ve been following my posts you’ll know that I’ve been going through a metamorphosis of sorts.

Like when the caterpillar feels the itch to allow the butterfly to emerge.

All you can do is surrender. Well, you don’t have to — but it makes it much easier.

For the first few weeks of 2016 I didn’t touch my guitar unless I was teaching.

I sang around the house when moved to sing a song, but did no vocal exercises (singing is a muscle).

I just wanted to make sure that I didn’t fall into the pattern of thinking I really had to do something with my music.

I mean, commercially. You know, make money from it.

Because for me, it’s just not working. The drug is not doing it’s thing.

If you know me, you know that I’m the master of discipline and perseverence. Going after your dream, being courageous and consistent, etc. All that stuff is child’s play for me.

That’s not the issue for me. It was coming to the realization that it’s just not what I want anymore.

 

Sometimes Dreams Change

It’s like suddenly realizing the shoes you’re wearing are too tight.

Or the person you’re “in love” with is just not loving you back, man! Get over it. Walk away. Move on.

Know what I mean? The wisdom to know the difference.

So it’s been interesting and disorienting at times waiting and allowing the “butterfly” to emerge from the caterpillar.

I’m getting glimpses.

And I’m now practicing a bit. 4 or 5 days a week is all I’m allowed. No more than 20 minutes on guitar and about 40 minutes of singing each day.

Just bare minimum to keep in shape.

And have fun. No commercial agenda. No putting pressure on myself.

 

What I’ve Been Up To In The Meantime

Previously I also talked about how I enjoy the idea of teaching about spiritual tools, techniques and realizations.

Stuff for people who are looking for that.

How to meditate, develop awareness, access intuitive faculties, more creativity, peace of mind, less reactive, more patient, etc.

And of course, to realize God. God being a word or pointer that I’m using in this context. You can use Source, Divine Intelligence, The Tao, etc.

I assume this is going to take some time to develop. I just want to follow the impulse to discuss these things and see where it leads me.

Meanwhile, I still need to earn a living, so…

 

Psychic Impressions

I’m still teaching music lessons privately and enjoying it very much. It’s very rewarding to work with the people I’m working with.

Helping them develop their musical gifts and interests.

I’m also still helping Mary with her Zumba and Yoga businesses however I can. This can be at class when I can make it, or brainstorming with her over coffee in the morning.

I’m also helping Mary with her psychic business. Because I’ve been interested in and studied tarot cards and astrology since my youth, it’s a natural fit.

In the past, I never felt doing readings professionally would be something I could ever do.

But Mary has been doing it since she was a teen. Both because of her gypsy heritage and her natural (and awesome!) gift at it.

She’s been training me over the past 10 years, and I’ve now done hundreds of readings both over the phone and at parties/events.

I really used to resist at doing readings too much in the past because I had a lot of pride in my abilities as a musician.

Not to mention my “guysho” (non gypsy) upbringing making me feel less than authentic.

But now I find I’m enjoying it.

And I can help people with my psychic impressions (how’d I develop that? Born that way plus many years of meditation, working with crystals, Reiki attunements, etc.) intuitive insights and common sense.

By the way, we all receive psychic impressions. It’s really just the developing the ability and confidence to “catch” them.

 

Music

I just want to close out by saying I know that somehow music’s still very much in the picture. I just don’t know how it’s going to fit in with my life yet.

I do have a new song that I’d really love to record. It’s constantly playing in my head and giving me goose bumps. It’s called “Empty Hands.”

As a writer, that’s when you know you’ve written a cool song that will connect with people.

I’ll keep you posted.

Let Go And Let God part 1

This is Part 1 in a series.

I had been so inspired with my guitar playing recently.  I’d been practicing and thinking about it virtually non stop since early fall 2015.

And this after playing most days of my life since my teenaged years. Self taught.

And of course, I’ve been teaching guitar professionally for 22 years now.

I also majored in guitar at one of Canada’s finest music colleges. Graduated at the top of my class.

After graduation, I did a bunch of things guitar related. Played in cover bands, original bands (lots of girls!), solo gigs at conferences and weddings (nice pay!), started my teaching biz.

