And Mother Claps Her Hands

The most recent Divine Mother season at the Portland Ashram was particularly auspicious, as we welcomed two new initiates to the sangha after the conclusion of the beautiful and sublime Durga Puja.

Anahata Shabdini

AnahataSRV has had the great good fortune recently to conduct our retreats at Windwood Waters, a verdant retreat center near Stevenson, Washington. Our hosts have been Anna Fiasca and her husband Dan Gunderson. Now, Anna has taken initiation into SRV and received the name, Anahata Shabdini, a name that is associated with sacred sound, as she is an accomplished musician whose heartfelt musical performances have deeply moved the sangha on numerous occasions.

Anahata is also a longtime friend of Babaji’s.  They played in the Portland Junior Symphony together, with Anahata on viola. She recalls Babaji being a brilliant and deep thinker.  Over the years, he began speaking to her about spiritual life and the Divine Mother. In the late 1980’s he introduced her to Swami Aseshananda.

After many years of classical music, Anahata’s musical talents eventually focused on a new field known as Musical Thanatology. This is a musical modality that joins music and medicine in end-of-life care. Utilizing heart and voice, the musician serves the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the dying through music. Anahata underwent an extensive and rigorous training in this field, and is now teaching, in addition to serving in local hospitals and hospices.


Those of us who have heard Anahata sing while playing the harp have been deeply moved by the holy atmosphere she evokes. Her music kindles the presence of Mother Mary, reflecting decades of Anahata’s deep love and devotion to the Divine Feminine.


A few years ago Anahata reconnected with Babaji, and this time the teachings of Vedanta were at the forefront. Several retreats helped her cultivate a deepening practice and a love for the teachings, along with the fresh revelation of Holy Mother. A longing for spiritual community and holy company naturally developed, and mantra diksha with the Guru was the obvious next step in her spiritual journey. It is also the culmination of a long and auspicious friendship.

We welcome Anahata Shabdini with great love and respect.