May 1, 2013

A State of “Trance(ndence).” ~ Nicole Markardt



We, are one of the same

Our stories untold

Running, waiting

For the skyfire to fall


Our minds and our cries

Share the pain

For we are nowhere at all


But seek

A painting of the sun

Hold it bravely

And it will soon become


In the dark

And then

The skyfire

Will fall apart.


~ Shogun

Christ-like pose, arms lift… 20,000 people are brought to silence in anticipation of the permeating sound that creates a collective heartbeat which pulsates in the same rhythm inside of each person.

A collective energy has been created and is palpable.

Purple light… in its reflection, purple confetti…

The tension builds; intensifying the deep response to the “drop” that has just been released…

Twenty thousand people wait for the next beat… and…


One moth ago, Madison Square Garden in New York City became one massive dance floor. As I looked around, I felt what can only be likened to a child arriving at nighttime carnival: lights, brilliant color, smiling faces glowing with uninhibited joy.

Musically, my extremely diverse passions are the equivalent of a dissociative identity disorder characterized by various enduring states of identity. Musicians are artists that embody the true manifestation of spirit and soul.

My music library ranges from classically trained musicians like Tori Amos, who emotes true depth of the human experience to the soulful sounds of hip-hop that bring me to my feet on my worst days. I get lost in classics like The Beatles, and am awestruck by the music and poetry of psychedelic rock legend, Jim Morrison, all representing a different element of what nourishes my soul.

Good music, for me, is similar to our own internal landscape: never flat, but rich with peaks and deep flowing bodies of life which comprise our shared humanity in every note.

When I first listened to electronic dance music, it sounded like noise. I thought it was just okay. One of my best friends, whose emotions are palpable when listening to compelling music, introduced me to the Dutch trance producer Armin Van Buuren, whose percussive sounds are enveloped in angelic female voices. I was, in fact, entranced.

The evolution of the disco era is so much more than just noise.

In the late 1970s and ’80s, synthesizers began being used in the making of records.

As I stood alongside my friend on the massive dance floor in New York City, where Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson performed, the electrifying experience felt as if our souls found synthesis with our spirit. As we danced among the blast of brilliant pyrotechnical displays, with 20,000 strangers that engaged with one another as old friends. A connection is made; the connection to spirit in ourselves and others.

If we think of how music viscerally effects us, and notice how filled with emotion and nostalgia we can become, it is clear that music awakens our senses. Music can be so powerful that a scent that we associate with a person or an experience can be conjured from a certain time period in our lives just by taking in the sound. Sound is so powerful. Sound is often used in meditation to help us not only hear but our bodies to feel certain tones effecting our energy centers.

Music is inspiring.

It inspires presence: a pulsating life force within us comes alive. Music transcends any experience or emotion, bringing our mind and spirit to full attention in the present, raising our consciousness.

It is said that there are four universal healing salves, that in ancient Shamanic societies, if one came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed they would ask four questions:

When did you stop dancing?

When did you stop singing?

When did you stop being enchanted by stories?

When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?

~ The Fourfold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, teacher, Healer, and Visionary.

I believe the soul does not age. One is never too old to dance and sing, even if it’s in our own living room.

If we remember to nourish our soul, and awaken our spirit either by creating a playlist that inspires us, playing our favorite record or CD, we open our minds and hearts to a state of transcendence.

Which music do you choose to take you there?


Nicole is a mother of two, a NYC public school teacher, writer, and aspiring yogi. When Nicole was 18, she broke her back in two places. Doctors couldn’t be certain she would ever walk again. After a successful surgery and some difficult years, Nicole went on to lead a full life. She is a certified Level II Reiki practitioner, and actively pursues mind-body development. Her gratitude for the second chance she has been given, as well as, her knowledge of the power in mind-body connection is something she’s mindful of everyday. Nicole consistently practices Bikram yoga and has never felt better. Her articles have appeared in MindBodyGreen and she is the author of the Peace, Love & Practice blog on DoYouYoga.com.


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  • Asst. Editor: Edith Lazenby
  • Ed: Brianna Bemel
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