You may have tried energy-work modalities such as acupuncture, Ayurveda, feng shui, or the esoteric arts of reiki and mediumship. All of these practices involve connecting with unseen energies. Feeling a deep connection in your music is often referred to as “flow.” But what is flow? Is it an energy? In an effort to answer these questions, it may be helpful to examine practices that work with energy.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves needles inserted into the skin at certain “acupoints” in order to allow the free flow of qi through the body, facilitating good health and healing. You may recognize the word “qi” from the practice of qi gong. Qi, like prana in yoga, is defined as the energy of life force. Acupoints occur in “meridians” which are energy centers located throughout the body. The energy centers in the ayurvedic practice of yoga are called “chakras.” Both modalities involve touch, breath and physical movements to engage the function of these energy centers.
Before putting my house on the market about nine years ago, I read the book Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Karen Rauch Carter. Even though I did not nearly understand the full breadth of feng shui, the feeling in the home became more pleasant. Ironically, the person who eventually bought the house practiced feng shui herself and immediately recognized its influence on the decor and on the layout in each room.
I think that musicians naturally work with energy. Over the years I have met several musicians who were either amateur or professional “light workers,” for instance, working as life coaches or reiki practitioners. Early in my career, having grown up in a very traditional Protestant-based belief system, some of the musicians I met seemed superstitious. Looking back, I understand now that having the frequency of violin music constantly coursing through one’s whole body in such an intimate and prolific way, could make a violinist prone to “feeling” energies.
At this point I need to say more about energy. The word probably brings up feelings of paying one’s electric bill and filling up the gas tank. In my mind’s eye I am seeing Benjamin Franklin discovering electricity via lightening. The energy I mean to get at in this discussion is more akin to qi, prana, the flow of energy in one’s body and home, and auric energy, the energy emanating from the body.
I believe that flow in music is another way of experiencing these energies. Perhaps it can be thought of as the feng shui of your music making. When one experiences flow, energy flows freely through one’s instrument and sound uninhibited. When we hear a transcendent musical performance, it feels like a spiritual experience. Is it also an energetic experience? I’m hearing shamanic practitioner, Joyce St. Germaine’s voice in my head saying “of course it is!”
How can musicians reach flow more easily and more reliably? For most of my professional career, flow has seemed like something elusive and mostly unattainable except for true virtuosos. However, jazz musicians seem to experience it on a more regular basis. Because of the improvisatory nature of their music, jazz musicians are doing more living in the moment which is talked about a lot in reference to mindfulness. As a classical musician, flow seemed to be like a Shangri-La that I would be lucky to experience once or twice in a lifetime but with no idea how to recreate it.
The suggestion on this card is to try trance work, hypnosis and mediation to calm the mind. Moving beyond the mind’s chatter makes possible a greater connection with the inspiration of one’s higher self. I posit here that there may be a benefit to trying out other energetic practices such as qi gong and yoga, environmental energy work such as feng shui, or taking a deep dive into your spirituality with one of the esoteric arts. Doing so may help your energetic system discover the “yellow brick road” to the Shambala of your music.
The Inspiration for Violinists card deck
This “trance” card is part of a 50 card deck. Every card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.