Tuesday, August 5, 2008

guitar as discipline

I have two friends named Jeff,
and amazingly, they are both similarly amazing people:
multi-talented, interdisciplinary, successful at their endeavors,
highly productive, winning public support
having enjoyable personalities,
both have hearts of gold and strong ethical principles,
both are into science and music.

Recently, Jeff K was saying that
getting good at playing guitar
(or whatever your instrument is)
is less about innate talent
and more about
just spending time with the instrument
having a daily practice.

It made me think about
Yoga and Buddhism and Falun Gong.
(not an inclusive list
there are many such paths)

I would not say "religion", not in the traditional sense.
In these practices there is no deity
or requirement for supernatural belief
I know most about Yoga, and Buddhism
I believe Falun Gong is the same,

They are happiness technologies,
simple techniques anyone can learn
involving devotion, meditation, concentration, and discipline / practice.
That is what connects these things.

I've been playing guitar every day lately
in this amazing house.
I am really happy with my playing!
(and generally :)

I just learned Yes' song "Yours is no disgrace"
(a complex song) in no time.
It's like my brain already knew it!

The walking bass line in the middle slow section
is so pretty: "On a sailing ship to nowhere,
leaving any place..."
My brain already knew the melody,
and now my hands just knew what to do.

I've just been playing along with
Monkey Man by the Stones.
Holy God! What a great song!
Keith Richard's with those
possessed string bends
I can get really close in the chords
but thus far I have been unable to
figure out how he does those bends...

So the lesson I'm learning is
that whatever is your chosen path,
More than anything, it is about
conscious practice

The opposite of practice is
apathy, atrophy, inaction, stagnation, unconscious habit,
unconscious living, hypocrisy, suffering
These are the dangers of a lack of practice.

I am finding there are many benefits of practice,
whether it's music, meditation, or asanas,
the Eightfold Path of Buddhism
or the Eight Limbs of Yoga
Happiness being the foremost benefit.

For me practice is
communion / dwelling with
calm awareness,


Vera and I were discussing
that if we just slow down a bit,
relax and quiet our bodies and minds
and really pay attention to the fullness of the moment
each moment - every moment
that we will see
every moment which we experience
is totally unique in *our* lifetimes,
and it is totally unique in the history of the universe!

We will see that
each moment in our lives
is like a custom play on a custom stage
written just for you, with lessons just for you.

And we get to interact in this play!
And it is a play, both drama and comedy.
We are co-authors of it.

I am reminded of the Star Trek episode, "Shore Leave"
where the crew of the Enterprise
beamed down to a planet
where they were terrorized
by their dreams, thoughts, memories
which somehow came into material being!

It turned out to be an amusement park planet
where people went for vacation
where it was all just for fun
and no one really died or suffered pain.

The crew of the Enterprise
couldn't take it, were terrorized and fearful
and amscrayed the heck on out of there
as quickly as they could...

The implications of the metaphor is startling!

(especially having studied empowerment technoligies
like ACIM, the Secret, etc.)

If life is what we make of it,
if this is really an amusement park planet
where all of our dreams become reality

the question before us is....
... what do you dream about?

I am so grateful for the opportunity of this life!
to enjoy the fullness of this experience

May you -- today -- find time for practice,
and may your practice bring you happiness!

May all beings be happy!


Bill Huston
Binghamton NY
607-321-7846 c

email: WilliamAHuston at gmail

Currently listening :
By King Crimson
Release date: 2004-11-22

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