“All of Nature” weekly music & discussion:

God (Bill Maher don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater)

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As I have stated I was an atheist for much of my life. Genuinely feeling sorry for people who needed to believe in a fantasy of some delusional being that was going to save them. I was dismayed by the atrocities carried out under the name of God, the ridiculousness of humans essentially fighting age old wars over differing definitions of a hocus pocus chimera. I was adamantly not one of them. I believed in evolution and empirical evidence. I needed proof.
It is obvious that without scientific method, we would still be witch hunting, but when I started to study string theory, watching the greatest minds ask questions like ‘what exactly is the smallest piece of matter?’ something hit me. The results observed have showed that asking such a question is not dissimilar it seems, to a question we might have asked 600 years ago. A question like “where exactly is the edge of the world?” As we now know, such a question is meaningless as it is asked from a place of limited perspective. If the universe is infinite and constantly expanding, as seems to be the modern common understanding, would it not also be a logical conclusion, that everything we think, question we ever ask, due to our perspective, in this time, in this galaxy, with this vocabulary, at this scale, on this ball of mud in space, in these dimensions; the possibility, indeed the inevitability of dogma is guaranteed. Our perspective is limited and always will be, however enormous our telescopes and despite the increasing power of our microscopes, our logical and linear inquiry will always be finite in an infinite universe.
As a songwriter, as someone who meditates, I cannot deny the experience of the esoteric, the serendipitous, and the mystical. Though I have tried to frame these realities within the bounds of logic I have finally had to admit to my failure. I refused to even use the word God for at least a decade, but realized it is the only common word in the English language we have to unite our discussion of it, however many sides the prism presents. The word means something different to everyone, sometimes radically, sometimes subtly.
I had reached the edges of logic and decided to ask the question ‘what is God to me?’ When I started to delve in, I quickly realized that it existed in my mind as a plethora of gleaned archaic predominantly religious concepts and conditions, which had allowed me to continue to reject it all these years. So then what is God outside of religion when we truly do choose to take dominion over the concept of God for ourselves? Of course this kind of questioning has been traditionally forbidden and would still be considered sacrilegious by many, but I am not interested in being oppressed by antiquity.
I love Bill Maher. He has a popular political cable show and is famous for his atheism. My 9 year old, ex husband and I have community via that program. But I think it’s important to speak truth to, and be aware of the dangers of dogmatic thinking amongst atheists too. Having been there, atheists too often, hear the word God and really without thinking, immediately assign a religious association to the word. This assures that they stay subservient and obsequious by continuing to allow religion to define the word for them. This is territory that is no longer necessary to yield to, we know better don’t we? So why are do they still give it up to them? As the song states at the very beginning, God means so many things to so many different people, what is God? It is far from blasphemous to ask, and the question is still outstanding, because aren’t we talking about something that is infinite?
This song is about the journey of deconstructing and reconstructing God for myself. To ground myself in something I can understand, enjoy, receive, express and believe. I am not proselytizing, and have zero attachment to whether anyone else wishes to come down this path with me. I would however encourage people to take a new approach and consider asking these questions for them selves.
Essentially at the smallest levels of matter everything is a vibration, there is a Oneness, a fabric, a symphony. A flow, an alchemy, something to which the logical mind cannot hold. An is-ness, as opposed to an is-not-ness. As Lao-Tzu mentioned over two thousand years ago, there is something that was never born and never dies. There is a Oneness, there is nothing that is not it, we are all filaments of it, tiny kernels of temporarily vibrating light. The body is a harmonious instrument temporarily here, and to create a new understanding we must stand in it and let it diffuse into all levels of society. 
The standard scientific assumption of our time is that matter is primary, and we ask, how does consciousness arise out of it? In the cosmos of ‘primitive’ people a different worldview was held. Where there are no sharp boundaries between self and non-self, the whole world is conscious, no sharp division between the I and the non I. Then two or three thousand years ago, monotheistic religion brought us a new notion of a transcendent being beyond the world, and of human beings having a special relationship with this transcendent being; with consciousness being inside the human being, and inside God, but not in the world. The world became the field for human action, human subjectivity, but it lost its soul in the formation of this dualistic view. Two major steps in modern cosmology, namely when Copernicus moved us to realize we are not the center of the universe, and Descartes who brought us to consider two essentially different ‘substances’, mind, about which we have immediate and primary evidence; and matter, the external world about which we can only reason by interpretation based on the input of our sense organs. This separation had a huge historical influence on western thought. It freed scientists to focus on the tangible, the intrinsic laws of what appeared as out there, and the rest was essentially left to religion. We must recover ourselves from this split and wrangle a new modern understanding. Einstein died still seeking a ‘theory of everything’, looking for a common and unified thread in our theories of the infinitely small and the infinitely large, which as of today still have anomalies that have not been solved. I think it is delusional not to hold space for the set of infinite things that science and empirical evidence can never be prove in order to heal this rift, and to consider the premise of the this entire project, which is that consciousness is a bigger crucible than matter.

