Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Calloused Fingertips

In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair--Howard Thurman

The more quiet I cultivate in my mind on the path of my practice, the more I am able to hear such whispers and I find that I have no desire to resist their call.

I started guitar lessons and can play a grand total of 3 chords but I have played those chords almost everyday, several times of the day. At times, I just strum the strings, listening and waiting for a tune to rise up.

I liken this to my practice of yoga and all of it's components.

When I first began yoga, I was very asana centered and had little successs with 'quieting' the mind, nor did that matter--I wanted Madonna arms. After years of asana courtship, I began to incorporate breathwork (pranayama) and later still, meditation techniques. These led naturally to pratyahara (inner focus) and a desire to incorporate the yamas and niyamas into my daily life.

And here I am--still deepening the practice, still coming to the mat and learning, opening to those 'off the mat' moments of practice.

So when I strum those strings that I have longed to strum and feel very small and inferior to the task of learning such a awesome skill--I remind myself that not too long ago, I was a slave to my jackrabbit mind, I fell on my face in crow and meditation seemed nice if you were a monk or had such aspirations.

The basics of my guitar practice will unfold into music...I just need to show up.

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