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meditation and music - John

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  • Tony
    Hi Michael, Sorry for the delay in responding to your beautiful post - I have been trying to catch up with past mail. This is a very moving story. Could you
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 20, 2002
      Hi Michael,

      Sorry for the delay in responding to your beautiful post - I have been
      trying to catch up with past mail.

      This is a very moving story. Could you go further on your meditation

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Michael Read [mailto:maread@...]
      Sent: Friday, July 12, 2002 8:31 PM
      To: meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [Meditation Society of America] meditation and music

      Meditation and music have a lot in common.

      I have owned a guitar for decades, more than thirty years in fact.
      However, only in the last two years have I even began to learn
      how to play one. This protracted delay parallels my meditation
      practice and spiritual growth.

      Both process had high and low moments. But, as with most people,
      the real and immediate needs of family, career, you know, life took
      precedence over guitar and meditation practice.

      The first time I had a guitar in my hands I tried to play something
      complicated. Silly, isn't it? But watch people who don't know how
      to play a guitar yet want to so much. They all try to play something
      complicated, flub it all up, get a wee bit frustrated, sigh, and put the
      instrument down or hand it back with a shy grin.

      I found the book "First Guide to Guitar" and learned some simple tunes
      from it. The first lesson in the book wasn't a song. No, it was on timing.
      Without timing music is just noise. The lesson was simple. Hold down a C
      chord and strum 1234/1234/1234 etc. Make each strum the same duration as
      every other strum. No, it doesn't make a very melodic tune. However, just
      try to do it for 2 minutes. Phew! Harder than it sounds. Now, do it for 5

      My first experience with meditation involved a technique that used a 4
      At that time I was a kid of twenty two years and though I didn't know it
      at the time; on the verge of my great spiritual adventure. But, that's
      another story.

      I was living in a house with from seven to twelve people, it varied. This
      was 1971 and the times were definitely a'changing. I was fresh out of the
      and footloose.

      One day I picked up a book somebody had left lying about. I opened it up
      in the middle and started reading. The passage described a breath meditation
      technique. It said to focus attention on the breath and to breathe in four
      They were inhale, pause, exhale, pause - repeat for some time.

      Since this was my first experience with meditation I had no expectations.
      Here is what happened. After the first few attempts, my attention went
      completely on the breath and the paced rhythm felt very natural. Then I was
      filled to overflowing with a state of peaceful joy. It was a living natural

      Of course, I was still me - still couldn't play the guitar! And, I still
      had all the
      bags and baggage of my life. No one escapes that. Fantastic highs and
      devastating lows occurred as my life proceeded. Ah, wisdom for the pain. And
      no regrets for a life lived with passion.

      During the next twenty some odd years I would pick up the guitar and go
      through a few short bouts of practice from time to time. I also joined a
      cult, got married, fathered two girls, left the cult, hauled scrap metal,
      learned computers,
      had a business or two, got divorced, raised my daughters, made lots of
      money, spent it all, and so on.

      Through all this I was a seeker after God. About three years ago I had the
      same experience with meditation that occurred at the age of 22. Although the
      experience of peace and joy out of mind was the same as the first time, when
      there was no understanding, the last time ended the seeking.

      Now, I am still me and there is still baggage, still life. But, I practice
      the guitar with joyous abandon.

      no doer
      no doer anywhere
      but the doing
      does get done

      what a miracle
      what passion!

      peace and blessings - michael

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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