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This month, I started playing guitar again after a year long break. It was very difficult at first. My hands and fingers felt as if they were asleep, ignoring where my mind clearly pointed them to go. It was frustrating – especially since I was looking forward to learning a specific new song. I find its melody very beautiful and I was looking forward to feeling it come to life in my own two hands.
The next day, I tried again. My fingers were still sleepwalking. They were slow and imprecise. The frustration came up again. In the past, I had been able to play songs without thinking and now, with my attention strongly focused, I couldn’t do it any more. This time, however, I could hear bits of the melody. Maybe a second or two at a time. It was there, underneath the buzzing and flat sounding strings.
Day after day, I sat down for a few minutes to keep trying and slowly the melody came out of hiding. Little by little, my fingers woke up. What had seemed almost impossible the previous day was more possible today. I could play the song – maybe not immediately or perfectly but it was happening little by little, even when it felt like it wasn’t. I just needed to retrain my hands. Doing so with kindness and a sense of humor made it more enjoyable.
Meditation is no different. The more we practice, the more we can wake ourselves up little by little. If we stick with our practice and let it be however it is, our inner melody, our calm and clarity, will be revealed more and more.
It’s happening, even when it feels like it isnt.