Played a thousand open mics. Literally.

Not to mention that last year (2015) I finally was able to produce an EP of 5 of my songs of totally professional quality.

This is no easy task — even though home recording is so accessible. To learn the engineering and then use the equipment to get professional results is a formidable task.

With some help and mentoring (Thanks Gary!), and lots of practice over the years, I was finally able to do it in my small home studio.

I also had support from many of you who are reading this too — by pre purchasing the CD “Hey Mary Hey.” Thank you 🙂

This is all just to say that guitar and music has been a big part of my life and my goals.

A few weeks ago, I decided to google a service in GTA (Greater Toronto Area for those not familiar with Toronto, Canada — or T-dot for short) to fix a minor issue with my guitar amp.

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Fuzz Pedals

It led me to a guy in the suburbs who builds his own amps and guitar pedals from scratch. All based on the gear in the late sixties and early seventies.

Point to point hand wired amps, germanium transistors in the fuzz pedals instead of silicon. Vintage.

The stuff that created the magic tones of Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) and other “guitar heroes.”

The amp, pedals and guitar one instrument of only wood, steel and glass.

I was intrigued and inspired by his concept when we chatted over the phone. So I decided to go to his shop and check out a germanium fuzz pedal.

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Frustrated Geniuses

The day before I was scheduled to head over, he called me up to confirm. We ended up chatting a bit more about the music business and being a musician.

He said something completely unintentional that hit me like a ton of bricks.

He said something along the lines of “Yeah, like those frustrated geniuses that think they need to suffer for their art. They’re still really trying to make their music work.”

And I thought “Is that me?” And this question continued to work it’s way into my consciousness for the rest of the day.

And while I slept and dreamt that night.

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The next morning, a Monday, I was “dazed and confused.” I didn’t know what was happening to me.

I was able to function, but I was just going through the motions. I felt disconnected from my usual surroundings somehow.

I decided it was some weird temporary thing and that the best thing to do would be simply push through with my original plans as best I could.

I drove out to the burbs and met Steve. The guy who builds amps and fuzz pedals, etc.

I tried his pedals. Sounded great, but I wasn’t excited because I was so zapped out from not knowing what was going on.

“Was music even my thing anymore?” I kept asking myself silently.

I saw how Steve had a young family (a couple of toddlers), a nice little house and a rack of guitars and gear.

He basically played for fun, and while I was there another dude showed up to pick up a Marshall amp that Steve had fixed up for him.

I decided to get the fuzz pedal in the hopes that I was just in a temporary delusional state — and that my “normal” inspiration and confidence would return.

I handed Steve a wad of cash after the other dude left (after he handed Steve an even bigger wad of cash).

I thought “Wow. Steve’s just treating it like a hobby. And look at the money!”

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Money

Ok. Money. A hot issue with everyone.

Everyone is either chasing after it, or they have an aversion to it.

Or some “driving with the brakes on” combo of the two. But we all need it.

note: Money is also a cool tune by the above mentioned Pink Floyd. It’s in 7/4 time.

In the past, I had mixed programming regarding money. I grew up in a middle class home where money was not the problem.

The problem was an abusive father. Physically and mentally.

I don’t want to get into that too much other than to shed some light on things.

And there may be readers who have similar issues and they can benefit from my story.

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Because of the relentless pressure from the relationship with my father, I decided to leave home at the tender age of 17 and I ended up on the streets of Toronto.

This lasted for a little while until I was able to start getting work, etc. I was directed by a compassionate hostel worker to a social worker who helped me.

I was able to use their phone, get a resume typed (yes, typed!) up, etc. Feel some acceptance for who I was.

Others in my family (uncles, cousins, etc.) were even upper middle class and a couple were even rich.

I saw that people weren’t necessarily happy, therefore money wasn’t the source of happiness.

Nothing external is. External things reflect our happiness –or unhappiness — back to us.

Or they are simply neutral and we project our stuff onto it.

Toward the end of high school, I  thought that when I did earn a living, I at least wanted to do something I enjoyed.

Not just for the money. Something I could feel passionate about.

