Archives for category: coaching

A bit more of the story of my journey…

Before The Brainshift Programs (Former Opera Singer Reveals…) and living at the beach in South Beach, Miami, I lived in New York City and in the Bahamas. Somehow life is perfect

The Brainshift: Vocal Energy Activation Journey

The decision to live in the Bahamas was one I began considering after my first visit there in May 2011. I was not at all sure it would work out, yet I kept dreaming of a beach front home all the while.

The story begins with making lifestyle changes through a regular yoga practice for several years. Though my quality of life had been noticably improving since beginning a regular yoga practice in the spring of 2008,  I was still not as happy as I knew I could be. So in search of something more, between 2008 and 2011, I kept leaving my beautiful Brooklyn home (and my sweet feline Bebe)


for ocean places to explore yoga more in depth in a variety of different cultures. I visited a yoga retreat center called Present Moment on the pacific coast of Mexico; took a yoga training course on one coast of…

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A part of my regular meditation practice includes Vocal Meditation. I offer Vocal Meditation in private and group sessions in person in Texas, New York, Miami and the Bahamas. I also private and group offer online sessions. For more information go to:

Guided Meditation Events

There are many different Vocal Meditation practices that I have been given and that have come to me unannounced. This meditative approach to using the voice actually began when I was developing my voice as an instrumentalist in order to sing opera. My very last voice teacher, Bonnie Hamilton taught me how to tune the voice using long, sustained tones like a violinist practices in order to perfectly tune the sound coming from the violin. I learned how to take out the vocal wave called vibrato and to tune the fundamental pitch on the closed vowel sound [ i ] to the center or just above or just below a specific pitch while singing a full operatic tone. Later, when Ragas came into my life, this attention to subtle tuning of pitch continued as a part of the art of North Indian Classical musical tradition. The Ragas that are a part of my Vocal Meditation practice have all appeared to me at various times like newly found friends who bring comfort or fun or beauty into life. I am writing a book about Vocal Meditation in order to share the joy and bliss that all of these Vocal Meditation practices continue to give me.

Today my 10 minute Vocal Meditation practice centered on just one frequency: C 256. Listening to Jonathan Goldman’s Crystal Bowl Chakra Chants as my soundscape and tapping together two C 256 tuning forks, I found myself immersed in C 256. The lower octave (8 notes down) from C 256 is just barely in my range. To vocalize it I make a sort of growling sound that lies deep in my vocal folds. The pitch of C 256 is perfectly comfortable and easy to hum or phonate on a vowel. Today, I began the Vocal Meditation by listening to the tuning forks and their relationship within the accompanying soundscape for quite a while. Then i began to vibrate sound with my voice very softly at both the lower octave C and humming on C 256. I could feel these soft vibrations resonating throughout the bones of my face so I placed my hands on my face as I was sounding. This feeling-hearing experience took my attention to the release of my belly as I would inhale and then downward to the root of my spine where I was seated. The experience was deeply grounding. I felt much like I had during the Quantum Light Breath Meditation by Jeru Kabbal that I learned at WildQuest. Both of these breath experiences feel the same as when I was completely relaxed as I was snorkeling in the Caribbean blue sea while being with wild dolphins.

At the end of the soundscape I had no desire to move on to the next frequency of D 288. I was very content to remain in C 256 feeling a deep connection to the earth and my life here on this planet.


This Invocation for Healing the Waters is offered in special response to the Deva of the Dolphins of Bimini, the Deva of the waters of the Caribbean, the Deva of the humans and all life at Wildquest W8 and W9 2015. The chant repeated 11 times or more will purify water everywhere and anywhere you intend.

WildQuest_W8_2015 234

Uchu no mugen no
chi kara ga korikotte
makoto no daiwa no
miyoga narinatte

Translation of the text:

The infinite power of the Universe has been crystallized to create an Era of Truth and Great Harmony.

Repeated 11 times for effectiveness

The answer lies within. Right now. That is all we have. That is all that exists. How do we experience right now? How do we experience right now without all of the stuff inside of our mind cluttering up right now? How do we hear the answer we seek right now that lies within right now? 5 Minute Listening Practice to Calm the Mind and Develop Self-Compassion Find a comfortable spot to sit or stand.

It may help to close your eyes. Just listen. Focus your attention on the sounds around you. How many different sounds do you hear? Do they sound close or far away? Are they continuous or do they come and go? What other qualities do you notice as you listen? Now choose one sound and focus all of your attention on just this sound. What else to you notice? What happens to the other sounds? Choose another sound. This time offer your attention to the sound as a loving gesture, as if you are sending love to the sound with energy of your attention. How does your listening change? Now bring your attention back to yourself and your own body. Can you hear the sound of your own breathing? Send the loving energy you sent to the sound to yourself, to the sound of your own breath, your own heartbeat, to the movement of your breath and the pulse of life that flows through you. Do this practice anytime your mind is overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings. I hope this practice brings you inner stillness and peace. Namaste

Every day it seems more and more research appears indicating how much yoga helps people in their every day lives. Not just with reducing stress and bringing a calm state of mind but also with enhancing the ability to think and focus. Below is a graphic that tells some of the story.

