Sunday, April 20, 2014

Video Interview With Pranada Comtois

Welcome to our third interview with one of the poetesses from the Journey of The Heart: Women's Spiritual Poetry project!

Today we introduce you, via video, to Pranada Comtois, a beautiful bhakti yogini living in Northern Florida. Pranada is an inspired advocate of women's voices, and was one of the first activists in the gaudiya vaishnava tradition's migration to America to insist on equal opportunities for its female practitioners. 

How were you first introduced to writing poetry? 

On my fiftieth birthday I went up to the ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, St. Augustine Beach, and was watching the water come in, and also just walking up and down the beach, and I felt my youth was gone. It was my fiftieth birthday and I hadn't experienced that on any other birthdays.

 I looked out at the ocean, picked up a pen and paper, and just started writing the emotions that were surging through me. "I have to face this", I said to myself. So I just wrote it down, set it aside, then came back to Gainesville and showed the poem to a dear friend who is also a writing mentor, and she said: "Pranada, you're a poet!" And ever since then she has called me 'Pranada The Poet'.

 I felt that it was an entry into writing poetry. It was permission to speak, in simple terms and few words. 
I couldn't get out a lot of words. My speaking ability was so shut down that it was frightening to think of speaking and venturing into writing. So here was this little poem, few words, but expressing some deep emotional feeling that was rising up. And it was captured and it was an experience of: "Oh! This is how you write your experience with words on paper!" So it was a very affirming act, giving me permission. 

To hear the rest of the interview, click play:

Pranada Comtois is a spiritual activist passionate about embodying, and writing about, divine love: how to recognize spiritual love, awaken it, direct it and revel in it for the self, family & community. For forty years she's cultivated Bhakti Yoga; is the Managing Editor for Bacopa Literary Review and blogs at Little Ways of Being. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter. 


~If you are one of the poetesses from 'Journey of the Heart', and would like to appear in this blog, just click here to request an interview. We are excited to learn more about you!~

~If you write poetry and would like to share it on 'Journey of The Heart', click here for submission guidelines. And thank you for your interest!~ 


  1. I had a wonderful time interviewing you with my little camera and then making this video. Thank you so much, my dear friend, for giving us all such an intimate peek into how you began writing poetry. It's very inspiring for me to watch this video, and it reminds me what a valuable tool writing is, when processing emotions. You show us how connecting with one's spiritual core manages to come quite effortlessly when giving one's heart to poetic composition. May you continue writing and sharing poetry as you blossom upon your spiritual path.

  2. Really enjoyed this interview. The photography was lovely, the music was enriching, and the questions were good. Pranada's answers surprised me, and I related to so many of them, so much so, that I feel inspired to write some poetry now, as I have always had a hard time writing about how I feel.
    The whole interview was very eye opening and interesting for me, thank-you so much for doing it.

    1. Thank you, Subhadra! It's always so encouraging for me when I receive feedback. :) And yes, I would encourage you to write a poem every now and then, as I can recall a time -not to long ago- when you shared a poem of yours with me, and I experienced it as such a beautiful reflection of your emotions at that time. Would love to read more! xoxo

  3. Oh poetry goddess who encourages all you touch to express their spiritual heart! You are so generous and affectionate. Posting at 5:35am. Hmm, did you get turn over in bed, grab your computer to post or were you up all night! much love to you, saintly sadhu, pranada

    1. Ha ha ha ha….Yes! :) I was really excited to post it so I did it first thing when I woke up. I had such an amazing time editing it the day before, because I felt as if I had spent all day enjoying your beautiful company. Thank you so much for sharing your soul in this way, my dear friend, as it really captured the whole spirit of my project: to inspire more women to honor their voices and have confidence in sharing them with others. Much love to you! xoxo

  4. Thanks to you both, Krishna Kantha and Pranada! This is very intimate and inspiring. Loved it.

    1. Thank you for your encouraging feedback, Radha Dasi! I really appreciate it. :)