Thursday, November 17, 2011
Back to the Middle
From high to low in 24 hours, and through the actions of reflection, writing, and minding my thinking, I veer again towards the middle. After blogging last night, I did some personal writing, followed by an Alexander Technique lie down and then returned to court music.
Beginning my playing with the first piece that ever came to me, A Journeyman's Way Home, allowed me to approach beginners mind. Touching the joy and wonder of the Creative Act, I abandoned the notion of playing the set and moved on to playing Lost Balloon. There is a section in the piece which is still uncertain in my left hand with my new guitar. Accessing the 15th and 17th positions to play this part is not fluid.
After playing the part in the 15th position I noticed my right hand tensing as my left hand made the leap to the 17th position. A good place to focus my work with the Alexander Technique. Using inhibition and direction, I slowly introduced a continued length and freedom in my right hand in place of the tightening that had been happening. I've always enjoyed working on the mechanics of playing, and this work nourished the joy and wonder within. A thought arrived - this is a beautiful section and I am free to play it well.
I continued to work slowly, praising my playing. and pausing before moving between sections and directing with AT. I noticed my awareness deepening and that I was using myself more efficiently. And then the thought that had arrived earlier morphed into - I am free to play beautifully.
Tonight I began with this thought in mind. During my lie down, I held this sense of freedom in my entire body. Cultivating this with thoughts of lengthening and widening my body, I let go of the unneeded tensions accumulated during my day. Working with this section of Lost Balloon again, I prompted my awareness to take in more of the room. Directing upward to the trees outside, wider to the ocean far away. Playing with the Alexander Technique, lightening up myself, including especially my spirit. A gentle and loving practice ensued. Amen.