Voice Your Life: The Brainshift tools focus on using sound as well as gentle movement to integrate life changes. A yoga posture may be as simple as raising your arms as high as your shoulders or bowing your head slightly while being aware of the flow of your breath.

Every “body” is unique. Even if you can’t ever put yourself into one of the shapes you see below, you can still use your breath,  sound and movement to receive the benefits!


yoga infographic


During a time of great transition how do you preserve your peace of mind?

This period in my life seems to be asking me this question. Here is my answer.

I have meditated every morning since I have been back in Brooklyn. Most days I have practiced pranayama and asana. I practice a variety of techniques to uplift and focus my thoughts and emotions. I have stayed connected and have reconnected with people and groups of people who feel supportive to me and who focus on the positive and finding solutions. To overcome both joint and emotional pain I have been taking supplements and eating foods that I find balance my body and brain chemistry.

I spend a lot of time researching various subjects on the computer and keep myself entertained nightly on a budget with Netflix streaming.

I continue to read to acquire the knowledge needed to make changes in my life in the arenas of spirit and matter, and in matters financial. I ask for help from those who have more experience than me.

I surrender to the “What Is” of my life on a daily basis, offering gratitude in thought and feeling for all that is there to support me.

How is it working?

Emotions are settling down and thoughts arrive more slowly which allows time for processing.

This is the time of the Turtle in my life: slow, un-rushed with a lot of pauses and very little looking backwards, lest I lose my way forward.

For more about the qualities and virtues of the Turtle and times of transition go to:


Teresa Durga Divadas Schoendorf

Since I have been back in my Brooklyn apartment I have meditated and chanted and done pranayama and asana as a first priority, daily. The responsibility of owning an apartment in a coop in New York City and being on the coop Board can feel very heavy. Before I left Brooklyn last January to live in the ashram I wanted to meditate and chant and do pranayama and asana daily, but I could not. I was not connected. I did not have the inner strength. I did not have the support. I did not feel any power.

In my mind the choice to live in the Bahamas for an extended time was financial and spiritual. I wanted to lower my cost of living–thereby lightening the load in order to be able to deepen my yoga practice. I also wanted to learn how to do service, to understand what it means to do service.

While living in the ashram doing Karma Yoga I realized just how hard it is to do service. I found out in my first Karma Yoga position that doing service can mean giving up control–to someone else who has the power (and the right) to tell you what to do.Yikes! And just how did this person get the power and the right? Because she had given up control to be of service on a larger scale in service of the ashram. No one who lives in the ashram gets paid any money. Everyone from the top down is doing service to keep the ashram running. That means offering satsanga twice daily, offering programs with international lectures and performers year-round, offering accommodations that include two vegetarian meals daily. An ashram is run by people who are doing service as spiritual practice.

I began to understand that doing service meant acting from a place without any thought of personal gain. To “do” not in order to get something like approval or money or favors or goodies. Just to “do” because someone has asked you to “do”. Doing service is about letting go of your own sense of “doership.” It is about “doing” as a part of a spiritual practice, i.e. doing for the the greater good of all. To serve you must rid yourself of all personal preference. It is not about you. It is about what is needed. And when you do this, it is easy. When you stop trying to control and just be with whatever is happening each moment, to the best of your ability, a certain weight falls away. There are no decisions to be made beyond each moment so a lot of thinking subsides. The mind gets quieter. The breath calms. The body becomes more at ease.

Each time I meditate I honor the spiritual initiation I accepted at the ashram. Meditation is in itself an act of surrender. I surrender to each moment to be with whatever is in my own mind,  with loving kindness in every breath–even when the vrittis (thoughts) are running wild!

Power, I am discovering, comes from letting go, from surrendering to what is happening in my life–in each moment. And to having an attitude to be of service to the duties that are being presented. We think we have chosen. Actually, it has all been chosen for us in order to help us awaken to who we really are: eternal existence, knowledge and bliss.

PS The first coop Board meeting of the 2012-13 term went very well. I followed my own directive as the new President and presiding chair to begin with a moment of silence (my heart was pounding in this moment and I had to gather all of my strength to focus on the Om Tryambakam mantra). I facilitated by keeping order and listening to the other members of the Board, only speaking at the end of discussion on each issue. We accomplished what we needed to and ended only 10 minutes over the hour time frame we had established. Jaya! (Victory)