Transcript of a brief Sangeetha Satsang talk

The following is a transcript of a brief 5 minute intro talk given during a Sangeetha Satsang (Music Satsang or music meditation). You can use this to guide you into meditating with any of Prasant’s saxophone meditation tracks on this website or youtube.

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I would like to invite you to join me in this meditation. It’s not really a separate meditation. My understanding, my feeling is that your natural state is meditation.

What we’re going to do now is not something I’m asking you to do differently than you are already doing. So just be the same way that you already are. Part of your feeling that you can explore… So now we’re sitting basically in silence. And from the feeling that you have in silence you hear the sound arising from that. So what you could try… as you hear the sound, first relax into just being how you already are. Just relax.

Then as you hear the sound, just feel the sound. Initially, when you hear the sound it sounds like a sound coming from a separate external source, from somewhere else, right? When you hear the sound you first think I’m playing the sound and sending you the sound…yes? [Audience: Yes] So that’s mostly how people feel regularly.

But in this I’d like to invite you to forget about the idea that there’s a sound coming separately from some other source. Initially, even if you feel that the sound is coming from another place, just forget about that and let the sound come into your awareness. Forget about any feeling you have in the body, just notice the sensations. The sound will start to wash over you and it will take over the awareness. So relaxing in that sound, you become comfortable feeling only the sound so there is nothing else except the sound. And alternating that with silence, you go deeper and deeper into the pure sound. Underneath that sound, as you get comfortable in that sound, you can let go more and more. Just basically relax is all. You’ll go deeper into the Silence that’s beneath the sound. So if there’s sound, there has to be Silence supporting the sound, right? So that Silence is your natural, real nature.

So whenever we wake up in the morning, as soon as you wake up before anything arises, you have this perfect Silence. There’s this perfect Being. That doesn’t have anything in it. And, it has everything in it, of course. If there’s nothing in it, there’s everything in it.

For just this moment, you can always pick it back up later, forget about any and all ideas and definitions you have…what something is, what something is not, what your name is, what your family is, what you’re doing here, what you are going to meditate on, how am I going to meditate, all of that just forget it. Completely drop it, right now, right this instant.

So whatever you’re trying to attain is already here. There’s nothing else to get. That’s your inherent nature. The moment you try to leave, attain something, you’ve left your real nature. This idea is just an opportunity to return back to your real nature. And it’s already here, it’s not that you have to return back to it. It’s already here, but you think it’s somewhere else. So for the time being, maybe you can adopt my idea that everything you need is already here, not anywhere else outside. And just let the music, the sound current of the music…You’ve all heard the sound “Om.” Everyone’s heard of Om. So they say that’s the sound of the entire manifestation. So feel this sound as the Om arising within you. And not only within you, everywhere. Not within, not without. Forget about within and without. Just be exactly as you are right now. Not something else…or a body or anything. Just relax into that sound and eventually relax into the Silence, that’s all. So there’s nothing really to do, just enjoy. Thank you.

Please enter into silence for a few minutes. If you would like you can sit with one of Prasant’s tracks by utilizing the players below. For more about Satsangs, visit the Satsang page.

 

YouTube (subscribe free to Prasant’s channel)

The Discovery Approach to Music Practice (part 2): What you want is already here when you SEE.

Part 1 of this series is available here. In part 1, there is an overview of what this approach is about.

The Discovery Approach to practice essentially comes from the realization that what IS is inherently complete and perfect. That perfection can grow and change, but it is inherently full as it is. The practice is then to discover that. This can be successfully utilized in music…or anything.

Let us look into the first analogy: uncovering a fossil or perhaps a lost city. Paleontology, archaeology, etc. Remember, all analogies break down. This is just to convey a perspective-essence that you can utilize in your practice.

If you were going to uncover a large dinosaur or perhaps an ancient city, what would be your approach? Everyone has seen a clip or photo of paleontologists in action. If you come at it roughly, the precious treasure will be damaged. Notice the delicate tools being used, crouched on the earth.

