YMA workshopWhat an amazing tour through California! It succeeded far beyond my expectations, and expanded my understanding, friendships, and new connections.

It began with a great day at the YMA Camp where I presented Meditation for Musicians to the 100 young singers and instrumentalists offering the benefits of meditation, from overcoming stage fright to improving ensemble awareness, focus and inspiration. Fabulous day.

As I began the 10 hour drive to Palo Alto, I was unsure of how awake and focused I would be. Then I began to use the concept of “center everywhere, circumference nowhere” as I drove through the forests and mountains that grace Southern Oregon and Northern California.

Mt ShastaThe process is simple: just return again and again (…and again…) to the moment, my breath, and my center. The results were extraordinary: no fatigue, and an expanding sense of well-being for 600 miles. I felt a deepening connection to the awesome presence and power of nature that accompanied hours of view along Interstate 5.

One aspect of “center everywhere” is to relate from your center to the center of whatever is at hand: scenic beauty, music, the audience, a problem, whatever it happens to be. When done correctly, it leads to an ever-expanding circle of awareness, “circumference nowhere.”

For too many years I lived from my periphery, looking for fulfillment in outer things. I lived in “center nowhere, circumference EVERYWHERE.” I was hemmed in, isolated, tight and constricted in both my body, mind, and performance. No more.

In Palo Alto I had the privilege of presenting for a large crowd at East West Bookshop, and used “center everywhere” to tune in from my center into what the audience needed that evening. It worked.

The next day was a powerful all-day Stage Fright to Inspired Performance workshop. Both musicians and speakers connected deeply with their highest potential in music and public speaking. The results were extraordinary. Here is one example:

Beyond the Notes performers, Ananda Village

Then followed concerts in Sacramento, Grass Valley, and the Ananda Village, and a unique opportunitie to teach and present at the Sri Aurobindo AUM Conference. What a joy to connect and perform with and for spiritual cousins in higher consciousness!

Finally, I had the honor of playing for hundreds of people at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Get Happy event hosted by Art of Living back here in Portland.

The tour has taught me this: as long as I remain in the center of my being, disregarding all mental distractions that seek to take my awareness elsewhere, amazing things can happen. Right here. Right now.

with Nick Rytlewski at the AUM Conference
Notes from a Journey into “Center Everywhere”

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