A Conversation with GRAMMY Award-Winner Paul Avgerinos : “The only true success in this world is spiritual awakening”
Dec 05, 2016 03:38AM
● By Nicole Miale
Paul Avgerinos is a GRAMMY Award-winning artist, composer, producer and engineer whose music is broadcast all over the world. Besides his 24 critically acclaimed New Age albums on the Round Sky label, Avgerinos is active in film and television music. He has been involved in a number of platinum album productions as well. Avgerinos lives and works at Studio Unicorn in Redding, where he says deer pass by his studio windows while hawks and eagles provide inspiration from above.
This year was one of personal joy and professional accolades for Avgerinos, which he attributes in large part to his devotion to Amma, known as the “hugging saint” or the “living saint”. Avgerinos is active in Amma’s Embracing the World charities, donating time, money and CDs that are sold in the Amma Bookstores worldwide. Natural Awakenings spoke with him recently about his extraordinary year and his experience as a devotee of Amma.
How has your work and musical path evolved over the years?
Over these last 30 years, I have gotten much better at managing the technical and musical aspects of producing music; I have learned how to serve the listener’s needs more effectively. Especially in the last 10 years or so, I feel I am making albums that are consistently more helpful for my listener’s spiritual, mental and physical health.
What was your spiritual path like before you became a devotee of Amma, the living saint?
Around 1974, I started doing a lot of yoga, meditation, chanting and spiritual reading, studying under Sri Chinmoy. In 1983, I had some very profound peak experiences of Christ consciousness that led me to a practice of my own version of Gnostic Christianity. In 1994, when I moved to Redding, I became a member of Christ Church Parish, a small Episcopal gathering. In 2014, my yoga teacher wife Jen and I were increasingly drawn to go and see Amma when she came to New York that summer. Once I started experiencing Amma in person, it was not long until I realized the perfect unconditional love, bliss and grace that I experienced in 1983 and that dwells in the heart of Jesus was fully present in Amma. For me personally, it felt like Jesus had returned in the form of Amma and that it was my dharma to become her devotee right away.
How did your experience with Amma change your life?
In February of 2015, after my GRAMMY nomination for Bhakti, Jen and I went to India to formally become devotees of Amma. On February 20, a few days after receiving our mantras, which was a very deep experience in itself, Amma gave us her blessing to have a baby. After three years of trying we got pregnant in May and Jen’s due date was February 20 of 2016! Twelve days after winning a GRAMMY for my Grace album, on February 27, the exact same day of the month that Amma herself was born, our precious Amma baby Juliana Joy came into this world!
To us, these are all bonafide miracles, and Amma has removed many layers of darkness, depression and difficult suffering from our lives already. It has been a true and complete transformation way beyond our wildest imagining. I urge you all to go and have Amma’s Darshan while the opportunity remains. The only true success in this world is spiritual awakening. It is the only goal and achievement that is eternal and does not fade away.
As you look toward the New Year, what do you hold closest to your heart from your experiences this year?
Dearest to me is the knowledge that Amma’s grace is truly boundless, unfathomable and ever expanding in all directions. Five months after the GRAMMY win and our precious baby’s birth, I released Amma – Devotional Songs to the Divine Mother, an album that Amma herself blessed and helped create. She woke Jen up energetically at four in the morning and channeled through her the lyrics to “Where There Is Love,” one of our favorite songs on the album. “All Is Bliss” came to me in a similar fashion. The more I chant my mantra and do my spiritual practices with pure devotion, the more aligned I am with dharma and the Universal Divine order, or the Law of Attraction as some call it.
What are you working on now?
This September, I began teaching audio production at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury two days a week. It’s great to pay it forward! I’ll start on my 2017 album fairly soon once Amma reveals its nature to me in my heart and mind.
Is there a message of inspiration or hope you would like to offer Natural Awakenings’ readers at this time, when many are seeking solace?
The most important truth for all of us to constantly remember is that: every life, experience, thing, feeling, emotion, thought and activity is completely fleeting and ephemeral. Our true nature and the only absolute reality is infinite undivided consciousness—pure awareness. This is what we truly are, not these bodies and “lives”. Realizing this, we are permanently liberated from suffering once and for all, and are no longer cogs in the wheel of Samsara, the ocean of life and rebirth, of pleasure and pain. A big part of our work with Amma is learning to completely drop our egos, our likes and dislikes, our attractions and aversions. These all just increase our suffering and karmic burden and never bring us even one iota of real lasting bliss. Only self-realization will give us the true happiness that we all crave. Ironically, at the end of our journey, we will all realize that perfect bliss and love was our true nature all along the way, from the very beginning.
Nicole Miale is publisher of Natural Awakenings Fairfield County.