Infinite Mind

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Its Monday, it’s week 4 for my new album ‘All of Nature’ roll out. The fourth track is an epic yoga rock mantra, Infinite mind, PLEASE SHARE, it helps so much, listen for free.

So …honestly I was pretty much an atheist for much of my life. Wanting there to be more but finding religious argument so anthropomorphic and utterly flawed.
The ridiculous concept of a wrathful god, the guilt of original sin, the co-dependence and lack of personal responsibility in the notion of a messiah… not to mention all the things done in the name of religion. But meditation changed my thought process. I began to have tangible experiences of the esoteric and realized that it was constantly available. Worry, guilt and mental pain all began to diminish as i created more and more dominion over my own mind. Being able to objectify your subjective, to watch your thought patterns, is a skill that opens one’s life up in an entirely new way. like discovering the infinite numbers between 5 and 6 or singing the infinite notes between F and G. You just have so many more options.

…and in steps a knowing, that the universe is infinite in all directions. sometimes, in meditation, conditions dissolve, time becomes irrelevant, and a personal evolution reveals itself. these are truly glorious moments. If we are to be the change in the world we must create a new way about us, a new paradigm. When we fight inside our own mind, we bring that reflection to our movements of social change. This can lead to more of the same divide and conquer that happens to so many social justice movements. For me i learned this when i spent two months living at Occupy LA. When we take responsibility to heal ourselves, forgive ourselves, we bring our wholeness to the table, and begin something truly new. We go beyond the chest-beating and become able to hold peaceful and compassionate space for ourselves and others. I truly think meditation, can bring us the perspective needed for each of us to dissolve the egoistical psychosis and pathologies that create the hierarchies and low intensity warfare that have become so normative.

Let me know in the comments below:

Come to the Garden

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Do you meditate? if so how where, what does your practice look like?
Can you share your experiences on the benefits of meditation, short and long term.
How would the world be different if we taught our children the benefits of a meditative mind early on?

Let me know in the comments below:

Back into the sky

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I am so blessed to have had powerful sisters woven through the fabric of my life. Until I had my daughter I had been with no blood family in America for 17 years, only to say the women I have met throughout this journey are vital connections to me. We have a different relationship. Fluidly moving between the roles of daughter, mother and grandmother, as we share a freedom and kinship in these times, that has essentially been denied to us for thousands of years. Women, who like I believe in the community of sisterhood, the power of the feminine, and that ultimately our coming together will have a lot to do with whether our species thrives in the long run. One such amazing sister is Reirani, and in here lies the story of this song. I rarely co-write, but the majority of this lyric is from a Facebook entry she wrote after we were both at a festival listening to Deva Premal and Mitten. Some people feel the pain of the devastation of the earth more than others. I for one have always taken it very personally, because there is no separation, we are her and she us. I feel her as a living entity, which, as I have discovered along my travels, is not dissimilar to many native and indigenous traditions. As soon as I read my Maori sister’s words they felt so perfectly eloquent; giving voice to how so many of us feel about the gaudy and disgraceful way we continue to rape, molest and dominate our beautiful planet. I found myself immediately singing them and asked her permission to fashion them into a song.

