A big turning point for me came when my older brother died.
He had been discovering the illusion of the society that we live in, and had pointed out some
of the lies and inconsistencies within which we operate.
This set me on the path of trying to make sense of it all.
I was also learning the guitar at around this time, and composing songs out of the angst of teenage-hood,
(a tried and true way of surviving adolescent confusion).
One day, when I was 16, I heard someone playing the flute, and suddenly I had to have one.
I mean, I really had to have one! I saved up by selling corn dogs (wieners dipped in corn batter)
at the local fair (the Calgary Stampede). When the flute arrived, I was entranced.
With it, I loved improvising music with my friends, but somehow ended up on the path of becoming a
professionally trained musician. This involved studying with famous flutists, practicing for hours daily,
getting a music degree in composition, playing in an orchestra and various ensembles and finally teaching
at the local University and Music College. That 'unfulfilled' feeling was still operating in the background however.
Around the time I started playing the flute, I also started doing yoga, which was helpful,
especially since I reached that state of deep peace following the exercises
when you lie down and relax. Aha - I realized, this is the meaning of 'the peace that passeth understanding'.
I had heard that said when I was a child at church, where I sang in the choir.
(I had quit going to church when I was around 8 though, daunted by yet another
year of colouring Jesus and the disciples instead of getting into the nitty gritty and hopefully
interesting stories of their lives and what this whole church thing was about.)
After supposing that I would live happily ever after as a flute teacher in Calgary,
things changed radically when I met Osho, and I rediscovered my original passion
for that divine bliss I had experienced as a child. At this point, I felt compelled to
leave my home and strike off into the unknown. I started off in Montreal, passed through
Italy on my way to India, and finally ended up in Rome, following my heart's desire to simply play music in the street.
I was quite successful with this, and due to how amazingly inexpensive it is to live in India,
made almost yearly visits of a few months there.
This was a fascinating time - and I glimpsed that divine bliss and peace over and over again
in many guises, including in the often incredible music I played with the other musicians
who came from all over the world! (Deva Premal and Miten, Prem Joshua, Karunesh,
Sambodhi Prem, Chinmaya Dunster, Milarepa, and Manish Vyas just to name of few.)
And so started my CD career with the musicians I met there. ('Feng Shui' Parts One and Two,
'Windsongs', 'Pure Delight', 'Tai Chi', 'The Art of the Wise Women',
'On a Day Like This', 'Flowers' and 'From Here to Here' come from this time)
Then I met Samarpan which lead to the end of my continual outward seeking after this divine bliss and peace.
Through him, I realized that it underlies my whole life and the lives of everyone, whether we notice it or not
I realized that the name that Osho had given me ten years earlier, Vimal Nandin,
(which means 'Pure Delight' in Sanskrit) is actually a reflection of my real self!
I discovered who I really am, (vastness, deep peace, silence, bliss) and got to make a lot of music too!
I started to play keyboards and sing again, and there was often an exquisitely beautiful meeting with the
divine in the music. Humorously, I am often so touched as I sing or play (especially while improvising),
that tears come, (like when I was a kid singing in the snow) which in turn makes my nose run -
which requires sniffing, or blowing my nose or some other unmusical sort of thing.
(I mean, I can't just stop playing and say to the public 'Hold it while I blow my nose'.
I have managed to keep the sniffing off the recordings however.)
The CDs 'Divine Landscapes', 'Secrets, Tea for an Empty Cup', 'The Universe
Inside', 'Touched by the Divine', 'Atmospheres in Music', 'Blessings', 'Yes
Is the Answer' and 'Out of the Moment' came out of this time.
The music on all of these CDs helps to support a meditative and relaxing atmosphere to help bring the listener to peace.
If singing is your preference, 'Yes Is the Answer' is a double CD full of songs, bhajans and mantras.
And so the journey continues to be more interesting than I could have ever imagined!