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A mild and quiet evening in the big meditation hall of an Indian Ashram. Thousands are gathered to listen to the great Bansuri maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia. Into the pindrop silence his tunes descend from heaven and put on us a spell from the beyond. I feel my heart chakra expanding rapidly. The magic of his playing moves me to the core. This hollow bamboo seems to hold all the secrets of the universe, seems to point the way to the divine. Hariprasad plays for almost three hours, and the world becomes a different place, infused with spirit.

At the time of this concert I was struggling with a serious heavy metal poisoning. My body was very sick. I was constantly dizzy, irritated, and prone to fatigue attacks and headaches. I was certain that I was going to die. In the attempt to support my healing I had started working with entheogens. During the journeys I listened to Hariprasad's Bansuri, and the fascination with the sound grew to incredible proportions. I would listen to nothing else, convinced that the divine tunes of this bamboo flute would heal me.

In one of the journeys I heard the voice that would always come to me say: If you love the Bansuri so much, why don't you take it up yourself? I was stunned to hear this, and replied that at age 42 I am too old to start a new instrument. What followed in the vision was a big cosmic grin, and the voice said: Who cares ...? Play simple tunes and see what happens ...

This is what I have been doing for 4 years now. I am still amazed at what happens. I have given up most of what I did before in my life. The poisoning is healed. I am moving deeper and deeper into the practice of the Bansuri. The deeper I go the more I realize how rich and complex the instrument is, and the great flute masters seem like far removed gods to me.

But even the simple tunes baffle me in their capacity to express the longing for the divine. Friends around me have started to enjoy my playing more and more, and I feel deep gratitude for their support and appreciation. The secret of the hollow bamboo has taken over my life ...

Mark playing the Bansuri
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