Got a Gig!!

handsontheharpTuning the harp is something I’ve learned to love.  You have to make it fun because it requires so much time.

Switching from piano to harp as my primary instrument required a learning curve that was unexpected and quite challenging.

Tuning.  And for a long time I hated it.   Today, however,  I can look back and see that it was the endless, enforced tuning of the harp that released my repressed musical self.     Comprende?

On Saturday afternoon, Nov. 7, I will be playing with my harp at the “Downton Abbey Tea” a fundraiser for a local library.  The event will be held at a local tea room.

Come!  Listen to me tune & play & tune again!   You’ll love it.

 

Now, back to tuning.  Along the way I stumbled on the frequency debate of 440 vs 432.  If you are a musician who tunes you probably know what I’m referring to.

Or maybe not.  Recently at the Harper’s Escape I met a very accomplished harpist who I immediately wanted to know better.  Later in the weekend, after we had shared a few classes, I asked to borrow her tuner.  It really doesn’t take much to knock a string out of tune.  However, immediately i noticed that her tuner was set to some bizarre number like 437……I corrected her device, with her permission, and then began to tell her what I’d learned about tuning frequencies.  For the time thus far into the weekend she had been unable to tune her harp so that it was in tune with the rest of us.  It was beyond frustration for her.  I explained what had happened and our friendship was forged.  The electronic tuner, like all devices, enable us to create settings that were nearly impossible before.

The difference between 440 & 432 hz  is quite an interesting read if you’re interested.  You might want to start here.

Divine Dramas………

 

Wow!  Sunday was my first-ever storytelling performance with a harp, and the audience was delighted.  I recognized some serious applause and I was told later that everyone was talking about me, although, I don’t think it was really me they were talking about….it was really about the harp.  Once again  I forgot how utterly mesmerizing this instrument is to most people….and me too, of course.  For all the worry, anxiety, and practice….the music just flowed exactly the way it was supposed to.

chironachillesharp

Chiron teaching harp to Achilles

In the first person, I told the story of Chiron’s Birth and why he came to be living in a cave with his harp.

This centaur, known as The Wounded Healer, is a mythological story that has captured my attention for the past 20 years or so and I’m frequently referring to his symbolism in my lectures/workshops and yoga therapy classes.  He’s got a powerful story for our times, for sure.  So many of us  feel wounded, shamed, abandoned and just plain old sad.    I’ve blogged a bit about Chiron, the asteroid, and this post gives a pretty good overview of the astrological Chiron.   Today Chiron is traveling thru Pisces which supports healing thru music.

 This was the first time, in a long time, that rather than teach or facilitate,  I practiced Performance & (intentional) Drama.    I was totally unprepared for the sheer joy that I experienced after it was over and thruout the following day.  It was wonderful to find a new, creative outlet that brings together so much of what I love to do, and still challenges me in new ways.  But four minutes is nothing when your hands are on the strings, you know?

Already, I am planning Chapter 2, and expanding my story to maybe 10-15 minutes?  Who knows?  For now, Storytelling is a new hobby/activity for me and I am so excited to see where it takes me.

Ten Thousand Steps….and counting……

Recently I read somewhere, that it takes 10, 000 hours of  consistent & persistent study to achieve Mastery over the subject at hand.  The author of these remarks meant it quite literally, and meant for us all to add up the hours spent in serious study, and practice.  If you are fortunate enough to attend a school of formal learning, they will do the math for you and assign you some letters  to add after your name. This may make living in this new-normal world easier, or not.  Time will tell.

The first book I was assigned to read when I began my yoga teacher training in 1998, was titled  Mastery by George Leonard, and for me, the bookworm,  it was a surprising and disappointing assignment.  I was burning to dig into ancient indian texts on how to achieve enlightenment and change my life, and stuff like that.  Mastery was small stuff.  I am grateful that my thinking has evolved since I achieved my 10,000 hours.

With Saturn in Virgo residing in my third house, natally, I’ve always been quite picky about  subject matters regarding intelligence, mental health, communications, education, and siblings.  You will find me quite firm in my opinions regardless of how quickly said opinions change.  And, change again.  Mutable signs are like that.

Then there are the ten thousand sorrows and ten thousand joys that the Asian Buddhists write of.   Why 10,000?  Why not 11, 001?

I had a major spiritual awakening during a vedic math class once.  I’ve never forgotten that moment and it has been a source of delight in my memory cells ever since.  Numbers are a deep source of symbolic information, yes?

Wikipedia informs me that there is a 10,000 year clock , conceived in 1986 and currently being built by a group of new-normal-wizkids including  Jeff Bezos , of Amazon, who donated 42 million towards this project!  It’s called The Clock of the Long Now.

How appropriate.

But why, 10,000 years?  Why not 11,001?

Other details to consider:

  • 10,000 years = 864,000 ,000 seconds
  • 14,400, 000 minutes
  • 240,000 hours
  • 1428 weeks (rounded down)

Then, sadly, of course,  there is that ever vigilant, awake & ready army of 10,000 , which has been mythologized, dramatized, and institutionalized  since 400 BC.

But the most recent incident of 10,000, the inspiration for this blog post, came in the mail from Amazon.com.  It’s my new pedometer!  It counts my steps. According to the new-normal-thinking of 2014, we need to take 10,000 steps a day if we want to lose weight, 6, 000 steps to maintain one’s fitness, etc. etc., and blah, blah, blah.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

10,000?

And, last,  just for fun : 10,000 Maniacs.

May you live for 10,000 years.  Om shanti, shanti, shantihi.

first sit…..2012::::full moon

meditationcushion

A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by.
“Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his baseball cap.“I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger. Then he added, “What’s that you are sitting on?”
“Nothing,” replied the beggar, “Just an old box.I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.”
“Ever look inside?” asked the stranger.

“What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.”

“Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger.

The beggar managed to pry open the lid.  

With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw the box was filled with gold.Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Novato CA, 1999; p. 9

Let’s come together this Sunday, January 8 and resume our practices of loving-kindness.  We begin in silence, so please remove your shoes and place them on the rack before you enter.  Come in, find an empty space and sit down.  We sit silently from 3pm until approximately 3:30, at which time we will begin discourse & discussion. 

Metta (loving-kindness) practice will start around 4:15pm. 

We’ll close with the following chant:

असतो मा सद्गमय ।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।।
मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ।
ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्ति ।। – बृहदारण्यक उपनिषद् 1.3.28.

om

asato mā sat gamaya
tamaso mā jyotir gamaya
mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya
om śhānti śhānti śhāntihi – bṛhadāraṇyaka upaniṣada 1.3.28

Translation:

Lead Us From the Unreal To the Real,
Lead Us From Darkness To Light,
Lead Us From Death To Immortality,
Let There Be Peace Peace Peace. – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28.