I love the clean slate of January: a chance to set intentions and renew my sense of purpose. Fueled with energy to change the “old” by bringing in the “new,” I’m ready to clarify, expand, and uplift.
For me, 2019 will be a year to help listeners and performers intelligently replace old patterns of cynicism with the genuine experience of higher consciousness. Every musician has the right to transcend any form of stage fright and experience Inspired Performance—that deep connection to the music, the ensemble, the audience—by raising their level of consciousness and expanding their awareness.
About 20 years ago, my friend and spiritual guide, Swami Kriyananda, said that I should write a book on music and consciousness. “Well?” you may be asking, “why haven’t you?” Even though I’ve experienced huge shifts of consciousness through music and performance, I’ve been terrified to write about consciousness itself. I’ve never formally studied philosophy, psychology or neurology, and have been reluctant to dive into such a huge field of study.
An elegant solution
But then a few months ago, a friend reminded me that I can easily talk about the aspects of consciousness such as the subconscious, the mind & intellect, feeling & emotion, ego, and will. I can easily describe how to use the mind, feeling, and will to deepen the musical experience, and responsively, how to use music to uplift and expand the mind and feeling into the greater clarity and joy of higher consciousness.
Making it simple
One way to define higher consciousness is simply this: an expanded, uplifted state of well-being and connection. Higher consciousness can also be thought of directionally: from low levels of apathy and fear to jealousy and hatred, to acceptance and courage to finally bliss, wisdom, wholeness and love.
Music shows the way
To access higher consciousness, all we need to do is follow the path that naturally opens within us when we are in the presence of greatly inspired music. Inspired music not only can give us a taste of higher consciousness, but notice how it also moves us in patterns similar to universal spiritual practices. Greatly inspired music:
- energizes and/or releases tension from the body and mind,
- centers our alert awareness in the moment,
- awakens calm, yet powerfully expansive feeling (such as compassion or devotion),
- draws our energy and consciousness upward toward expanded awareness.
These aspects of energetic relaxation, centered inner awareness, the awakened heart, and uplifted consciousness are at the universal core of every religion and spiritual path. Ever wonder why music is always found at the core of every spiritual tradition? Truly sacred or divinely inspired music lifts our awareness toward higher consciousness and perhaps even the experience of a greater reality.
Some call this greater reality God, Spirit, highest potential, Source, or Self.
It isn’t my duty to define for you what that higher consciousness is, or how to scientifically prove how it all works (although I wish I could!). My true job is to help you experience higher consciousness through music for yourself.
Think back to this past holiday season—what beautifully sublime music drew you into an experience of something beyond the notes by opening your heart and uplifting your spirit? December is full of inspired music, but the effects of music only last for so long. And now it’s January, cold and wet, and that magic doesn’t come easily.
Obstacles to higher consciousness
Why do we experience higher consciousness some days better than others? Many things get in our way:
- constrictive attitudes of the heart,
- patterns of thought and subconscious habits,
- our unwillingness to catch and ride the wave of upliftment,
- just plain old lethargy or restlessness.
But listen! When we use music intelligently, we can find solutions to our challenges. For instance, the solution for lethargy is literally as close as our phone. We have a fantastic energy source literally at our fingertips (or at least on Spotify). My daughter’s energy source: BTS. What’s yours?
Music directly influences our consciousness and energy in ways that rational thought can’t touch. And when we change our level of consciousness, we change everything.
But wait—there’s more!
Meditation. How have I written this whole article without even mentioning meditation?
Meditation opens the door to the genuine experience of higher consciousness. It facilitates and magnifies the power of music to uplift our consciousness.
Meditation is a means to deepen and amplify the power of music. Music is a means to amplify and deepen the power of meditation, to experience for yourself profound expansive higher levels of consciousness: Peace, Joy, Divine Love and more.
And that’s where I stop for now ~ thanks for reading! The challenge has been set—look for a book by later this year that elaborates further on these topics.
I’ll leave you with one piece of good news: performers dealing with stage fright, you have the natural right to experience higher consciousness for yourself. And once you learn how to experience higher consciousness at will, stage fright won’t even be able to touch you. Not at all.