Sunday, January 4, 2015

Lead With the Mind and Play

Still weak in my body from the bug I caught.  Good news is that the mind and emotions have been relatively still today.  This actually is a good place to play from, though the body is a bit dull thoughts and feelings were not providing obstacles to work through.  Perhaps the mind was focused on my healing. Most of the day I've been resting and reading The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng, a beautifully written novel.  The main character Philip Hutton practices martial arts and zazen so there is a quality about his training that resonates with me.  providing another reminder to practice with what is in front of me.

Twice I have picked up my guitar today.  The first time after a nap and feeling yucky I began to play and listen to a single note.  I do this often, as a way to focus my listening, and to wake up. Then I began an improvisation that quickly turned into noodling.  Yet the noodling was joyful so I continued.  No seriousness was needed at this moment of time.  Probably never is needed, but certainly not now.  A few surprises inspired me during this noodling, as years of practicing various exercises sometimes come together providing nourishment for future hours of work.

The second time, I was more mindful of my approach.  I knew when I picked up my case and placed it on the bed.  I was aware of lifting her from the case.  We sat together for a few minutes before I played. Lead with the mind was the phrase spoken by Philip Hutton's sensai in the novel that then led me.  I played, just played a piece inspired by my brother.  Noticing I was in a special place, I played another piece.  I repeated one of the lines a few times in this piece as it needed to be refreshed.

Before beginning another piece I recalled an instruction given by Robert on a course once Play like the world depended on it! And so I did.

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