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Reaching for a Higher Plane April 13, 2021

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Uncategorized.

“Ramadān Mubarak, Blessed Ramadān!” to anyone who is observing the month of Ramadan. Many blessings, also, to those celebrating Chaitra Navaratri and Vaisakhi.

“There’s a higher place that I have no illusions about reaching. There’s a sophistication and aesthetic about composers who only write only for the music’s sake.”

– Bill Conti

My current teaching “week” runs Saturday through Wednesday. So, this “week” of April, which is Poetry Month, I started with people who might be viewed as opposites, but actually have a lot in common about the way they move in the world and work in the world. I continued with that thread on Sunday and, in some ways, had intended to use that as the over-arching theme of the week. I often think of such themes as a good lens through which to view our own encounters with our own opposites. However, it is hard to stay light and sunny and optimistic when people are CLEARLY NOT GETTING THE MESSAGE!

Sorry, sorry, my apologies; I don’t often yell – on paper or off.

However, consider how all those capital letters made you feel. Consider the emotions, even the visceral sensations that arise, when you hear someone yell – at you or around you. Consider what you experience when you yell… or want to yell. We may, in the aftermath of such, experience a bit of catharsis, but the experience itself is stressful (as is what most often leads up to the yelling) – and isn’t the best means of bringing people together. In fact, I would argue that yelling is like building a brick wall. Consider, for a moment, the things that can bring people together… even tear down walls. Consider, for a moment, what sooth a savage Breast, – music… sweet music.

“All you have to do is open up a little bit and then you’ll be experiencing a part of that person’s soul. It’s just there – in the presence of a beautiful painting, a creation, something created by someone else. This is insight into not who they are physically, but who they are on this other plane. So, what makes it magical, always, is to hear music performed live.”

– Bill Conti

Born today in 1942, Bill Conti is an Italian-American composer and conductor known for soaring scores that inspire (underscore) the indomitable human spirit. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Score (for The Right Stuff) and five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Musical Direction for three (of his nineteen) Academy Awards ceremonies. He has also been nominated for a plethora of Academy, Emmy, and Golden Globe awards; has had his (television) music on the Billboard Hot 100; and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2008. He has written jingles and themes for every human emotion and a variety of situations in which we humans continuously find ourselves. He believes in the power of music to bring people together and, in composing music that brings people together, he composes music that opens us to possibilities… music that elevates us.

All we have to do is listen. All we have to do is listen – to the music and to each other – that’s how we open, that’s how we come together.

“When the audience and the performers become one, it is almost nearly divine, where this oneness can actually meet in some, not physical place, but in some spiritual place, in the middle, not the performers performing, not the audience receiving, but all of a sudden that contact is made and it becomes wonderful.”

– Bill Conti

Please join me today (Tuesday, April 13th) at 12 Noon or 7:15 PM for a virtual yoga practice on Zoom. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. Give yourself extra time to log in if you have not upgraded to Zoom 5.0. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below.

Tuesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify.

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

“In the back of your mind, when you say you want to write music for the movies, you’re saying that you want a big house, a big car, and a boat. If you just wanted to write music, you could live in Kansas and do that.”

– Bill Conti

If you’re interested, here’s my 2019 Bill Conti-inspired blog post (with a little more yoga-specific philosophy).



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