Berkley California the USA
No matter your philosophy or perspective around COVID-19, its emergence has caused chaos worldwide, from mass casualties to economic despair to change in optics and value on life. With every new form of challenge that we as a society face, blessings come from it. Those who dabble in the supernatural world believe that the virus has sparked humanity’s spiritual awakening. With social unrest wreaking havoc, there is no better time to journey inwards to harmonize your spirit with your purpose. I recently had the pleasure to chat with Maggie Taurick from Awakened Heart Music. In her words, your voice is medicine, and your song is ready to take flight. Her call to spirit and unity honours the true nature of humanity, reminding us that even through hard times, beauty and joy await us all. May we all take her message to embrace a more profound harmony within ourselves and all beings across the globe.
Behnam Vadi: Tell us a little about yourself and where you grew up?
Maggie Taurick: I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin and would never have imagined back then ending up with the life I have today, at the age of 38 — as a designer/facilitator/entrepreneur with a deep passion for learning and evolving – living a largely nomadic lifestyle which consists, at times, of travelling in my minivan, and at others, backpacking through foreign countries. When I find a spot I love, I’ll often stay for 1-3 months before moving on — following a spiritual path that has led me to many things, including studying Yoga in Bali, drinking cacao and chanting ecstatically in Guatemala, sitting up all night with plant medicines in Peru; meditating and visiting holy places in India, climbing to the tops of mountains and diving into the depths of oceans — in many locations on this beautiful planet, as well as within my psyche.
BV: Why did you move out to the Bay Area?
MT: My first job when I graduated from design school in 2008 was in Los Angeles, and I’ve been based primarily on the West Coast ever since. I enjoyed working at a design agency in Santa Monica for a couple of years, but at some point, I began to feel a deep longing to experience more of the world. So, in 2010, at age 26, I took the leap into a freelance career and left LA for my first backpacking trip. I caught the travel bug and spent the next few years between Europe and South America, living the “digital nomad” lifestyle, doing freelance graphic design work while exploring the world. In 2013, I began to feel a craving for some stability after all the travel, yet my old LA lifestyle no longer felt aligned with the person I had become. I happened to be in Northern California for a wedding when the need for grounding took hold in a way that I could no longer ignore. I had always loved San Francisco and had been intrigued to explore the East Bay, so I found a sublet in Oakland to start and began looking for design work locally. I found a job in San Francisco and spent the next few years living in various places around the Bay – enjoying the beautiful nature, rich culture, and beautiful communities while still taking time to travel.
BV: How did you get into music as a spiritual practice?
MT: I was first exposed to mantra music – one of the central practices of the Bhakti Yoga tradition – in a yoga class in Cusco, Peru, of all places. On this same trip, I first sat in a ceremony with Ayahuasca. I was deeply moved by the ability of the sounds in the room – both from the Icaros (traditional songs) and the sacred instruments – to transfer energy. I knew that, while it was more evident while in a state of altered consciousness, the power of sound for healing and awakening was undeniable. In the year following those experiences in Peru, I participated in my first Kirtan in Berlin, experienced my first sound bath at a festival (Lightning in a Bottle) in Southern California, and signed up to volunteer at Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree. The latter turned out to be a life-changing immersion into the world of Western Bhakti Yoga and the community that formed around it. (I would’ve never dreamed then that I’d be offering music there myself in the future!) In 2015, I went to Bali for Yoga teacher training, where I learned more formally about the sacred art of Mantra chanting. When I returned to California, I enrolled in a course called “Free Your Voice” led by Amber Field in Berkeley, which introduced me to the concept of singing to liberate my self-expression, including all forms of creativity and communication. Shortly after that, I took training on the Yoga of Sound in Guatemala, where I began exploring the use of sound to facilitate transformational experiences—guiding sound journeys and holding song and chant circles alongside ceremonial cacao. In the years since, I’ve been deepening my work with these modalities—studying with various teachers, including two trips to India, where I got to connect with the traditions of Bhakti and Nada Yoga (a system of inner transformation through sound vibration) in their birthplace.
BV: Has creating your original songs always come naturally to you?
MT: Not at all! I was always secretly envious of people who created their own music. Although I’d begun to share music in song circles and festivals, I didn’t really consider that I could write and share original songs myself until a few years ago. But after having the good fortune to travel and share music with some incredibly talented artists and teachers who encouraged me on my path. I decided that I, too, wanted to create my own music and chose to try on the belief that it was indeed possible! It began with that simple internal shift—believing that I had the ability and then deciding to create the space for it in my life. I started intentionally setting aside time to improvise and work with voice and creative practices, opening my channel to see what flowed through.
