Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gentle Persistence

Throughout my life many have told me that I am persistent. In good times and difficult times this trait has been vital. Gentleness has slowly manifested as I have allowed.

In my guitar practice I have had to learn and am still exploring ways to be gentle. A nasty case of tendinitis a couple years back slowly ground my playing to a halt. Lack of understanding led to efforts when rest was in order. Eventually I succumbed. During this time I had my first exposure to the practice of acupuncture. I had already been exposed to Qi Gong and when I learned that my acupuncturist, Nianzu Li,was also a Qi Gong master I began taking classes with him.

My relationship with my body and my mind has deepened as I practice various Qi Gong forms and exercises daily. My sense of my hands evolves and widens. Slowly my body changes. Doing Qi Gong before my mindfulness mediation practice enhances this time. Interpenetration of these related disciplines becoming one discipline. Breathing, playing, sensing ... life.

I am learning that gentleness needs to inform the demands and expectations I place on my guitar practice. Music unveils herself to me at her pace. I can only be available. As I learn to be quieter I can here her whisper with more clarity. As I relax her energy informs mine.

Tonight after playing a while I sensed tightness in my back. I was pushing the new piece, pushing myself. Stuck, I took to the floor for an AT lie down. As my back relaxed I thought I might allow my new gift " When Love is Taken" to rest and move on to some other work. After all I have focused on this piece extensively and nearly exclusively since last week. While on the floor I began playing a flowing style of "air guitar" with my arms floating over my chest as I heard part of the piece.

The Qi began moving and I imagined myself playing with this quality. Could the fret board be another form of air for my fingers to caress? Can I allow the vibrations of the strings to be felt in my whole body? Can I be free? Or at the very least gentle ...
After all I know I'll persist.

1 comment:

  1. Ah are so we grow and learn to temper our persistence with quietness and gentleness that energy flows so much smoother and easier. I love your question..."Can I allow the vibrations of the strings to be felt in my whole body? Can I be free?" Isn't it true that only once we get quiet and quit fighting can we truly experience freedom. Thank you for your gentle, persistent spirit. --Kelley