Terry Callier

 Terry Callier – TimePeace  by Simon Owen

Written in the late 90’s for the Dharma Yoga Journal, a quarterly collection of yoga information and personal writing edited by Julie Friedeberger.

I work as a chemist for an American drug company, as I mix up my chemicals I have many interesting conversations with my supervisor, Brian who works next door. I have worked with Brian for about 6 yrs and have always been amazed by two of his qualities, his endless patience and his love of learning something new. About 5 yrs ago Brian decided to learn to play the saxophone, he had always loved jazz, so he obtained a sax and brought a book. He soon realised that he needed a teacher and found Gary, who lived in Southend. Over the months and years, as I cooked up unknown chemicals, I heard much about Brian’s sax classes. Gary has played with some famous bands, recorded with various artists and was a superb musician playing the flute as well. One day Brian mentioned Gary was off on tour around the country with a man called Terry Callier (TC). Brian went to the Jazz Cafe in London to see the performance and was very impressed and lent me Terry Callier’s latest CD called “TimePeace”. I played it and was immediately intrigued by this man and his music. That surprised me as normally I take some time to get into a new CD.

The lyrics were incredible and the tunes moved me in a strange new way. I have always enjoyed listening to music but was always a little bemused by the passion shown by some fans towards their favourites. Now I feel I understand those ardent fans so much better. Here was music to get passionate about.

So over the last 6 months I have mentioned this man and his music to many of my friends and now I would like to share TC with my friends at the Dharma Yoga Centre.

I could pick almost any of the songs from “TimePeace” to write about but I shall limit myself to one.

This song is accompanied by the most exquisite spanish guitar.

“The Love Theme from Spartacus”

Can it be, do you hear?

A new freedom song is ring-in’

No more doubt no more fear

There’s a new day that is bringin’

Something simple is the Key

Only Love will set us free

It’s so far, it’s so near

Almost close, almost here.

This simple short song will resonate with anyone who has found spiritual inspiration in their life.

It may have been a sentance in book, a line in a song, a phrase in a sermon or a bit of advice from a friend, anything which has inspired or uplifted us, it has crashed through our perceptions with the ringing of a Freedom Song. It has helped us through the doubts and fears of life with because it has contained a simple Key. This simple key is central to every spiritual tradition, love, only Love will set us free.

But is this source of love accessible? Where do we find it?

It’s so far, it’s so near that is certainly true,sometimes we are brimming with love but at other times empty.

The source of that endless love is within each one of us, all of the time but our ego and mind will muddy the waters making it almost close almost here.

 This song set me thinking about the presence of this Love and here are a couple of passages that came up in my reading.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4-11 Eknath Easwaran translation

As there can be no water without sea,

no touch without the skin, no smell without

the nose, no taste without the tongue, no

form without the eye, no sound without the

ear, no thought without the mind, no wisdom

without the heart, no work without hands, no

walking without feet, no scriptures without the

word, so there can be nothing without the Self.

This is showing how the Self or God is the creator of everything in our world, if the Self is not there then only nothing can be there.

Another passage this time from ‘Living Bhuddha Living Christ’ by Thich Nhat Hanh.

‘Some waves on the ocean are high and some are low. Waves appear to be born and to die. But if we look more deeply, we see that the waves, although coming and going, are also water, which is always there. Notions like high and low, birth and death can applied to waves but water is free of such distinctions. Enlightenment for a wave is the moment the wave realises that it is water. At that moment all fear of death disappears……When you see that, you will have no trouble building a boat that can carry you across the waves of birth and death. Smiling you will understand that you do not have to abandon this world in order to be free. You will know nirvana, the Kingdom of Heaven, is available here and now.’

The ability of the wave to realise it is water has a child-like simplicity along with a great understanding of it’s own nature. Just what we need to understand….

something simple is the key

Only love will set us free

It’s so far, it’s so near

Almost close, almost here.

Thank you to the writers of these wonderful words.

2 thoughts on “Terry Callier

  1. Simon, I did a walking & Yoga holiday with yourself in southern Spain many years ago. I was wondering if you still do anything similar or could recommend a reasonable yoga holiday or retreat centre that’s more gentle & not manic like some are these days, especially as I’m getting on a bit now.

    1. Ann how lovely to hear from you, 22-29th May 2004 that is how long ago it was! I still return to that part of the world and run weeks of Yoga and Alexander Technique at Cortijo Romero. Have a look at their website as their programme has many yoga weeks. For amazing walking weeks in Spain and Morocco look at Bootlace holidays run by Paul and Fiona.
      If you want to stay in the UK I recommend the Mandala Yoga Ashram, half way up a mountain in the middle of Wales, to experience the teachings of the Bihar School of Yoga.

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