21. Overcome Past Habits of Hesitancy

Inhale and tense your body, then throw the breath out and relax. Do this 3 times. Feel for complete relaxation throughout.

Focus on an intimidating passage in your music, and begin a new habit:

Use your will to soften and deepen your breath, drawing it deep into your lower lungs.

Bring your awareness fully into your spine, not into a retreat, but into a place of power.
Practice the passage while keeping your awareness there. Be prepared to repeat as you engage this new habit, looking first for a success in your energy, and then for a success in the notes.

When you encounter a difficult shift or leap in your music, meditate on the space between the bottom and the top. The journey is more important than the destination. You can’t think your way there, but you can increase your awareness of the space between the notes. Take the experience of being in the present moment, and see if that helps you relax and become more accurate, not being anxious if you are going to make it or not.

22. How to overcome the fear of a great challenge:

Inhale and tense your body, then throw the breath out and relax. Do this 3 times. Feel for complete relaxation throughout.

Do at least 3 rounds of measured count breathing:

Inhale to a count of 4, into the lower lungs

Hold for a count of 4

Exhale for a count of 4

(you can vary the counts as you like, as long as the exhale is equal to or longer than the inhale)

Hold on to your centeredness and place your challenge in front of your mind. Continue to breathe deeply and slowly. As you begin to accept the challenge, keep your energy flowing upward.

With each small step that you take, keep your frustration at bay: maintain your calm center, breathe deeply, and keep your energy continuously flowing upward with an indomitable power of your will.

Whether in your music or your life, know that whatever energy you put out always adds to your eventual success.

A journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

23. Be original from your Source

Take the simplest phrase in your music. Play or sing it at least 10 different ways. Explore. Experiment. Try crazy things.

Then bring yourself into silence.

This time as you begin the phrase, listen within for how your Source is leading you. Leading YOU, not leading the guy practicing the same piece next door.

If you can’t hear anything from your source, relax more deeply. Do even count breathing. Follow your breath and still your mind.

You have a voice to be heard, but listening demands great stillness.

As you experimented with all the different ways to shape the phrase, experiment now with all the different ways you can listen for your voice.

You will know when you are being original from your Source when you can perceive a feeling truth resonating inside of you. Trust me. It feels good, no matter how ordinary you might think your voice is. Be true to that voice, and all good things follow.

 

24. How to Get Your Head in the Game

Sit up, close your eyes and bring yourself into silence.

Take at least three deep diaphragmatic breaths through the nose, feeling yourself relax mentally and physically.

Bring your awareness to your heart. Tap into any strong memory that can awaken the love of what you are doing. Melt away any fear that tries to grip your heart, and relax into your true center.

Lift the expansive love, joy, passion or inspiration for what you do as it awakens in your heart. Bring that awakening energy up to the prefrontal lobes of the brain.

Feel for the flow of that energy, and then follow it as it leads not only your heart, but also your mind, focus, and attention into the game.

Practice Room Meditations 1–4

Practice Room Meditations 5–8

Practice Room Meditations 912

Practice Room Meditations 13–16

Practice Room Meditations 17–20

Practice Room Meditations 25–28

Practice Room Meditations 29–32