June Tyson: This Song Is Enlightenment

Dear Attendees,

Thank you for participating in my March Spiritual Jazz and Meditation Jam Session. We explored June Tyson’s lyrics on “Enlightenment,” which she sang with the Sun Ra Arkestra. Our discussion helped me frame what I’m trying to accomplish in my sessions.

As I’ve noted, I rediscovered “Spiritual Jazz” along my journey to discover when I became interested in meditation. A couple of years ago, when I began to reacquaint myself with this music, I realized that “Spiritual Jazz” was one of the soundtracks of my life. As I look back over the years from when I graduated from high school at age 18 in 1965 and when I received my master’s degree in 1974, the music contained all the themes that I would experiment with and study.

In retrospect, one of those themes was: “What is Enlightenment?”

In our Jam Session, we explored the answer Sun Ra, June Tyson, and the Arkestra provided in their song “Enlightenment.”

For them, “Enlightenment” is:

      • The sound of “joy.”
      • The sound of “thought”
      • Music
      • Space
      • Fire
      • Truth


      • Is the magic light of tomorrow
      • Is my Tomorrow
      • Has no planes of sorrow

 Their song is:

      • Enlightenment
      • Enlightenment’s fiery truth

 Enlightenment is:

               Vibrations from the “Space World” Is the Cosmic Starry Dimension

In our  meditation, we explored “Enlightenment.” We used our minds to take an “inventory” of what was happening in them. We noted the “contents of our consciousness”—thoughts and thinking. What are they? Where are they located? What emotions and body sensations accompany “the contents?” What are their characteristics—shape, density, movement, etc.?

Second, we used our minds to note how it was taking “inventory.” We used them to note the process of noting the contents of consciousness.

Third, we used our minds to note who or what was doing the noting. 

Alternatively, we observed what was going on in our minds. Next, we observed the processing of observing. Then, we observed who or what was doing the observing of the process and the contents. 

Another way of describing this is: Be aware of what’s in our minds. Be aware of the process of being aware. Be aware of being aware. 

We used this meditation practice to investigate the song June Tyson was singing, accompanied by others.

Enlightenment is this “moment-by-moment awareness.”

Through this experience, we accepted the invitation to the performers’  “Space World.”

While we study the Wisdom Masters across all traditions, we recognize that in a genre like “Spiritual Jazz,” the musicians, singers, and performers were “Wisdom Bearers and Sharers.” They distilled their spiritual journey and insights into their music for us to experience.

I discovered this when I rediscovered “Spiritual Jazz.” Spiritual Jazz contained the insights I had gained over the years. My discovery is “Enlightenment.”

 “Enlightenment” is liberation and freedom in music, meditation, movement, and life – The Spirit of 76.

In the pursuit of enlightenment, we are both the observer and the observed, the seeker and the find, on a journey where every step is both a discovery and a homecoming. – The Meditativist.

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