Please Advise

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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awyman
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Please Advise

Post by awyman » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:42 am

Many thanks in advance for those patient enough to read this and offer any advice or suggestions, it IS truly appreciated.

I have been exposed to ET's teachings for only 3-4 months now, but have already experienced a greater sense of peace and ease throughout my day to day life. For that, I am very grateful.

By profession, I am a classically trained trumpet player. Having recently completed my master of music degree, I am looking to win an audition for a symphony orchestra, or as a professor at a university. Large amounts of daily practice are required if one realistically hopes to win a job, due the extreme competitive nature of the career field.

The daily practicing is where the perceived problem lies for me. During my practicing, if I'm not playing at a level that I think would win a future audition, INTENSE conflict and suffering arises within me. All the usual side effects of "what if I'm just not good enough", "will I ever get a job", "why am I doing this" start to creep in. Lately this suffering has pushed me to the point of taking very seriously the idea of quitting and pursuing something else. (I have no idea what that would be, since music is all I have ever wanted to do)

I am 25 now, and have been playing since 5th grade, so there is obviously a ton of conditioning in terms of judgement, fear, expectations, and desires that I am still holding on to from the past. Despite being aware of this, I haven't been able to let go yet. Am I perhaps not being aware of this OFTEN ENOUGH?

Since reading ET, I have given advice to a few of my fellow trumpet players of "when you stop practicing for the sake of sounding good, or for the sake of winning a job, and start practicing for the joy of it, things seem to flow better" I think this might be because intellectually, I agree with it, but I don't KNOW it to be true. AKA, I am having trouble bringing it into my own life.

This has and continues to cause a great deal of suffering in my life, and I hope to be able to work through it. I would be grateful for any advice or observations.

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ashley72
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Re: Please Advise

Post by ashley72 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:17 am

awyman wrote:The daily practicing is where the perceived problem lies for me. During my practicing, if I'm not playing at a level that I think would win a future audition, INTENSE conflict and suffering arises within me. I am 25 now, and have been playing since 5th grade, so there is obviously a ton of conditioning in terms of judgement, fear, expectations, and desires that I am still holding on to from the past. Despite being aware of this, I haven't been able to let go yet. Am I perhaps not being aware of this OFTEN ENOUGH?
Maybe next time this negativity arises... try saying a catch-phrase like.... "Attention. HERE & NOW."
awyman wrote:This has and continues to cause a great deal of suffering in my life, and I hope to be able to work through it. I would be grateful for any advice or observations.
A few musicians talking about Headless Seeing in relation to their music practice. :D

First Person Guitarist

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18andlife
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Re: Please Advise

Post by 18andlife » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:30 am

Perhaps something to keep in mind...
buddha wrote:"Sona, you were a musician and you used to play the lute. Tell me, Sona, did you produce good music when the lute string was well tuned, neither too tight nor too loose?"

"I was able to produce good music, Lord," replied Sona.

"What happened when the strings were too tightly wound up?"

"I could not produce any music, Lord," said Sona.

"What happened when the strings were too slack?"

"I could not produce any music at all, Lord," replied Sona
Just think of your outlook during practice like the strings on a lute or guitar. If you are too tight and expect too much of yourself, muisc will not flow. And if you are too slack and throw in the towel, music will not flow. But if you are neither too tight or too slack, music will flow. If you can extend this outlook to all the activities of your life, things flow and you'll find your way, piece by piece.

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Webwanderer
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Re: Please Advise

Post by Webwanderer » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:22 pm

awyman wrote:Since reading ET, I have given advice to a few of my fellow trumpet players of "when you stop practicing for the sake of sounding good, or for the sake of winning a job, and start practicing for the joy of it, things seem to flow better" I think this might be because intellectually, I agree with it, but I don't KNOW it to be true. AKA, I am having trouble bringing it into my own life.
It's true. Here's the thing. If you are playing the music, it is you who are likely to be critical or worrisome or fearful about the quality of music that is created. 'What will they think?' Will I get this position?' 'Am I getting this right?' But the best music played is that where the musician is him/her self an instrument of Source energy. Make playing with joy the primary goal. Align with Source, your true nature, and allow the music to flow through you. Be an observer of the beauty displayed through you, with you as its instrument.

The joy you feel when playing is the alignment with Source. When in this state of joy the music will be at its best because it is free to flow unencumbered by human fears and concerns. It is no longer about winning jobs or what others may think. It's about the love of alignment and that is more than enough.

WW

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eputkonen
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Re: Please Advise

Post by eputkonen » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:19 pm

I suggest watching the movie "Peaceful Warrior" - similar scenario, but for a gymnist trying to get into the Olympics.

"when you stop practicing for the sake of sounding good, or for the sake of winning a job, and start practicing for the joy of it, things seem to flow better"
Yep, that's it. Similar conclusion in the movie.

If you have Netflix watch instantly, it is there. Watch 'Peaceful Warrior'.
Namaste,

~ Eric Putkonen
https://www.youtube.com/EricPutkonen

Dohjo
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Re: Please Advise

Post by Dohjo » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:36 pm

That is so true. I myself Dj and have been doing it for quite some time now. I (ego) always tend to compare myself to Djs who have been in the industry for 20 years, even though it's dumb. But when i let go of that and simply enjoy playing, i start not to care about small mistakes and the crowd seem not to either. It simply feels like floating down a river. No effort in doing it. The result will therefore naturally become better.

innerpeace2u
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Re: Please Advise

Post by innerpeace2u » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:23 am

You sound very wise for a 25 year old. Let me just offer two reminders that Tolle mentions:

1) Die before you Die

Are you familiar with the concept of this and if so, does contemplating on this release some of the pressure? If there is no one to please, no perfection to be attained, no goal to be reached... what's left? When you're true nature is allowed to percolate, your inner creativity will be more awakened, and you'll play with more ease, with more flow.

