Friday, January 23, 2015
Answers will come through the guitar. Guitar Craft Aphorism
Esoteric reflection or practical knowledge? Both?
When my friend Tom first shared this with me on my first Guitar Craft course the sensibility resonated within. For years I loved this aphorism for the hidden meaning that whispered to me. And I still do. Now I also see the practical utility that took me much longer to truly recognize and that I need to relearn regularly. Answers will come about my personal state, my degree of knowing and understanding of a piece or music in general, and about the discipline I possess to address these.
Where am I? What am I thinking? Am I aware of my thinking or lost in the chatter of a runaway mind? How am I using my body? Am I aware of my body? My emotional state? Do I want to do the work to get unstuck? Do I just want to have my stuckness go away? (It won't!)
The Dhammapada tells me that all problems arise in the mind. So I sit. I breathe. I observe the mind, maybe even allow the mind to calm. Perhaps I'll sow new seeds for the mind to work with. I'll observe my body. Tense? Overwhelmed? Am I out of touch with my body? Again I breath and observe. Then I observe my feelings. Expectations. I follow this with touching what is important, perhaps remembering that I am alive, that I am loved. I find it best to practice meditation early in the morning before the challenges of the day begin, but pausing during the day is also generally needed. Pausing to connect via the breath also enhances an otherwise wonderful day or experience, keeping the flow of energy moving in a direction I might choose. While meditation will address my physical, mental or spiritual stuckness, there are other practices that fine tune the physical/mental connection for me.
For additional help with getting unstuck in the body I practice Qi Gong and the Alexander Technique. Qi Gong is meditation in movement specifically designed to free and enhance our Qi or life energy. My practice of Qi Gong has freed up blockages stemming from the demands of 50 plus years on the planet. The Alexander Technique(AT) is a subtle but powerful way of raising awareness of how I move. An AT lie down, effectively and efficiently relaxes my body and realigns me to begin again. Both address my habitual way of doing.
Both Qi Gong and AT address our thinking in motion, as does playing an instrument. Is my body, mind and feelings attuned to the music I am playing. The answers will come through the guitar?
Photo by Khairil Faizi.
If you live in the Takoma Park, MD area and are interested in learning about the Alexander Technique check out David Jernigan or for experience with Qi Gong, Joann & I will be leading a class at the Takoma Park Community Center beginning 1/28/15. Go to this link and then search Qi Gong.