BV: How did your musical collaboration, Awakened Heart Music, come into being?
MT: I first met Diana Egizi in Guatemala via the sacred sound and cacao immersion we did together, and we found our paths weaving together over the next few years. As we were both inspired to share the practices we’d learned – creating spaces for healing and transformation through sacred sound, we naturally began to collaborate – offering music, workshops, and ceremonies at various festivals and event spaces in Guatemala, California, and Oregon. Then in 2019, we decided to make it official – launching the project under the name of Awakened Heart Music!
BV: And at what point did you begin to create an online community through your work together?
MT: In 2020, I was travelling in Colombia for what was meant to be a few months, but when the pandemic began and the borders closed, I ended up staying there for a whole year. Since our collaboration had just gained momentum, we wanted to keep it going even though we were in different places, so we created a Facebook group. As a way to keep us in the creative flow, we chose to commit to holding live streams every Friday, where we would prefer a different theme each week and come up with a new song based on that theme, sharing them for the first time during the live streams which we called “Spirit Song Sessions.” It started small at first, but the energy grew with time, and we began to invite special guests to join, utilizing the platform to uplift other artists and cultivate our creativity.
BV: How has this project influenced your musical evolution?
MT: Well, before we started these Spirit Song Sessions, I had maybe created a total of 4-5 songs. And now that we’ve been doing it for over a year and a half, I have over 50! (We eventually shifted the live streams to every other Friday instead of every week, and we sometimes hold virtual song circles rather than the regular live stream.) The project has taught me the power of commitment and letting go of perfection. There isn’t time to obsess over the details with only a week to prepare each song. Often the songs are straightforward and sometimes evolve with time after they’ve been initially shared. My channel often stays open by regularly creating songs, and I’m ready to receive inspiration whenever it comes. I also felt so inspired by some of the songs coming through. I began to make recordings while in Colombia at a studio around the corner from where I was living.
BV: What was the inspiration behind the Spirit Song Awakening journey you have coming up?
MT: After doing the Spirit Song Sessions for about a year, Diana and I felt inspired to invite others into the practice of song-channelling, which we’d both received so many benefits from. We know that there are so many songs out there in the ether, waiting to be birthed and that anyone can be a channel for them if they choose to be! So we decided to create an online group container where we’ll share some of the practices and mindset shifts that have been helpful for us and lead a group through a transformative 5-week journey of liberated self-expression through song creation!
BV: What can participants expect to experience during this program?
MT: The journey includes weekly live group calls, which are recorded for anyone who can’t join live. During each call, there will be space for group sharing and connection. We will offer voice activation and embodiment practices to support the flow of creative energy and shift into a receptive state. The journey will also include guided meditations to uncover any limiting beliefs blocking the flow of creative energy and group creative explorations, and interactive song channelling exercises. Between calls, participants will be given “soul work” and be invited to explore that week’s theme, diving into some of the song-creation practices in their own time. Each person will be paired with a “Spirit Song Buddy” and invited to engage and share in a private Facebook group.
BV: How can people learn more and sign up if interested?
MT: All the details and registration are available at awakenedheartmusic.life! Additionally, we created a free gift we’d love to offer your readers — a sound meditation called Heartsong Activation, designed to guide listeners on a deep & powerful journey to activate their song channels & empower their authentic expression!
BV: Sounds incredible! So, what’s next for you?
MT: After this Spirit Song Awakening journey finishes, I plan to open space to take on some new design projects. I’ll be calling in mission-driven entrepreneurs & creatives who want to discover the true essence of their brand and translate it into a unique & impactful visual identity. (If people wish to connect on that, they can reach out through my website!) Musically, I’d like to devote some time to finish the album I began recording in Colombia during the pandemic. I also have a few extraordinary collaborations in the works, which I’m excited to share when the time comes! On a personal note, I’m looking to put down some roots after living nomadically for many years. I envision living in a community surrounded by beautiful nature, ideally on a river, with space for hosting visitors and sharing music, retreats, and other gatherings! I’m back in Colombia, where I’m exploring some beautiful areas intending to find a “home.” Wherever I end up, I’m excited to explore all the possibilities that the future holds and continue deepening my path with music and sacred sound.
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