2) Contemplation

Take time to quiet the mind-ie A long walk in nature, no-thought. Give yourself the time for your soul to reconnect with life and listen with great attention to your intuition. Try that and see what happens.

All the best.

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ZenDrumming
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Re: Please Advise

Post by ZenDrumming » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:36 am

Do you have any friends you can play with on occasion? I have had a couple very intense experiences of presence while improvising music with some good friends.

You can tap in by yourself too of course, but I find it very beneficial to play off of others because it takes the focus away from the mechanics of my own playing. Once you are comfortable on the instrument, you don't need to be monitoring every motion, you can just let go and let it happen.

There is no player. There is no instrument. What is happening? Only harmony.

Pako Chubi
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Re: Please Advise

Post by Pako Chubi » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:37 pm

18andlife wrote:Just think of your outlook during practice like the strings on a lute or guitar. If you are too tight and expect too much of yourself, muisc will not flow. And if you are too slack and throw in the towel, music will not flow. But if you are neither too tight or too slack, music will flow. If you can extend this outlook to all the activities of your life, things flow and you'll find your way, piece by piece.
Yeah, that's nice... thank you :lol:

Look if you want to give up music or to give up yourself!!

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awyman
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Re: Please Advise

Post by awyman » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:14 pm

Wow, so much great advice from all....THANK YOU!
innerpeace2u wrote:You sound very wise for a 25 year old. Let me just offer two reminders that Tolle mentions:


1) Die before you Die

Are you familiar with the concept of this and if so, does contemplating on this release some of the pressure? If there is no one to please, no perfection to be attained, no goal to be reached... what's left? When you're true nature is allowed to percolate, your inner creativity will be more awakened, and you'll play with more ease, with more flow.

2) Contemplation

Take time to quiet the mind-ie A long walk in nature, no-thought. Give yourself the time for your soul to reconnect with life and listen with great attention to your intuition. Try that and see what happens.

All the best.

I still seem to be fairly identified with the level of form. i.e. I'll have flashes of insight and deep peace fairly often, but it is still in terms of "me". Likewise, I still tend to see other people as other people, instead of who they truly are. I'm definitely working on it. Would you say self inquiry is the way to go for "dieing before I die"?

innerpeace2u
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Re: Please Advise

Post by innerpeace2u » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:22 am

Most of us still are identified with form. Its difficult to believe we are truly living in a dream when everything appears so real.

The 'die before you die' approach is not to deny your sensations, but to paradoxically make yourself feel more alive; to enjoy the field of form, but not get attached to it.

Die before you die is a large part of self-inquiry. When "You" are out of your own way, then you connect with reality on a deeper level. In turn, your actions, then become quality actions.

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Sighclone
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Re: Please Advise

Post by Sighclone » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:38 am

Welcome awyman!

Here is what you know about the future, the auditions, your level of performance relative to the needs of the orchestra at that time, and the competition, the attitude and temperament of the conductor or department head, at that moment...etc:

Absolutely nothing.

You can create stories about what "is likely" at that time.

But you know nothing.

You don't even know if you will wake up tomorrow.

Yet you persist in listening to hyper-competitive stories imagined by your egoic self (that is the false self by the way.)

You are a musician because you love music. Love the music you practice. And when you get it just right, take 20 seconds and enjoy that moment of success in translating the composers vision/image in that practice session. By the way, your capacity to creatively interpret depends on your state of well-being at the moment...and that usually depends on how little you are concerned with the outcome, and how much you appreciate what you play and hear....in that moment.

"Nothing of value was ever created by someone who tried to create something which could not be criticized by someone else." -- (I think it was Beaudelaire)

Love your profession, love each phrase you play, let the universe take care of the rest. (She will anyway... :) )

You would enjoy "Buddha's Brain" by Hanson and Mendius. -- talks about why our brain needs us to do a little conscious re-programming. And also Scott Kiloby's latest ebook "Doorway to Total Liberation." (kiloby.com)

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce

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awyman
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Re: Please Advise

Post by awyman » Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:10 am

Sighclone wrote:Welcome awyman!

Here is what you know about the future, the auditions, your level of performance relative to the needs of the orchestra at that time, and the competition, the attitude and temperament of the conductor or department head, at that moment...etc:

Absolutely nothing.

You can create stories about what "is likely" at that time.

But you know nothing.

You don't even know if you will wake up tomorrow.

Yet you persist in listening to hyper-competitive stories imagined by your egoic self (that is the false self by the way.)

You are a musician because you love music. Love the music you practice. And when you get it just right, take 20 seconds and enjoy that moment of success in translating the composers vision/image in that practice session. By the way, your capacity to creatively interpret depends on your state of well-being at the moment...and that usually depends on how little you are concerned with the outcome, and how much you appreciate what you play and hear....in that moment.

"Nothing of value was ever created by someone who tried to create something which could not be criticized by someone else." -- (I think it was Beaudelaire)

Love your profession, love each phrase you play, let the universe take care of the rest. (She will anyway... :) )

You would enjoy "Buddha's Brain" by Hanson and Mendius. -- talks about why our brain needs us to do a little conscious re-programming. And also Scott Kiloby's latest ebook "Doorway to Total Liberation." (kiloby.com)

Andy
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