Saturday, January 1, 2011
Every Note - My Teacher
We are always on the path, yet I am frequently blinded to the path. Why? The elusive quality of presence, due to my wandering mind. But then the sound of the surf, the birds, or my guitar brings me back to this moment, if only for a moment. Thus I practice, again and again, finding the present moment and wandering away.
Looking through the windows of life I sense beauty and truth. Coming alive while seeking, I am touched by the creative spirit and music appears. Daily, devotional listening for the whispers, while practicing the instrument. Every note I play is my teacher - am I present or wandering away? When I am present I may hear the notes the Muse is offering to me. Every note I play is a gentle teacher; yet I can be hard on the student, hard on others. And in this hardness I move farther away from the moment and deeper into negative habitual reactions. Every note I play is a true statement of my condition. How then to harmonize my condition? How to bring body, heart, and mind into the act of playing the note, the act of being alive?
Through practice - sitting, Qi Gong, Alexander Technique, Mindful Walking all serve to bring me back to this precious moment. Any activity of daily living can be approached mindfully and bring me into the present moment - cooking, cleaning, listening to others, or even listening to myself.
How do I listen to others? As if everyone were my Teacher, speaking to me his cherished last words.
Suppose I could play my notes as if they were my "cherished last words?" Suppose I could listen "as if everyone were my Teacher, speaking to me ... ?" How do I listen?