Somewhere in a monastery in India, in a dim room filled with incense smoke, someone is practicing authentic spirituality. And that person has nothing to say to you right now.
But… somewhere in California, in the back of an Uber car, on the way to the airport, on the way to her next stop along the blazing path towards pop stardom, Yaysh is also practicing authentic spirituality. And she has a mouthful of wisdom-swag to share, seemingly at all times!
Those in the Shambhala Buddhist community may have shared a retreat or meal with Sonia Feldman (a.k.a. Yaysh) at Shambhala Mountain Center or elsewhere over the past several years. She is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and is well-loved in the sangha for her sunny vibe, raw heart, and uncompromising authenticity. Now, as many of you may know, she is taking bold steps to bring that energy as far outwards as it may reach by skillfully crafting herself into a famous — yes, FAMOUS — pop star.
Musically, she is incredibly talented — as a rapper, singer, and songwriter. Her music is dangerously catchy and as brave as could be — which is a great combination. She puts herself out there fully, but in a way that celebrates her full humanity rather than being confessional. Her honesty arrives as a groove — as challenging as it is inviting. She raps about sexuality alongside lyrical — mostly freestyle — explorations of the human condition and the current state of the world.
And, as deep and contemplative, and as light and playful, as Yaysh’s tunes can be, she is utterly un-shy in presenting this message:
WE NEED TO WAKE UP!
She is out there in order to help save the world.
Her bold presentation of self flips the idea of self. Her stream of consciousness art is that of collective consciousness. The Yaysh display is non-dual, gritty, dharmic, real, transcendent — and you can shake your ass and all your other parts to it — shamelessly. And, if you’ve got shame, she’ll help you get over that. The music is medicine for the modern day embarrassed person.
Needless to say, I am ROOTING hard for this person, my friend Sonia. And you should too. Because this world needs famous people like this.
You can connect to her, enjoy her, support her, in various ways beginning with clicking this link to her website:
Once you arrive, take a few minutes to enjoy the music video for her debut single “Wild One.” Then, connect on social media, join her mailing list, enjoy more videos on Youtube, and keep an eye out for her debut album to be released later this year.
Okay… better to hear her speak than hear me cheer her on. If you haven’t already, click the video up top to get a good dose of Yaysh, in conversation with yours truly.
About the Author
Travis Newbill is a writer, musician, and meditation guide. After living at Shambhala Mountain Center for three years, he has recently moved to Boulder, where he will study poetry within the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. TravisNewbill.com