A Call to Arms for Musicians of Light

A Call to Arms for Musicians of Light

I grew up in Pittsburgh. Yesterday’s attack hit me hard. My weekly cello lessons with Michael Lipman took place just blocks away from the synagogue. Again the question arises: what can I do in response? Last night at the Oregon Symphony,

Stop the Reactive, Engage the Responsive

The first major benefit I noticed when I began meditating 22 years ago was that I started making progress much faster. I thought it was magic! But it turns out that as we meditate, we awaken the prefrontal lobes of

The Thrill of Liberating Progress

We’ve all felt it—the moment we wake up into a new realm of sound production, technique, or level of mastery. A thrill from the core of our being that revitalizes and empowers our hope, and reminds us in a flash

The Concerto that Transformed my Meditation

Last Sunday I had the tremendous honor of performing the first movement of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with my Bodhi Trio and the Pacific University orchestra. When I perform repertoire I’ve known for decades, it’s easy to let the fingers do

Transforming Performance into Ceremony

Over the past 20 years, I’ve had the honor of directing Ananda choirs in deeply powerful performances of Christ Lives: an Oratorio, composed by Swami Kriyananda. Just a few days ago a friend likened the experience more to a ceremony than

The Heart Compactors

Fear. Egoic pride. Insecurity. Competition. Judgment. You may face these “heart compactors” daily while pursuing excellence in rehearsals, performances, and lessons. How do you prevent them from compounding the stress you already feel? Do you try to become impervious, protect

Giving the Gift of Love Through Music

I sat at the end of a quiet hallway at Randall Children’s Hospital and unpacked my cello for what seemed just a few passersby on the 4th floor unit. My idealism faded away—what good could my music truly do for

5th of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Hope

We need beacons of Hope. In this time of unrest, natural disasters and tragedies, it’s easy to despair. Energy spirals down, darkness descends, and gloom suffocates our Spirit. We look to music to help us untangle and find our way

What Do We Really Celebrate?

What Do We Really Celebrate?

It’s my birthday on Tuesday. I’ll be 50. I can deal with saying and hearing the number, but when I actually see the number, it’s a whole different ballgame! I look back over these years and wonder what I have

4th of 10 Obvious Inaudibles: Willingness

What I’m most ashamed of: Sitting in a cello lesson with a guest teacher, being completely unwilling to try any of his suggestions. “See!” I inwardly seethed, “that doesn’t work for me!” The lesson was a total waste, and I certainly didn’t