Be Present, In The Present

It happens to all of us. It happens to me. You're playing your instruments and something catches your ear or eye. It may be a sound or movement, and suddenly you're thinking about something else other than your playing. Or maybe you just played something really interesting, so your mind stops and thinks about that for a while. Or maybe you are trying to figure out what to do next, looking into the future. 

In all these cases you put your playing on cruise control while your mind wanders. And if you've played long enough, it's easy to do, because you've built up muscle memory and familiar patterns and ideas to play through.

But playing while thinking of something else is a lot like driving while staring at something out the side window of your car–you lose sight of the road and who knows what will happen up ahead. And who knows what will happen to the people you are playing for. If you lose focus, will they follow and also lose focus? 

Staying present is important, for the only time that exists is the now, the present moment. By staying present, you can stay focused on what you are doing, while you are doing it. But it takes practice, it takes work. If you find yourself distracted by something (including your own monkey mind), consciously bring your thoughts to the present. Keep at it. The more you do it, the easier it is to stay present.

Be here.
Be now.
No where is now here.

~ MB

Chop Water / Carry Wood / Play Gongs™


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