Inspiration: 10 Hours
Several years ago a spiritual mentor who has known my work for a long time thought I would be interested in a conference that took place in San Fransisco and dropped off some CD’s to listen to. Not knowing what to expect or why it would interest me as a songwriter, I put the first CD in, and pushed play. I was surprised to hear a rasp. A whisper! The speaker, Jon Kabat-Zinn, had lost his voice at the start of a 3 day conference. I felt his crisis, his need to still show up. I leaned in. Hooked. On the edge of my seat.
For the next 10 hours the CD’s played in my living room, in my car, washing the dishes, changing a diaper, picking up a preschooler. I began to listen — to a poet, a neuroscientist, a Buddhist and a monk. I began to imagine them in my mind, sitting together, in four chairs. Something beautiful was happening in that room. It was not lost to me that Art was sitting next to Science. That the spiritual practices of the East were sitting next to the wisdom of the West. I became curious and excited by what was happening in that room. What is going on here? What are they talking about?
For the next 10 hours I was introduced to the work of author Dr. Dan Siegel, the poet and essayist Diane Ackerman, a micro-biologist speaking of the ancient practice of mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn and an Irish poet/monk named John O’Donohue. One would speak of the latest implications of how our brains keep growing and changing throughout the lifespan as states that want to achieve integration. One would read a poem. One would lead a guided meditation or tell of a recent study in medicine. One would rouse into a laugh or a blessing. Occasionally a bowl would ring, a call to attention or order. It was the only sound other than the human voice.
I want to say so much about that rasp, the scratchy broken vocal chords, the practice of noticing the breathe, the rise and fall of their conversation. I want to hear again and again the permission to be in the moment.
It was the best 10 hour song I have ever heard.
© 2011 All Things Bloom.