Posts Tagged ‘piano’

Tis the Season

December 17, 2009

The arrival of the holiday season has been a gift. Besides the twinkling lights and general bonhomie, the business world has slowed down. I’ve been able to put aside the job search without guilt and accept the fact that no one is going to grant me an interview until after the start of the New Year.

Normally, I’d still be obsessing over this worrisome reality, were it not for a little volume that’s been lingering on my bookshelf for years, waiting for me to pick it up. The other night the right moment had arrived. I flipped it open for the first time and began reading.

The book contains the Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali. An instructive and rather profound little book, the teachings are based on methods that are over 2000 years old.

A simple visualization found inside these pages captured my attention right away.

I’ve been conjuring this image for the past several days:

Picture a clear lake in which you can clearly see the bottom.

The lake represents the mind.

The bottom of the lake represents the Atman (the spirit that dwells inside the body) — in other words, your true self.

Your thoughts create ripples on the lake.

Minor ripples will blur your vision of  your true self. Major ripples will create waves.

If the lake’s surface becomes agitated by waves, the water muddies and the bottom of the lake cannot be seen.

Performing this visualization has helped me keep my lake, for the most part, clear as glass.

Yet, losing sight of the bottom of the lake — my authentic self — through over-thinking and worry (which solves nothing, let’s face it) is deceptively easy. Particularly when it comes to the job-search.

It has dawned on me that I’ve been trying to sell myself to potential employers as someone I most definitely am not — with the hopes of getting group health insurance. Maybe that’s why there haven’t been any job interviews.

So, last night, when the urge to play the piano overtook me, I walked away from the computer and indulged myself and played for almost two hours. I can’t remember the last time I have done that. My fingers literally sailing over the keys, the playing had come so easily and my pleasure was so deep, despite nearly two years of no practice whatsoever.

I had to wonder, did I play so well because I’d been allowed clear access to an area in my brain that had not been muddied by erroneous thinking and worry?

Did emptying my mind of useless cogitation widen the space or vacuum the filter and permit the good to filter in?

I’m not sure, but I don’t plan on giving it any more thought. I wouldn’t want to muddy the lake, because there is nothing more peaceful than gazing into the still waters of yourself.