Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Tonight we had Qi Gong class. Over and over the instructor reminded us that Qi Gong is gentle, that it is not about forcing; just gentle movements coordinated with our breath. At a few points, I began to sense I was being overwhelmed, and I just paused, directed my thinking, and let go of an emotional reaction. No need to be frustrated, just be gentle in my learning the new forms.
Arriving home I recalled the thought that arose during class, of how gentle can I be in my approach to the guitar? So little effort is required to hold a string down with my left hand and to pluck this with my right. As I began to visit where the musical idea had led to last night, I recalled the line of " float on the air of ambiguity." Could I be gentle as I explored the possibilities of this new section, which has a structure and a harmonic direction?
After 15 - 20 minutes of playing with the notion, the idea began to unfold. When I pushed I lost it. Pausing to direct via AT, I found the path again. Slowly exploring, releasing my hold on finding the "answer," and maintaining a sense of myself. Gently probing, moving in an area that did not come to fruition, and then trusting I explored more. Employing this gentle trusting process a new section arrived. I played this a few times, and then rested a few minutes before notating what I had.
While notating the instruction to proceed gently arose again. I paused, checking in with my body, and again directed with AT. Smiling I completed the notation, played the part, and then put my guitar away. Tomorrow is another day to live, work and play. But tonight I saw that gentleness yields results.
How can you be gentle in your pursuits?
Photo by Salva Barbera