If you ever loved a Train or a Cornfield, while missing the star worlds of your dream-time, you will hug this book to your heart. After sipping these spare words your coffee will be a bit more bitter, and your sugar a bit more sweet. It would be a pity if this soul dried up, and so, I hope she never stops crying.
—Robin Lim, Spiritual healer, 2011 CNN Hero of the Year, Bali, Indonesia
|About the Author
After reading these poetic meditations, we feel heartened to continue with our search for truth, peace, and inner beauty in the journey we call life.
—Jaime Manrique, Contributing Editor in Writing at
The heart of the wise lies quiet like the peaceful water. This African proverb from Cameroon came to me as I bonded with Sasha’s poems. If poetry is an expression of the life search to achieve harmony between the spiritual self and the physical self, then Sasha’s collection offers us great hope. Notwithstanding its esoteric and spiritual nature, the work is amazingly political: it challenges still-existing patriarchies, and the ease with which the poems recognize various spiritual traditions rejects divisions created in the name of religion.
—Eintou Pearl Springer, Poet Laureate, Port-of-Spain,
Sasha’s carefully crafted collection is revolutionary in its attempt to portray the healing nexus between pure consciousness and human living in the world. The poems are intricate, quite formal in language and style, strong as written poems, but they encourage you to hear them as you read—the essentially simple sentences follow the shifts of a voice speaking naturally—and they make you wish to hear the author reading (not performing) them.
—Dr. Ken Ramchand, Professor Emeritus, Colgate
In Sasha’s poetry the self is sensual, sensuous, and spiritual. One of the major strengths of the collection is the economy that allows all three to exist. In the constant quarrying and questioning of the word, the poet locates herself within a long and eminent trajectory of writing from Beckett to the present. But equally her insistence on the power of silence and her sense of a cosmic force beyond human logic and categorization place her unequivocally within a tradition of spiritual writings.
—Dr. Jean Antoine-Dunne, critic and academic, author of
Facebook Live Interview: Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 from 4:00 pm – 4:30 pm, on the last day of OCTOBER which is DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH.
Title of Interview: Empowering Women through Transcendental Meditation
CEO of the David Lynch Foundation, Bob Roth, interviews Sasha Kamini Parmasad.
SASHA KAMINI PARMASAD was born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised both there and in New Delhi, India. She is the daughter of a Trinidadian historian-poet-songwriter (now deceased) and a lawyer who devoted years of their lives to social and cultural activist work in their native land.
Raised to revere and love the Word as a sacred and empowering tool, Sasha began composing poetry at age five. From age six she was performing her father’s socially conscious compositions – poetry, Indian-Trinidadian folk songs, folk tales, calypsos – on a national scale in Trinidad and Tobago. Awarded a Williams College Scholarship, Sasha traveled to the United States in 1998 to pursue an undergraduate degree. She received a Graduate Creative Writing Fellowship from the School of the Arts, Columbia University, and completed her M.F.A. degree in 2008. She has designed and taught writing and multi-arts courses in programs at Columbia University and in community contexts. At present, she is an Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at Maharishi University of Management.
Ink and Sugar, Sasha’s first novel, placed third in the long fiction category in the First Words Literary Contest for South Asian Writers in Washington D.C. Her early essay “To Keep My Body Clean, To Breathe, To Give My Mind Rest” was published by Routledge in the volume Why We Write: The Politics and Practice of Writing for Social Change, while her more recent essays “Looking: Life as Art” and “Writing With and Within an Awareness of Silence” have been published on the Transcendental Meditation for Women website. Sasha’s poetry placed first in the annual Poetry International competition and has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, including Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, Selfhood: Varieties of Experience (an anthology for the faint of heart), Muse India: Writings of the Indian Diaspora (Issue 23), and Poetry International no. 15 – 16. Her recent projects include screenplays for two short narrative films, Land of Nothing (director, Amine Kouider) and Navaswan: A Tale of Self, Loss, and Love (director and cowriter, Marc Baraka Strauch).
As the Associate Director of the Women’s Health Initiative and a Lead Transcendental Meditation (TM) Teacher at the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) in New York City, Sasha continues to act in alignment with her deep belief that all people deserve an equal opportunity to grow and reach their full potential in life. Special Projects with the DLF have taken her from inner city schools in Kingston, Jamaica, to inner city schools on the south side of Chicago. She specializes in bringing TM to at-risk populations for example, young survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking, survivors of domestic violence at the New York City Family Justice Centers, veterans with PTSD, children with special needs and learning disabilities, those recovering from substance use disorders, and those facing homelessness and poverty who access the help of Services for the Underserved (S:US). She also teaches TM in leadership circles, universities, and corporate/government environments with the Center for Leadership Performance (CLP). In 2016 and 2017 Sasha was a speaker on the Meditation Panel of New York City’s Annual Supportive Housing Conference, offering insights into TM as a powerful and completely natural restorative practice.
In her free time, Sasha enjoys dancing, taking long walks, and eating good food in good company. She is currently working on a new collection of prose poems titled Inheritance.