Vipassana! The Seventh String! Summer Tour! Oh, all the things
Hey there lovelies,

I AM BACK. From inner-space-land.

Hoo boy. It was intense. 10 days (12, if you count the pre- and post-day). No reading, writing, or talking to other students. No MUSIC. Just meditating. Meditating, and eating, and walking, and sleeping. (Of course, when I say "meditating," I mean, "trying to meditate," but that's another post.) First bell at 4 am. No meals after noon (for old students). 10.5 hours of meditation periods and then to bed at 9am, to do it all again the next day. For nine straight days. (The 10th day is special.)

Holy moly, it was a trial of the soul.

But it was amazing. Well, if I'm being honest, for eight days, it was hellish. But then days nine and ten were incredible, and I came out floating and humming in my body and through the world, and so of course now when people ask me how it was, I say it was amazing, wonderful, healing, so worth it. Because it was. Even though most of the time it was hell. I was not enjoying myself, I was wanting it to be over, there were even times when I swore that this was my last, I could never do this again, never not play or listen to music for a week and a half ~

Nah, I'll be back again next year.

Also, that photo is from the pond on the women's side. Getting to spend that much time, in the nature that is at this site....oh, it made it bearable.

I'm coming out of my second Vipassana course different from when I entered, and different from when I came out of my first one, too. This time, I feel not only opened and inspired and transformed by the course, but I've come out being pretty committed to the practice, too. Except Tuesday morning (the story of which is below), I've meditated for an hour every morning this week, even this morning when I'd sunk into depression the afternoon before, and then had a night of strange, disturbing dreams. I got up late this morning (7:45, hah!), and waffled about meditating for a minute, but then I did it, depression and all. I just sat up in bed, wrapped a blanket around me, opened my timer, and sat for an hour. It was hard to meditate in that state (oh, the insights this course gave me into the actual ways depression manifests in my body!), but I listened to the birds singing, and construction guys laughing, and focused on my breathing and my body sensations until the timer went off. And when I got up, the fog had lifted.

Thank you, Buddha, for this wonderful, marvelous technique.

Coming back to technology took a few days, but I'll tell you what didn't take any time ~ things happening in music land. The day after I got back (Monday), Laura called and said, "Soooooo, I know you were meditating and stuff, but I sort of reserved Chris (our friend & fellow musician who's been playing with us lately) to record us....tomorrow." Which, as it turned out, ended up being ~ that night. We went out to his house/studio in Dripping Springs (where we may be renting one of the rooms as a storage/rehearsal space), and spent all night rehearsing, recording, and planning. We threw down some great tracks the next morning (including that brand new song I posted just before Vipassana), and guys, let me just say....

I think this shit is going to be amazing.

There. That's all on that, for now. No more expectations, hopes, hints, etc. Just know that the first Seventh String almost-album (there will, of course, be seven songs) is officially underway, and will of course be posted on here when it's done. Hopefully by the end of May....

....when Laura and I head out on tour again! Exact dates and venues aren't set yet, but we're playing a wedding in Seattle on June 18, and plan to leave Austin (with a kickoff show, of course) in early June. We'll hit up Santa Fe and Taos, NM, possibly St. George, UT, Los Angeles , maybe some Central California coastal cities, the Bay Area, Ashland, Portland, and end in Seattle. And then, who knows ~ we may just go down the coast and do it again.

It's all, all happening.

Gotta run for now. Stay tuned for some patrons-only posts later this week with some new poetry that's been coming out ~ and $50/$100 patrons, I'll be in touch soon to schedule our sessions for the month!

Also, there will definitely be a patrons-only broadcast, sometime this month, possibly from somewhere really cool. Details forthcoming.

BIG love, y'all!

~ Stellar