I went to see Robert Plant last night at the Greek. It was such an extraordinary show on many levels. The combined strength and subtlety of his voice as an instrument is just mind boggling! He’s also a living example of integrity as an artist, making the music he feels compelled to make. The musicians he surrounds himself with are, themselves, artists with integrity, creating a complete package. The music takes you on a journey… spontaneous, alive, beautiful.
So, is it possible to improve on the experience of a show like that? How do you listen to Robert Plant with Pop Go Zen? How do you give yourself fully to the journey? Sometimes it’s easy. There’s nothing to do. You just go on the ride the band is taking you on and completely lose yourself to the experience. When it’s over you feel satisfied and fulfilled because you surrendered your pre-occupations and let your self be taken away. No problem.
Sometimes it’s challenging. No matter how much you would like to, you cannot let go of distractions in the mind or body. The temperature isn’t right or that person won’t shut up or you have to go to the bathroom but you don’t want to miss anything or you forgot to do that thing you were supposed to do today. Usually when you watch a live show you experience a combination of ease and distraction. If you feel a strong connection to the performer and music, that tips the scale and makes it easier to focus. But there is always room to go deeper and sustain focus for longer stretches of time. On this site I offer tips and strategies to do that, so you can get more and more fulfillment out of the listening experience and that can carry over into more and more of your life.
Does Music Meditation Sound Like Work?
Some people resist the idea of bringing meditation into an area of life like entertainment. It seems like hard work. I can understand feeling that way and I always tell my students that practice is optional. There are times you just want to decompress and not make any effort at all and the music allows you to recharge your batteries in that way.
But if you really stop to look at the amount of time you are able to spend getting lost in the music, you will find it’s not as often as you would like. If you really stop to notice how you are spending most of your time at a show, you will discover that there are many missed opportunities, even within one evening. Once you learn the skills, they are there for you. You can choose to use them or not. Until you learn the skills, you have no choice in the matter. Sometimes you get lucky and your experience is mostly gratifying. Sometimes you are distracted and preoccupied. When you develop the skills of basic mindfulness, you can make EITHER experience productive. You have skills that enable you to enrich your life, no matter what.