Music

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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Cello
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Music

Post by Cello » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:38 am

What is music? Another thought form? How can a musician contemporarily perform and be in the now?

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Re: Music

Post by D'ray » Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:31 am

He is allowing the energy flow through him into notes :)
There's no "I" to become enlightened. The "I" can have spiritual experiences.

DON'T resist the RESISTANCE! The resistance is there. Walk into it. Feel it. Become one with it.

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Re: Music

Post by heidi » Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:55 pm

I love live music and theater, and the thing I love so much about it is that each moment is unique unto itself, here then gone, but in its flow is wonder and perfection. Spaciousness! Once a note is played it's gone - but it's not gone, it's eternal. (Sound familiar? Sounds like describing love!)

All things shall perish from under the sky,
Music alone shall live
Music alone shall live
Music alone shall live
Never to die.

The question about music is a lot like the question, What is love? or What is god? or some other indescribable thing like the awareness we try to put words to here.

There is a book out called This is Your brain on Music - The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel Levitin which is very interesting, where it is not necessarily about the meaning of music but but more about the joy we derive from it.
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Re: Music

Post by Suzanne » Sun Dec 30, 2007 4:31 am

Cello wrote:What is music? Another thought form? How can a musician contemporarily perform and be in the now?
Great question! During the weekdays, I'm a music teacher, so, I can't resist this one.

Notes: Made by a cat walking on a piano keyboard.

Music: The sound in someone's head that means something, transformed into sound waves and perceived by a listener as something meaningful.

Some notes become music, some remain just notes. The notes are thought forms, but the music is most definitely the sound of our common connection to the eternal, or it wouldn't mean anything to anyone.

My goal in school has always been the conveyence of meaning through music, not perfect notes. Thus, some other teachers haven't understood me. They think good music is perfect notes. I came to understand my life's work when I found Eckhart. It all made sense.

And your answer to the performance question is this: All performers are in presence. Time stands still. Or flies. Either way, it's an altered state. That's why we all need music: It brings us into presence.

I love my job! :D

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Re: Music

Post by no won » Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:23 am

Music is the pinnacle of creation, I would say that as I'm a muso. Born out of silence and stillness, the muso doesn't play the music it flows thru' him/her and the less involvment that is put into it (effort/me ) the perfection is at another level altogether, strangely even the imperfect notes they too are perfect. Suzanne is spot on there. The best choirs have some top singers and quiet a lot of very average singers, the perfect and the not perfect creates the MOST beatifull sound both are needed.Without presence music is just notes, lifeless. Sometimes the most impact from music is when there is a deliberate space of silence in the composition and this silence can take the listener to a spacousness of no mind. Then the mind thinks it was the music that created this experience but it was music that led/pointed/brought the listener into presece in the same way a teacher does. Yes I LOve music, all kinds especially melodic rock/metal and it is full of lyrics about spirituality/love /eternity, all pointing to Truth. Over the years I have noticed the same things are being expressed more and more lyricly by bands and its the same message as E.T. Sorry for going on a bit lol.
Winger " when its said and done, you are no one."
House of Lords " today I know silence is everywhere"
Beatles, where to start. I'd better stop here. peace

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Re: Music

Post by Cello » Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:09 pm

So much input! Thank you very much all of you.
I had posted my question the morning of a day I was supposed to give a little concert. I was quite nervous and started asking myself why I was doing this to myself. I had been practicing being "in the now" only for a couple of months and hadn't had the opportunity of playing a concert since. So I got on the stage with the idea that I wanted to be "in the now" together with the audience. Well, "together with the audience" didn't work. I had to leave them to themselves and just play my music. Sometimes I managed to be in presence, but most of the time I didn't. I don't quite agree with you, Suzanne, that all perfomers are in presence. At least, it doesn't just happen automatically. The noise in the brain can very well go on while I am playing, I can think of the music ahead to come or remember how I played the bar before, I can check how I'm doing this or that technically... When I practice by myself, I can often free myself from these things, but when I'm in front of an audience, everything is so different (I don't take beta blockers). I'm trying to find some kind of mental tool which could help me be in presence especially when I'm under stress. Does anybody have a hint?
Thank you no won for the thing about silence. I definitely want to incorporate this into my playing. In a way, wrong notes can produce the same effect as silence. They inexpectedly break the harmony of all those beautiful sounds an catapult you into the now. Of course, for this to happen there need to be many right notes, too. About lyrics: to me they do not have anything to do with music itself. They are just words, and as such need to elaborated by the intellect, need to be understood.
"Meaningful music": That is a very tricky field! Of course nobody wants to produce meaningless notes. It's difficult to pin down, and it makes me feel like an animal following a trail: Somehow this "meaningfulness" to me has a scent of too much ego involved. Maybe putting "meaning" into music is like lyrics accompanying music, in a more subtle form, explaining: this is what I feel, what I want to tell you, listen how beautiful this music is. What if that is not so important at all? By the way, this issue made me ask myself whether music could be another thought form.
Well, I'm looking forward to performing again.

