Saturday, February 12, 2011


Happy Birthday Sharon.  Today would have been my sisters 61st birthday, a person who gave me more understanding then I deserved.

Release - to set free. Constant release - what is required to attain this?

                                    Photo by Pablo Mandel

 The Alexander Techniques provides us with a set of directions to free our neck, release our head and spine, and to release our legs from our pelvis.  When we are free, our ability to perform simple or refined tasks, is enhanced.  Being free of our habitual reactions, we become able to choose new responses.  In releasing my habits, I may be freeing myself from historical transmissions passed on for generations.  All by giving myself these simple directions.

But is all the release physical? I think not.  Judgements of myself and others certainly have blocked my way.  Opinions as to how to practice, have also lead me down fruitless paths.  What I do with this information can then bear fruit, but more is available when following the directions laid down by a Master in the field of endeavor.  As my thinking is clarified, my learning increases and from here understanding can grow.

Negative emotions can and must also be released.  Fear has been the number one interference in my musical endeavors.  Where did this come from and why?  The answer to this might take lifetimes, but through various practices including meditation, AT, and much work with the guitar, the role of fear has lessened considerably. Other negative emotions can be just as damning, but even positive emotions can distract me from the present moment and thus from my playing.  Equanimity, releasing concern for the results of what I am practice and remaining in the practice is key; yet remains elusive.

Playing from the silence of the body, mind, and heart releases music into our world.  Finding unity in myself is crucial to the functioning of our world.  To develop this unity I need others, a path of mindfulness based on true experience, and help from beyond, one day at a time.

The practice continues ...

Four hours later:

While practicing just now, with a focus on release, I was enjoying developing speed with my right hand and then I moved onto working with right hand arpeggios.  A certain ease developed during this work and I played through Here We Are, and then began working on a tricky chord change in the high register of the guitar.  The ease was still present.  Noticing, how I was using my elbows to support this, along the lines of Sandra Bain Cushman's The Five Relations, I continued to work this chord change.

Suddenly I smiled when I realized that the word release contains the word "ease." 

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