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What will you find? (photo courtesy kenosha.org)

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The goal is already here, so there’s no hurry. (photo courtesy answersingenesis.org)

The approach is wide open seeing, gently pressing onward to uncover that which you want to find. There is no hurry, no clock. There is a great deal of sensitivity in the work. The team or worker will take as long as it needs to properly expose the dinosaur’s remains. Days, months or years. There is a touch of reverence for what may be discovered. The goal is available right at the fingertips to the point that it can even be touched, yet such care is taken. It is already complete and finished and does not need to be created. It simply awaits discovery. (I will go into how this relates to composing and improvising music another time…this still applies.)

Looking at a phrase, line, piece of music or even a single note in this way might change your entire relationship to it. It ceases to be an item to be completed or scale to get through. You are no longer marking off checklists of completing a number of krithis, scales or compositions. You are not buying groceries here or taking a standardized test or collecting accomplishments.

You become aware of what you are doing in a natural way. You are noticing everything about your experience. You return to just being, which is quite similar to vividly aware FEELing. You notice the entire symphony of body sensations. For example, how does the body posture feel? How do your hands feel on the instrument? Or if you are a vocalist, explore the feeling of the body itself, particularly the chest, head, belly and throat. Now when you go to play, it is not an unconscious “get this done” experience. It is very different. And this is where the analogy ends, because the line of music that initially was like a dinosaur bone, is now ALIVE. Every note comes alive, every breath comes alive. The entire experience reverberates with the sound and feeling of the music. Whatever arises is full and complete in itself. This allows you to actually PLAY music and not do music.

You do not need to wait to enjoy playing music until you have mastered it or even become reasonably good at it. You don’t need to hobble through the initial learning stage or struggle through the advanced and/or professional stages where you run on a treadmill to get infinitely “better,” more skilled and more amazing or impressive as a musician. I’m not saying not to do that. That is a real path. But look at it. The total bliss and enjoyment of music is available now for all. It is THIS note, THIS song that has it. Even a cracked note, HAS it. Most of us cannot see this. But when you approach music with this wide open seeing, the same way a child approaches a flower, you will definitely see.

What happens then, is the hidden fear aspect associated with failing or playing something wrong is either completely destroyed or significantly subdued. This frees up incredible amounts of clarity and vital energy for doing what you really need to do. There is a relaxation as well. Free of the concept of “mistakes,” you end up making less of them.

In the next posts, I will introduce a few more analogy/scenarios that apply to the actual practice process itself. They can be used as brief visualizations or meditations. Feel free to contemplate these first posts, try them out and let me know if it helps.

 

 

New Video: Naada Yoga For Total Liberation: Enjoy The Sound

Here is another new video for you, the second video in the series I am doing on YouTube called Naada Yoga for Total Liberation. Please check the blog or my youtube channel to see the other videos. Here is a convenient playlist to watch the series continuously.

Prasant begins this exploration of our experience with a spontaneous brief raga Sriranjani on the saxophone. Then he continues this video series with the first part of exploring your experience through sound: enjoyment. When you first hear the sound of music, or any sound, there is an instant meeting or union with that sound. This meeting allows you to establish yourself in the present moment and begin staying there with the help of music. This is very simple, but if you have many thoughts it is usually difficult. Music and sound help in this situation by giving the mind something to occupy itself, so to speak.

As you stay there and really enjoy the sound, you will melt or dissolve into the sound, which is the next step. This will be covered in the next video. Now the mind is beginning its journey back to its Source. It can happen very quick, so be watchful, be alert, but relax relax relax. This kind of relaxed alertness is easily felt listening to a song you enjoy, as an example.

You can practice the first step or the second if you are comfortable by using Prasant’s other videos for meditation, self inquiry, awakening, enlightenment and Self Realization.

Ok, more to come soon. Be happy.