From the recording Polyphony Marimba


Over and over she sang, "Kutambura kwavo." (The suffering in the people.)
Is suffering a permanent aspect of life? Or is there a way to live free of suffering? In humble prayer I open my mind for the answer.

The suffering in the people is not an economic problem, nor political, nor religious, nor a scientific problem. It is a problem of identity: Who am I?

Am I a little pile of dust and water, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain? Am I a short-lived mind doomed to suffer and die, with fleeting moments of joy between long periods of struggle? Love found, then lost. What am I?

Am I spirit? Am I love unbound? Am I not separate? Is the reality in me one with the reality in you? The teacher of God says: "Love, which created me, is what I am." (Jesus, A Course in Miracles) If I experience myself thus, if everyone realized their true nature, and if we really are love, indivisible, immortal, all one, only appearing separate in a dreamlike delusion, how would we behave?

Kutambura kwavo

The seer of reality says: "When you discover your real being, your life becomes love in action, meeting with obstacles and overcoming them; initially frustrated, ultimately victorious." (Nisargadatta Maharaj)

Holy Spirit of God, teach me what is real, that my own suffering, and all misery in everyone, may come to an end. If I am your child, safe in your arms, and there is no love but Your own, and all of love is Yours, then is war no more. We could not conceive of using technology in the service of organized hatred, nor for any harmful purposes.

Oppression, and the entire hierarchy of worldly power, the unfair distribution of wealth and resources-- between individuals and between nations-- would evaporate as mists before the sun. The true voice says: "There is enough for all, provided all share." (Nisargadatta)

Kutambura kwavo

When I was a child I played selfish games with dangerous toys. When I grew up and realized my true nature, I put away childish things. "The consciousness in you and the consciousness in me, apparently two, really one, seeks unity, and that is love." (Nisargadatta) Thus sayeth one who knows.

Take me back, take me way, way back, before my forefathers arrived on African and North American shores. Take me to the southern African lands where a people known as the Shona sounded their mbira in healing ceremony. The songs composed to bridge the living and the dead, to move the body and clear the head, gifted by spirit and lovingly held by man, are this day heard round and round the world.

I thank you, Shona ancestral spirits, who teach us healing notes of beauty; who share energizing rhythms, leading my mind to spiritual contemplation. Thank you for this song.

Lord, help me realize my purpose in life. Help me to know the purpose of this music, so lovingly given to those who first sounded these healing tones. May the reality and power of love imbue each note with redemption, magnificent enough to inspire us to find another way to live. May we gratefully receive the balm you offer our aching hearts and our bewildered minds, to heal the suffering in the people once and for good.

My we hear your voice, which assures us: "All shall be enlightened in the end. Not one soul shall be lost." (Nisargadatta)