Singing    Songwriting    Guitar    Piano     Mindfulness/Meditation     Workshops
Lessons can be at my studio in Asheville NC or over Skype      

I have expanded my basic Mindfulness teaching into a more comprehensive program called PASSAGGIO ~ Personal Integration.
Click here for more info.
As part of the music various music lessons I offer, I incorporate Mindfulness as an aid to focusing
the student’s mind and side-stepping anxiety and self-doubt.

The immediate goal of mindfulness is to begin to become aware of the mechanisms of our mind and thus realize that those mental storms are apart from us and not us. For instance, if we’re feeling anxious about something, the moment we notice the anxiety as a phenomenon apart from us, we start the most wonderful process where we will ultimately become free from it. This discipline is essential for developing excellence in any field. The instant we first become aware that we are not our thoughts, we start to awaken to the ‘witness’ inside who is free from these storms that steal our well-being. We begin the amazing journey of the realization of that witness. We begin to see that, as this witness, we are already free from all that we imagine brings us suffering or frustration.

With a little focus it isn't hard to begin to put some distance between you and your thoughts. This will make you more focused and less anxious as you assert your independence from thought. After all there was a time ~ as an infant ~ when you didn't need words to affirm your existence. That non-verbal self is still there behind the thoughts and concepts.

A tremendous power awaits us in the quiet of our being. Without any plan or motivation, spontaneous solutions to unasked questions spring up from the well of consciousness within. My own experience, in my quest for musical and other excellence, is that when I became quiet and receptive, all kinds of wonderful insights, answers and methodologies revealed themselves to me as I watched in glee. Like I said on another page, my intention is to help you get to the same state of being that revealed all of this to me.
"A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness effect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part." Nisargadatta

Like a ray of sunlight in a drop of morning dew that thinks it is captured, we are deluded by our thoughts into believing we are them. This is akin to thinking we are the words we read on a street poster. Imagine the chaos if we read a street sign that said; “I have diabetes” and we then immediately believed we had that disease. But that’s the kind of madness we invite when we allow our thoughts to gallop about our heads unbridled.

Thoughts are like little computer programs or apps. We download them and they take over our consciousness like apps take over a computer. They seem so real and believable but are nothing but information, often inaccurate. Yet most of us are ruled by them every single second of our lives. When I first realized that I am not my thoughts, I was overcome by a sense of elation and freedom. (Of course, I then got into my car only be frustrated by the traffic.)

But our sense of self is governed and perpetuated by a thought streams that are more random than clouds. Unexamined thoughts are not worth the vapor they’re written on. Nobody trusts the weather, but we place absolute faith in our thoughts even though we know they’re less dependable than an Irish summer. We give our well-being over to a process that has no order or cohesion. Why is that? It’s mostly because we actually think we are our thoughts.

Just try this for one moment. Think of something that impressed you today. Take your time and allow detail to enter as you ponder it. Notice that it was YOU who recalled that thought. Who or what, is that YOU? You are not the thought, YOU commanded it to appear before your mind’s eye, with color and great detail—well okay, maybe vague detail. But still you have a good deal of control over what you think, but most of the time you don’t use it because you think the thoughts are you. You think they’re real. With a little practice you can learn to put a little distance between your thoughts and your compulsive surrender to them.

One of the really cool things about practicing mindfulness is that once you notice that your thoughts are like little apps you begin to suspect that everything is like a little app, a little piece of information. The food you eat, the air you breath, the earth below and the sky above; all are little bits of information strung together to make up the world inside and around us.  

We lose something of ourselves when we become overly invested in a line of thought. When we are emotionally or even intellectually embroiled with a thought we may become tossed by it’s waves finding it hard to orient or discriminate. The resulting turmoil is the genesis of most self-inflicted suffering. Wrong identification with the myriad thoughts of self, career, relationships, ambition, all conspire to leave us fractured. All the while, no matter what, the true self remains calm and clear behind the endless chatter and confusion. Even a little experience of the freedom and clarity possible within us, will improve all aspects of our being.

The conversations we have with ourselves can leave us scattered, indecisive and anxious. It is the mechanism by which we inflict most of our suffering upon ourselves. When we start to examine that mechanism, we begin to see that we can safely discard most of the restless meanderings that it produces. We begin to see that we are not our thoughts and have a choice as to which ones we allow to develop. Our worldview is sustained, perpetuated by the associative stream of thoughts with which we identify almost without question. If we can even for a moment remove a little of the energy we give to the inner dialogue we will begin to feel what is behind thought—the witness. Consciously allowing the sentences to dissipate unfinished causes a certain wonderfully liberating sense of discontinuity. The discontinuity of thought allows the thought stream to move laterally instead of linearly. The mind is freed to soar in any direction. The tyranny of linearity slips away if only for a few seconds. New scientific research tells us this makes for more synaptic connections within the brain, suggesting more varied ways to perform the same task or look at the world. I’ve experienced this in my writing when I gaze or when I’m mindful. The possibilities are multiplied.

The problem with every day linear thought is that it paints a picture that seems very real and draws in all kinds of relative thoughts to support itself. The beauty of getting out of its grip, even for a few moments is that a whole new neighborhood of possibilities present themselves when the linear grid collapses. Stress, worry, conundrums, problems all fall apart for a moment and a wonderful sense of freedom takes their place.

Are not gross bodies and light convertible into one another; and may not bodies receive much of their activity from the particles of light which enter into their composition? The changing of bodies into light, and light into bodies, is very conformable to the course of Nature, which seems delighted with transmutations. Sir Isaac Newton. 
 Please contact me here if you're interested in Mindfulness  
Singing    Songwriting    Guitar    Piano     Mindfulness/Meditation     Workshops