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Shining Light And The Journey Of The After Life

January 21, 2013


We are the sum of the atoms of our universe. What passes through our bodies every nanosecond is the beginning of all time and the entire existence of mankind. Which makes me believe that if these atoms carry the souls of all peoples, perhaps we can tune into that energy and capture it on earth in certain sacred and profound places.​

One of those special places is Goat Rock Beach, near the small hamlet of Jenner, California on the Sonoma Coast. It was here that I had a mystical experience that changed my ideas of life after death and opened the doors to altered states of consciousness.

Jenner is a magical place where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean. It is the yin and yang of the Sonoma Coast. The river is constantly pushing out the waves of the Pacific at the mouth where they meet. These two energy fields collide in a battle, sending water crashing in the air, filled with negative ions. A visually powerful place filled with beauty and awe. If there were a special energy field for us to tap into, it would be here under the eyes of the stars.

The Sonoma Coast is a rugged place. Watching the moon dart in and out of the fog as large waves crash on the shore fills you with cautious energy and opens your mind to heightened states of awareness. It was no different the evening I had my epiphany. There was a lot of fog and the waves were dangerously large, collapsing on the shore where I was walking my dog. As I gazed at the moon and stars through the fog, I felt a strange sensation in my body. My skin began to tingle and my mind filled with an intensity of love I have never felt before. It stopped me in my tracks. I was being drawn slowly into an altered state of consciousness that was otherworldly.

While pondering the source of this odd sensation that lasted through the night, I had a lucid dream where I heard the most beautiful music. It sounded like an angels harp being plucked from the heavens. When I awoke in the morning, the first thing I did was pick up my guitar to  replicate the strange sounds I heard in my dream. To accomplish this, I ended up re-tuning my guitar to a variation on the DADGAD tuning.

(Listen here:)


Shining Light Tuning

(Open Tuning: D# – A# – D – G  – G – D)



As I stumbled on my fretboard trying to figure out how to play chords with this new tuning, the song  “Shining Light” burst through me. I wrote the lyrics and music in a matter of minutes. Re-learning the notes and chords on my guitar as I went along. It was as if something, or someone was guiding me from another place.

Shining Light Song

When I read back the lyrics I had written for the song, I realized they told the story of losing my mother to an aneurism in the prime of her life. Had her spirit come to me on the beach that evening, inspiring me to write this song?


Mother can you hear the sound of children laughing
Children laughing at your feet
And if you gather them around, into a circle
The story starts where we will meet

For the days are passing by
They’re numbered by a time
When the sun sets on us all
We’ll join you in this rhyme

Father can you see the light
A silent memory, a silent memory in your mind
Your children gather round and feel your sorrow
A fallen tree lies on the ground

For the days are passing by
They’re numbered by a time
When the sun sets on us all
We’ll join you in this rhyme

Rest your soul were doing fine
We miss your smile, but its alright
We sing this song for you tonight
Your memory lingers in our minds

Brother can you hear these words
These words we borrow
From the fables of our lives
For in the end we find
A place of knowing
Knowing that our fears are blind

For the days are passing by
They’re numbered by a time
When the sun sets on us all
We’ll join you in this rhyme

And all the love that we share
Comes from knowing that your there
It guides our dreams in the night
Your stars shining light

For the days are passing by
They’re numbered by a time
When the sun sets on us all
We’ll join you in this rhyme

As I explored this epiphany, I turned to the philosophy’s of Buddhism, Shamanism and Mysticism. Through readings of these ancient practices, I believe that this new guitar tuning is a testament to the healing power of music and its ability to bridge the cosmos and natural world. In this musical space, musicians connect to a higher power to contribute their “music soul energy” to our universe. It is in this sacred place that they tell the story of our lives and help reduce the suffering in our world. In my case, the loss of my mother and the birth of a new sound that celebrates the powers of reincarnation. Our physical bodies marry with the compounds of the earth (our instruments) to give a voice to nature and the alchemy that offers healing energy to our planet and mankind.

Music connects us with the oneness of all things and shares a path similar to the constructs of Buddhism. In Zen philosophy, music operates in the tradition of the “three characteristics” of existence. The “anicca”, which is the observation that everything is always in a constant flux of energy and matter, (hence, the tonal and atonal sounds of this unique guitar tuning I discovered). The “dukha”, where the mind is always in a state of dissatisfaction, (hence, the tension created by the abstract sounds created by this tuning). The “anatta”, the realization that if we observe our behaviors closely, there is no “I” to be found, (hence, the search for melodic sensibilities from the chaotic sounds of this tuning to help guide the soul and spirit in an egoless and meaningful way towards enlightenment.)

Can the dead speak? One can only speculate until we enter the twilight world beyond our life on earth. Until then, I find comfort knowing that the ones we love live through us in the powerful message of music under the watchful eyes of the cosmos.

Scot Sier

The Shining Light experience inspired me to create the “Internal Spark” blog. A blog that focuses on creativity and spirituality in the advancement of the art of making music.

Visit the links below for interviews on spirituality and creativity with our special musical guests.

For Indian tabla-electronica musician/philanthropist, Robin Sukhadia, click here,

For Persian Nu-Flamenco musician, Farzad Arjmand, click here.

For Zen Age guitarist/composer, Shambhu Vineberg, click here.




From → Music

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