“Let' s see a world that we dream of, fill your heart. . . ” is a line from David Newman (aka Durga Das's) newly released song and music video, entitled Peace and Love. Rolling out just
in time for a Presidential election that has generated an unprecedented amount of
negativity, divisiveness, hatred and fear, this song is Newman’s way of reminding us about what is really important. David will be leading a workshop called “Awakening Love” and a Kirtan appropriately called “Sing For Love” at Integral Yoga Institute on November 19th.
Recently Dar Dowling sat down with David Newman to ask a few questions about the song, the election and bhakti yoga.
Dar Dowling: Why right now?
David Newman: When we are bombarded by negativity and bad things happen we tend to feel powerless….My work is to remind people that this is not the case, as we always have the power to create the life we want to live.”
DD: Have you done this before?
DN: A few songs seem like they wanted to have a life of their own outside of being on an album, which is what happened with Peace and Love, and with Stay Strong, a song I wrote after the Gulf Oil leak.
DD: Why did you make the video?
DN: I wanted to tell a story about the power of love over hate and felt this form of animation was the best way to tell the story. [He teamed up with Eric Power in Austin, whose work is very organic. All the images in the video are hand cut out of paper, lined up and filmed – there is no computer generation. The result is a beautiful video to go along with a song that does what Newman’s intention was – light up the air waves with love. ]
DD: What role does Bhakti yoga play in the creation of this song and the video.
DN: Bhakti Yoga is the practice of unconditional love and living a compassionate life fueled by peace. These ideas are embedded in the song’s lyrics and feeling, especially in the chorus: “Let’s see a world that we dream of, fill your Heart with Peace and Love.” The vision of both the song and video is the power of love over hate.
DD: How did you feel that the song was connected to the election cycle?
DN: I was originally inspired to write a song about peace and love in general. However, I soon realized that it spoke to the climate of combativeness that was emerging around the US election and the polarity that it has instigated. The video became the perfect outlet for
me to infuse the message of peace and love into the realm of politics and the divisive tone in the air. In the video, you see a wall [and a couple despairing on the other side]. Then you see the wall coming down. It can be literal, but it can also be a metaphor for the separation and isolationism.
Then there are red (republican) and blue (democrat) figures fighting with each other in the video, which speaks to how the candidates relate as adversaries, through hostility, rather than through peace and cooperation. People feel polarized—there’s a tension in the air.
My essential message of the release is two-fold - make sure to get out and vote and vote for Peace and Love every day!
DD: In what way do you think we can heal from this election?
DN: To remember that we have the power to create the kind of world we want to see. To feel relieved that the distractions will be less, and we can get more focused on contributing to “being the change."
DD: What do you hope people get out of this song and the video.
DN: To bring both beauty and hope into their day, and to remind them to remain positive; as fear ultimately does not stand a chance when Love is present.
DD: Don’t miss David’s workshop “Awakening Love” and Kirtan appropriately called “Sing For Love” at Integral on November 19th. The workshop explores how love can be a vehicle of spirituality – and the power of unconditional love or love without expectations.
Will Newman be playing his new song at the Kirtan? Probably, but it’s not a sure thing, because much to the dismay of his musicians he never has a set list. The songs he chooses to sing depend upon the energy in the room, in the night, and in the world. But no matter which songs grab hold of his soul it’s a sure thing that peace and love will be in the air.