25. Get Through Dead-Ends in your Music
Symptoms: frustration, shallow breath, physical tension, and thoughts that constrict and look for blame or excuses.

Go as deep as you can into the cause of frustration. Hold it in your mind, or write it on a piece of paper and put it on the stand. Stare it in the face, and breathe as deeply as possible.

If needed, get up and walk somewhere, out in nature is best.

Breathe deeply, prepare for expansion.

When you next return to practice, close your eyes and sit up straight. Breathe deeply and evenly. Overcome the dead-end not on the level of energy on which it traps you, but instead raise your energy and thoughts above the limitation.

Breathe deeply, prepare for expansion.

Feel for the resonance of truth that lies beyond the limitation, and step cautiously into the broader truth that awaits you.

Breathe deeply, prepare for expansion.

26. Get to JOY as quickly as possible

Use your will-power to energizeyour body. Get yourself moving. This is a great time for self-discipline. Use rewards when necessary.

Once you get moving, engage the your power of perception. Feel for the first stirrings of upward energy.

Allow yourself to feel the ensuing enjoyment. Smile. Allow that JOY to begin to resonate within your body, your soul, your face, your eyes, your voice.

Don’t limit the JOY to a specific outcome. Keep flowing with that inner presence even in the midst of mistakes and failures.

Your biggest motivational tool is pleasure. And the highest-octane pleasure is JOY.

27. Visualize resonance in the audience

If you have a piano, put a backpack or something heavy on the right damper pedal, allowing all the strings to resonate.

Then play or sing through your piece, and stop and listen. Become aware of the stimulation of energy you have created within the piano.

This is exactly what you are trying to do with your audience—except instead of strings, stimulating movement of energy feeling, and emotion. The more resonance and clarity you have within yourself, the more you will move your audience through your music.

28. Recognize the subtle difference of your heart rates

The difference between fight or flight and excitement is subtle, but distinct.

Visualize yourself performing in a high pressure, unsupported, very critical environment, such as a screened audition. Notice your heart rate. Try to expand the heart’s energy, if possible. If you can’t, there may be deeper issues to address. Meditation alone may not be able to help.

But now envision a positive high energy environment playing for a crowd of your best supporters. Notice that your heart rate may be just as fast, but how much easier it is to reach out to others in your ensemble and the audience. By this simple social interaction you will be engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, which will gradually give you back full control of your body.

This social interaction can be external, but also internal. Even without saying a word you can reach out from your center to connect with others. Good accompanists know how to lend this support. Find the people in your ensemble and audience who are resonating with you, beaming energy, love and support.

Build your trust on these connections. You will be amazed at how much trust you can achieve within yourself.

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 21–24

Practice Room Meditations 29–32

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