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Re: Music

Post by heidi » Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:39 pm

The meaning music has is the meaning - and feelings - we bring to it. Kind of like the tree falling in the forest - it's what we bring to it, not what it brings to us. But, in it's perfection, it allows us to bring our perfection to it.
When my other died (20 years ago) I had the job of selecting the music for her service, and I knew the music she loved and chose that. The effect was that whenever I hear Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring I have this wonderful communion with Source, uplifting but also of deep depths. Pacelbel's canon in D, same thing, even though it's become quite popular and we hear so many vaiations of it even in commercials. Like the perfection of a beautiful painting or piece of architecture, the perfection of certain music speaks to us deeply of the perfection of Being, and that's what makes it work. ;)
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Re: Music

Post by Suzanne » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:43 pm

Cello wrote:Well, "together with the audience" didn't work. I had to leave them to themselves and just play my music.
Dear Cello,
If you left them in your regular, everyday awareness and went fully into your music, you were in presence, and the audience met you there. If anyone got up in the midddle or made a phone call or opened the news paper, then those people weren't in presence with you. Everyone who was listening was! You are doing it. Ask yourself, who was the one who watched what you were thinking? That was you, and that presence is what Eckhart talks about. The watcher. You're so good at it you don't even realize you're doing it!
Cello wrote:The noise in the brain can very well go on while I am playing, I can think of the music ahead to come or remember how I played the bar before, I can check how I'm doing this or that technically...
Paying this close attention to what you are doing while you are doing it is presence. Thinking doesn't stop, just the useless extraneous thinking stops. If you were making a shopping list or planning on breaking up with your boyfriend or having it out with your professor while on stage, then you'd be back in time.

In one of Eckhart's recordings he talks about being on a tightrope. You can't think of anything else or you'd fall off. You must be in the now. That is performing on stage. A tightrope. Musicians are so accustomed to being in presence that we don't realize that's what we're doing. When time stands still or flies during a performance, you're in another dimension, out of time. You are now.

And my idea of the music conveying meaning does not refer to program music, with specific settings and characters. If you played a sonata with fast, slow, and then presto movements your audience felt the energy change, the mood conveyed by the mode and the articulation. I'm sure all of your music conveys meaning, abstract or concrete. Bach creates a peaceful state of perfection. Stravinsky, strife and conflict. Faure, spiritual awe. The only music that I know that doesn't convey meaning is made by those ghastly ringtones! But I'd hardly call that music, anyway.

Using a tool while you perform is definitely a recipe for the mind taking over. Just enjoy the music. Make space for it to be. It is the sound of the eternal. and you are the door that the music comes through. :)

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Re: Music

Post by no won » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:18 am

The meaning music has is the meaning - and feelings - we bring to it. Kind of like the tree falling in the forest - it's what we bring to it, not what it brings to us.
Oh no, must disagree with you there Heidi. Its definately Not what 'i" bring to the music as listener or player, its all about what music takes away, YOU. Born from silence from no thingness It can take you from the lowest low of mind to the bliss of spacousness without mind. Music is and can be used to teach and point in the same way a teacher does. Would we say to E.T. its not presence ambience or the teaching that flows thru' him, its what "i" bring.