For many years it was my truth that we had passed critical mass. That the exponential curves of destruction, population growth, carbon in the atmosphere coupled with the silly self indulgent political and corporate yak yak of whether human’s are responsible or not. And even tho I think this is still possibly the case, I have personally found a silver lining. As we as a species continue to get beyond the ramifications of the silly mythology that we are somehow the centre of the universe, and without suggesting I believe in little green men, I do think it is is extremely likely that life exists beyond our particular ball of mud in space.

Water has been discovered to be the true interplanetary traveler, and the understanding of habitable zones around stars. The images of billions of stars in our galaxy, the billions of galaxies in our expanding universe that the Hubble telescope has brought us, It is a logical and mathematical probability takes me there. If this is true of course our deep existential longing would be delusional.

Rape culture is real, how do you find healing, or do you?

Is there an end to ignorance and greed?

The dominant culture has done its best to annihilate indigenous wisdom, do you have a favorite indigenous teacher and/or teaching that has helped offer perspective and personal healing? Please share.

Is there a way for capitalism to evolve into a sustainable system? What does that look like?

Let me know in the comments below:

All of Nature Rollout

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I need your help!  Please read on if you can ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in helping me get my my new project out there!


Hi Everyone. As some of you may know I have just spent the last 3 years making a record. It has been an amazing process. Now it is time to release it. This is a very independent project and in lue of a marketing plan or budget, I need your help to get it out there. I am relying on word of mouth cos that’s what I gots!

Here’s my plan.  Every Monday starting in June 20th am going to release a new song on a bandcamp link that will be posted on my social media accounts and my website (sheilanicholls.com).

This will create a small period of time of exclusivity and focus.  A song a week will take 13 weeks since that’s how many tracks there are.

After that the record will be set free into the ether and available on itunes and the like.  Read More >>

I have come to the personal conclusion that ‘consciousness is a bigger crucible than matter’ what do you think about the statement?

What are your practices for moving through re-triggered trauma?
Is human nature malleable or static?
When you feel into the possibility and potential of humanity, what is your grandest vision?

Let me know in the comments below:


Songs From the Bardo

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released August 4, 2009
thankyou to everyone for being patient, to lynne earls and jez colin for consistency and coming through, and all the amazing players who lent their talents to this record. I deeply appreciate all your contributions. to my sweet Al and amazing milly, without whom I would just be jangling in the wind.

My new CD, Songs from the Bardo… is a collection of songs mostly written and recorded over the last five years. With help of my now good friend Lynne Earls (pro tools queen), Jez Colin and some of the same great musicians, Luis Conte, Matt Chamberlain plus a bunch of amazing Brazilians in particular Andre de Santana, on bass. The songs range from completely acoustic to studio produced but all seem to sit in the strongest belief I hold true, that love is not a cliché but actually the most radical and potent untapped solution, and should be applied now in all directions before we no longer have a choice.

In this sphere many of the songs endeavor to reunite the micro with the macro, the intimate with the big picture, hope with the inconsolable (where none are afraid) coping mechanisms when love hits schisms (bardo) mantras to stave off frustration during the bush era (lay low) honest straight up political and social commentary (natural law and pointless tackles vision and pinking up) dropping first world facade in favour of the elemental (simplify) and unapologetic unadulteratedly abandoned love songs (city between and mighty love, celery bay)


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released September 1, 2002
Produced by Sheila Nicholls and Glen Ballard

“Inevitably the label was after a ‘radio friendly’ record, Wake was definitely a larf to record, suddenly every thing got real big sounding. Glen Ballard produced a good number of tunes bringing in some sweet players like Mike Elizondo on bass and Matt Chamberlain on drums. Again touring extensively in the US, opening for KD Lang in Europe, and playing the tonight show with Jay Leno.” SN

Brief Strop

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released June 1, 1999
all songs written by sheila nicholls
medusa written by sheila and james harrah
hannah by sheila and david barlow /h6>

“”This was an independently recorded piano vocal record. When Hollywood picked it up they wanted me to re-record the whole thing. I didn’t care for the Disney aesthetic so I said no but we added a few over-dubbed instruments. It went top ten in the US college radio charts and Fallen For You was featured in the film and on the soundtrack of High Fidelity. I toured extensively across the US.”