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Posts Tagged ‘mindfulness’

Group Energy

November 19, 2016 Leave a comment

frost04Whenever people get together and align their intentions, their personal energies combine to create a communal energy that is greater than the sum of its parts.  When I meditate with a group with my eyes closed I can feel connectedness between my life essence and that of the other meditators.  Empowered by this connection, I feel I attain a greater depth of relaxation in the group setting as opposed to meditating on my own.

Feeling shared essential energy is not limited to group meditation.  You can feel it at sports events, where it might be called ‘team spirit’; at religious services, where it’s called ‘religious fervor’; or during political campaigns wherein like-minded people witness a leader who expresses views that resonate with their own experience.  This communal energy produces strong and pleasant feelings of belonging.

However, whereas communal energy in group meditation can create a feeling of universal connectedness, not just with the other humans in the room but with all manifestations of the physical existence, communal energy in sporting events, religious services or in support of a political candidate may create a feeling of connectedness only with others who share enthusiasm for their particular sports team, chosen religion or candidate.

We have all seen or heard about violence at sporting events between the fans of opposing teams, and violence between members of different religious faiths has occurred frequently in human history.  Violence between people with opposing political views is also common.  Just as one can begin to identify themselves as belonging to the group, one can begin to recognize those outside the group as inferior, wrong, or perhaps evil, or to to feel that outsiders may deserve misfortune, or punishment, or death.

Of course the other people do not really usually deserve misfortune, or punishment, or death.  Other people usually deserve the same things we do:  happiness, freedom and justice.

I believe a very powerful response to group energy that has been poisoned by anger, blaming, hatred and other negative emotions is to cultivate openness within the self through a daily practice of meditation.  When one learns to find their own inner light it becomes easier to find that light in others.

If you don’t meditate, try it out.  If you already meditate, invite someone to join you.   If you can open your mind and help one other person open theirs you will have made a profound improvement to our world.

Peace.

A Month to Prepare

tromboniaYou see yourself in the mirror and you wonder how you got there.   But really, you know.  You seem to remember there was this one and that one, and they said this and that and thus and so.  And they did stuff, too.  Some of this stuff they did and said you came somehow to own a share of, like a squatter, sojourner, stranger in a strange land.  Ends up to be a great shared mass of particles, bits of reality and misconception, outright lie and humble truth.

After all of that you look in the mirror and you either hate or love what you see.  Given the random nature of what is, it doesn’t really matter which.  Pick one, play the part well, and maybe they’ll ask for an encore.

I decided to drop the “Bare Bone” from the EP title and just call it, “The Rubenoff Project”, subtitle, “Songs of Love, Despair and Regret.”   I’ll save “Bare Bone” for a more trombone-centered recording maybe next year.

I could have really gone either way this year, but – and this will sound a bit funny coming from a sexagenarian – but I my sound needs to mature just a bit more.  The Universe has been pushing me toward being a solo act on the trombone, but it is not really what I like.  I like to blend.  Therefore I like somebody to blend with.

Well, it’ll come, or it won’t.  Wait and see.

In the mean time my sessions are booked for August 1st and 2nd, so I have lots of time to make sure I can remember my lyrics.  Lucky for me the people I will be recording with are all better than I am.  😉

 

 

Phoenix

LDR2smallOne dream ends and another begins.  Really, though, it is the same dream, downsized.  Much of what I envisioned may not be possible, but something will be possible.

I am very grateful for all the support I have received, and also for the lessons I’ve learned.   For example, if one will engage in crowdfunding, one should already have a crowd, realistically look at what the crowd may willingly provide by way of funds, and then seek perhaps 60% of this estimate.  My misconception was that I could attract the public with a video plea and some musical excerpts.

Therefore, with broken misconceptions but unbroken resolve, I proceed with a smaller dream.  Instead of “Notes from the Spirit” the reincarnation will be called, “Bare Bone (Songs of Love, Despair and Regret).”  I have collected donations already adequate to create an EP with 3 or 4 songs on it, but not enough yet to produce it.

If you would like to help, please visit my fundraising page at Door Hardware Genius.  Please click here for the page.

In other news, I am blessed to be playing a lot of music these days.  I’ll certainly keep doing that.  🙂

Hope

December 25, 2015 Leave a comment

Boston002“Hope springs eternal.”

I think that one can arrive at the end of hope, yet usually I find myself drifting into that warm mixture of fantasy and desire:  “hope.”  While pleasant and for the most part harmless, it is important to remember that hope looks to the future.  While we can to some extent influence the future, we cannot truly control outcomes.  They will happen as they will, and not, perhaps, as we envisioned them in our hopes.  Hence the statement, “His hopes were dashed.”  We know this does not mean hyphenated; it means dashed to pieces like a ship on the rocks.  So, logically, no hopes, no dashing.

Because hopes focus on the future, while we are hoping we are missing the present.  Since one’s life can only occur now, this is a loss.  When one spends time hoping they sacrifice moments of their life.  They are not here/now, they are there/then in some place that is not yet and may never be.