Of course just like E.T. the musician doesn't mind ( no pun ) its the music that points/leads to Truth, usually the listener follows and leaves " imaginary self " behind. peace

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Re: Music

Post by no won » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:41 am

I'm trying to find some kind of mental tool which could help me be in presence especially when I'm under stress. Does anybody have a hint?
Hi Cello, I rekon this depends on the style of music you play. If playing from sheet music then that may be where you find a problem, its the dicipline of playing exactly what is written and leaving no room for expression or creativity. Forget about perfection when playing, forget about the audience or if they get it when playing, forget about reading the notes.Play as though it is the first time you have heard this piece of music, you know already that you can play your instument. Be free to enjoy the creative flow, each note knows its own place, "you " don't need to think about it and if you do thats okay there is plenty of room for thought, allow it.
Remember, this is the first time you have heard this music played ( it will never sound the same twice as you know ) so get into every sensation it brings and so will the audience, Be In The BODY and FEEL the music. Then there is only the hearing going on. Hope there is a little hint in there . peace

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Re: Music

Post by weichen » Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:53 pm

Music vs Spirituality, this is interesting topics

Only a few days ago, I was siting in the new car one of my friends just bought, the music was so beautiful, it sounded familiar, probably from the movie "Lord of the rings". There are a few pointers came to my mind:

1. spirituality is pure silence, so any music is NOT a description of pure spiritual experience. It is mainly a description of human experience.
2. in the beautiful music, I noticed that there are some force fields wanting to get stronger, but it seems that these force fields are countered by a neutralizing force fields, so they retreat and go milder instead. That neutraling force field seems to describe a precious memory of a spiritual experience inside a person's mind.
3. that beautiful music seems to describe a enlightened human being's mind because the presence of "memory from spiritual experience"
4. such music (describing an enlightened human being's mind) has strong transformation power when it is listened by unenlightened people, or by less enlightened people.
5. that music has much less transformation power on someone who are at a deeper level of enlightenment.

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Re: Music

Post by shivak » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:33 am

all my life i have listened to music that creates some sort of ecstatic feeling by the combination of Sounds (melody).

in the early days i listened to a lot of melodic death metal... and later i listened to psychedelic trance.
especially psychedelic trance was able to lift me up to feeling very euphoric.

but as selfrealization became more important for me,
i started realizing how "me listening to music" was actually a activity of the Ego-Identified-Self....

Liberation is distaste for the objects of the senses. Bondage is love of the senses. This is knowledge. Now do as you wish. 15.2
http://www.realization.org/page/doc0/doc0004.htm

now i experience listening to music as bondage.
because to listen to music, there must be a listener.
to have an experience, there must be an experiencer.

and whenever there a listener or a experiencer,
automatically there is the illusion of PLEASURE (enjoyment) and SUFFERING (disenjoyment).
automatically there is the illusion of seperateness (experiencer <-> experience, listener <-> sound)

i've not read eckhart tolle's book because i'm more a "fan" of Nisargadatta Maharaj...
but if i get it right, in the "now",

there is no Observer and there is nothing to be Observed.
there is only "the self", which does not Observe... neither does it Not Observe.

and this "Self" (a.k.a. true-self, a.k.a. Consciousness) does not prefer one thing over the other,
it does not enjoy music... but it isn't irritated by music.
it does not enjoy pleasure... but isn't irritated by it.
it does not enjoy pain... but isn't irritated by it.
Cello wrote:What is music? Another thought form? How can a musician contemporarily perform and be in the now?
i might be wrong!!!
but i suspect i have recently read Nisargadatta say in his book "i am that"
that whenever he talks... he cannot be 100% dissolved into Brahman.

so for us "practitioners of the now", we can walk... we can eat... we can talk...
while at the same time be very much "in the now"...

this way it is as if the body is walking, the body is eating, the body(mind) is talking....
we are disidentified... we feel free, happy and blissful.
but to be completely disidentified, and completely in the now...

then there is no movement at all.
like RAMANA MAHARSHi when he was doing his years(or was it months? i suspect years).
he didn't move or talk for years, he didn't even beg for food.
people brought him food because they felt sorry for him, but he described that time as being in extreme bliss.

when RAMANA MAHARSHI began moving again,
he left the "now" a slight bit... he began walking around, disciples started forming around him...
but he continued to spent much of his time being "dissolved in the self" as he called it,
and when he spent time being absolved in the self... he didn't move... he was in "plant-mode". :)

---------------------------------------------

another example of this
is Eckhart Tolle's speeches for example.
Very often Eckhart Tolle holds a break and closes his eyes,

this is because at that point he goes "deeper into the now"
or because he "dissolves in the self"... and then he comes a little bit "out of the now",

to try to translate the UNSPEAKABLE into words. :)
"The mind is there to show you what is not real." - Nisargadatta Maharaj

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