What a joy was my daughters' piano recital!
The program typically began with simple tunes played by younger and newer students, the pieces growing with crescendo in intricacy with the experience of the performer. The first performer was perhaps five years old. She deliberately approached the piano, book in hand. She sat down, adjusted the bench, glanced toward her teacher, and began to play "Ode To Joy." Her piece lasted 37 seconds, and while both hands were playing, each note was played on a single key. Despite its simplicity, what we heard was familiar and beautiful. And what I saw was focus and mindfulness. The young performer's eyes were fixed on the page and one could almost see the wheels spinning in her head as she transformed the notes into beautiful music. The same was true of each performer. Ironically, as the complexity of the pieces grew, so did the ease of the performer.
It is said that it takes 10,000 hours to become expert at anything. Spending one hour a day practicing the piano would require one to spend 75 years practicing in order to become an expert. And yet, the children who performed were all quite expert at making beautiful music. Each had a level of mastery for the art of playing the piano. As the mastery increased with experience - practice and performance - the sense of calm in the performers also increased; the focus and mindfulness were ever present. As was the joy.
As I continue my practice of living a joyful life, my mastery has increased with experience, as my daily practice has made made me naturally mindful, and I am more at ease letting my internal joy guide my practice. It wasn't always so; however, being mindful and focused have kept me on the path of a life well lived through joy. I wish the same for you.
How's your practice?
author of "JOY"