So part of my programming came about as a reaction or rebellion to the way I was brought up.

I was kind of anti money. Definitely as far as the “keeping up appearances” kind of having money.

Plus, starting on the Toronto streets (hanging out in the Eaton Centre and Salvation Army drop in centres to stay warm — very tough at Christmas watching the shoppers) and scratching my way up from there — well, let’s just say I missed more meals than your average college student.

Besides the rebelliousness toward money and the WASP (white anglo saxon protestant) status quo of my family, I also developed “poverty consciousness.”

I began to believe that I was less than others. I didn’t deserve.

I formed these false beliefs from my first years being on my own with little to no support.

After many years of working on myself and various issues, I think I’ve made some great progress.

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Changes

In the areas of health, I’m doing great. I’m full of vitality and regular exercise is an installed habit.

I don’t smoke or drink and have no trouble sticking to a healthy diet.

I’m also with my soulmate. We’re going strong coming up on 10 years now.

We’re a team and to me she’s absolutely the most fascinating and incredible person. And of course, very beautiful!

We’re wiser and stronger and more loving together.

I’ve managed to survive for the past 20 plus years with not much more than a guitar, my musical skills and my understanding of human nature.

But now I’m not certain where I stand in relation to my musical journey and goals. A major shift has occured.

Read Part 2 Here.

CBC Radio And My Music

Success!
Success!

If you’ve been following my story for a little while, you may remember that one of the main catalysts that propelled me onto my current path (with a brand new CD) was CBC Radio. (For any international readers, CBC is the Canadian version of the BBC in the UK).

At that time, (I thought) I was content to simply write and record my songs with the intention of eventually licensing them to film and television.
My wife Mary had been playing some of my songs in her Zumba class — and the response was terrific.

After several enthusiastic people from her class suggested CBC to me, I finally got the message. That’s how the cards laid out to inspire me to reach out to CBC.

Back in the late fall of 2014, I got in touch with the head of the CBC Music Resources Office, Mark Rheaume. Mark got back to me. He is such a genuine and cool guy. He always got back to me straight away — and with helpful and clear information. A very supportive and great contact for me in the music industry.

He’d listened to a couple of my tracks and he told me that they would definitely fit with many of the shows carried by the CBC. However, he also suggested I have an album — or at least an EP — this way, my story would be a little more compelling for the people who had the shows.

So I thought, “Why not? Ok— I guess I’m making a CD.”

This of course led to an impromptu fundraiser  and my EP of 5 songs is now complete. It’s available in my store as a physical CD with cool artwork or on i-tunes.
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Update: CBC Radio and My Music

Mark got back to me recently regarding the status of my music. It’s now officially uploaded into the CBC music library. Woo-hoo! Step one accomplished.

Mark also gave me the contact info for all the relevant CBC radio shows in the country who can possibly use my style of music. He suggested I contact the shows in Toronto and encourage them to play my music. The shows also need to play Canadian artists —  that can definitely help my cause.

I will keep you posted as I move forward with that!

Another cool thing is that if I ever broaden my base of operations beyond Toronto and play other towns and cities, I will have the contact info for the producers of the radio shows in those towns!
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Other Related Articles

How Songs Happen

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WonderWoman

I’ve got a new song named “WonderWoman.” 

It’s the most rocking song on the album — definitely not for Zumba this time 😉  More of a driving your car kind of song. I literally have a TON of important musical influences — but this song is probably due to early David Bowie along with my bluesy side. I listened to a lot of Bowie at one point during my late teens.

I wanted to have a few different flavours on the album — but still my brand. I think I managed to do it.

Click here for a brief video clip of me laying down some guitar tracks on Wonderwoman.

Here’s a screenshot of my mixing board for WonderWoman.

Wonderwoman by Davidson Yeager
Davidson Mixing Wonderwoman

The drums are being recorded and mixed in Los Angeles by my co producer Gary Gray as I write this. Kristen Rose is on drums again. If you’re reading this after mid April 2015 or so, you’ll be able to sample my new song WonderWoman right here on the homepage 🙂

Thanks for sticking around!
Davidson