My teacher tells me that trust is better than hope and I agree.  “Trust the outcome” is the saying.  It is closely akin to the saying, “The Lord will provide.”  Both express the belief in a benevolent Higher Power, whether one calls that power “God”, “Allah”, “Jesus” or “The Universe.”  I have observed that people who express this belief usually find that their trust becomes truth – that the future that arrives is the best possible outcome, and exactly what the individual needs at the time.

In trusting the outcome we put aside our concern for it and waste no more of the precious present moment thinking of it.  Trust that the best will be and leave it to unfold on its own.

How does that work when we are making something happen?  We schedule the tasks that will lead us to our goal and do them in order, step by step, concentrating on each step as we take it.  Fully present and unburdened of our fear that our efforts will be in vain, the steps themselves become accomplishments and stand alone in our memory as individual and significant successes.  Then in the end, if the outcome is something other than you intended, you may be disappointed, but you still have all of these successes behind you.  You can value the memories of your efforts instead of dismissing them as part of a failure.

I recently experienced this as my plans to record some of my music imploded rather spectacularly a few days before the recording session because of a faithless friend.  Looking back, we made some excellent music in our rehearsal sessions.  Instead of a lack of successful recordings I am instead left with an abundance of ideas and learning.

I will make plans – and I will doubtless have hopes, but I will trust the outcome.  I find that it is really true that the journey is much more important then the destination.  So let’s go.  🙂

Good Luck, Bad Luck

November 12, 2015 Leave a comment

dawnSometimes it can be difficult to face events with equanimity.  It is not a difficult concept to grasp that one cannot with any certainty predict the future, yet the brain often seems to do just that, jumping ahead to negative outcomes manufactured out of its fears.  Never mind that, again and again, the brain has watched the universe unfold in beautifully unexpected ways that delight and inform; still it jumps to fear, blame and anger instead of openness and patience.

When I encounter difficulty, my first instinct is to overcome it with strength.  Yet usually I find that first instinct to be mistaken.  Usually the difficulty will resolve itself when given time to do so.  Usually the exertion of strength leads to imbalance and recurrence of difficulty – unless strength is used to curb the urge to swift action.

Swift action is useful when faced with a real danger.  However, when my “fight or flight” response is triggered by baseless fears, the swift action that may result will often produce negative results.  In truth, one cannot truly recognize danger when they are afraid of it.  I find that when true danger arises the best response is to ignore all emotions and look mindfully, with clear, calm eyes on what is taking place.  Then my response can be sensible.

The feeling of urgency to take action usually comes from the ego clinging to some desired outcome.  To free myself, I detach myself from these and leave myself open to what the universe will bring.

Fancy Hat

November 4, 2015 Leave a comment

tomr1115

Continuing in the vein of making music with my betters, I will be sitting in with the Tracy Clark Trio at Brothers Restaurant in Brookline, Massachusetts tomorrow night (Thursday, November 5, 7 PM to 9 PM).  I am playing two pieces with them and the rest of the time carousing with friends.  Bound to be fun.  I’ll have to wait and see if I make it into work on time the next day.  I’ll certainly try.

fedoraComing up Sunday will be the next rehearsal for my upcoming studio date.  I will be producing a recording and I will call it “Fancy Hat” after one of the pieces.  I am sure no one will be surprised at the eclectic nature of the material.  🙂

At work things continue to change.  I am in the midst of an interesting transition there, and see other changes happening on the edges of my circles as well.  I am doing more training and less data entry – a challenging and welcome development.  At the same time I see the forces of inertia rising to conflict with the change.  All very interesting.

Change is exciting (if not a little scary).  As usual, the I Ching counsels admirable traits like equanimity, acceptance, balance, patience, reticence – well you get the idea.  It comes from the land of “Good luck, bad luck:  who knows?”

I’ll keep you posted.

Motivo Loco

October 18, 2015 Leave a comment

“Crazy Idea”me_tkfcpaintdaubs

So, as I go forward with recording some of my work with two groups of friends at some considerable personal expense, I know the odds of any of these intellectual/emotional children of mine amounting to anything is less than minimal.  (Unlike my real children who have all turned out to be very impressive individuals in my totally unbiased opinion.)   Yet I can’t help thinking that perhaps some movie producer will like my lyrics or some company that hawks on-hold music will like one of my melodies, or the combination thereof might attract a relatively small (yet substantial) following.  For if any or all of these occurred I would be justified in pursuing that which I love to do.

However, the love is, in fact, enough.  My history proves that I will keep producing music no matter what, so I may as well accept that and all the consequences, even if it means I part with money to give my musical babies their best shot at a good and fruitful life.

Anyway, we will be recording in December and looking to release early in the New Year.  I’ll let y’all know what dive I rent to have the CD release party.  I don’t really believe in CD’s, but I’ll make some as an excuse to have a party.  🙂