Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Can It Really Be This Simple?

Frost wave

Tonight in my AT lesson with David Jernigan, we worked with just being in the space that I am in, as a way to address the two issues I brought to class tonight.  Some stiffness in my upper left arm, and a general tightness that arises in the right side of my back when I play for a while.   David had me being aware of the room and being aware of myself.  I was thinking forward and up, thinking of my shoulders having more width, and everything in between.  He also shared some insights from an AT workshop he participated in this weekend.  Basically AT is just a mindfulness practice.  Be where you are, right now.  Be who you are.  Nothing more, nothing less.

As Peter Noad, the workshop leader put it, problems in use arise when we are somewhere else, or "somewhen else," or someone else.  Certainly all issues that are common to me.  I have practiced mindful breathing, mindful walking, and other practices regularly for many years.  Yet the mind can be so persistently elusive and take me away from the wonderful present moment.  I love music, I always have, since singing Mr. Blue in a rocking chair on my brothers lap.  I love the guitar.  And all I have to do is to be with the guitar in the room right here, right now.  So simple, yet ...

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post.

    Lately i've been helping myself stay in this "now" space by sensing what's happening around me, the minute changes of pressure of my heels and feet on the ground, the colors in the room, the contents of peripheral vision and so on.

    An Alexander teacher, Barbara Harrington, explained this really well to me recently, that this "sensing" is a different activity from "feeling it out", which tends not to be helpful. With sensing, you are receiving information about stuff that is really there (i.e. the floor is definitely there, under your feet) whereas with "feeling it out", you're making interpretations of internal sensations, from muscles and so on, which are less likely to be accurate.

    And in a way, this seems kind of synonymous with the Alexander idea of "inhibition", in that you have to "stop" to take in the information from your surroundings.

    When you stop sensing you tend to go someplace else, inside your head to the world of belief systems and ideas about the future, rather than objective reality.

    Anyway, sorry to ramble on - like the blog and the music :).