The Mindful Guitarist February 4, 2015
My friend Michael DeLalla‘s first book
is about to be HAS BEEN born: The Mindful Guitarist.
Michael is not only one of the finest fingerstyle guitarists I have ever heard, he possesses a deep soul that shines through his music, along with a keen and quixotic mind.
This book is not only for guitar players. Michael also teaches World Music and Myth to community college students, and he knows how to weave things together. The way this book riffs on the creative process and the concrete development of mindful attention to enhance skills makes its insights accessible to anyone. Its publication will add to the blessings of the world.
Because I see this potential, I donated the proceeds of my last dance calling gig to his Kickstarter campaign.
To hear some of Michael’s exquisite guitar playing, read a snippet of the book, and find a link to his time-limited Kickstarter campaign, click here to go to Falling Mountain Music.
If you’re looking for a place to contribute that last bit of charitable gift money burning a hole in your pocket before the tax man comes, this would be a darned good choice. Support an independent musician and a new interdisciplinary book in one swell foop. You will also get loads of neat perks back, like CDs.
(I have only plugged one fundraiser before this – the attempt to keep my then-employer, the most excellent Audubon Expedition Institute (AEI), alive. –Well, and several for the Girl Scouts, with whom I was forced into junior cookie capitalism. But that’s different. The point is, believe me, this project is worthy.)
And thanks for mindfully listening to whatever in this world is making music, whether full moon crickets, a screeching bus, the contented snore of an old dog, or your own heartbeat.
POSTSCRIPT 1/23/2017: The book is out, and is excellent.
post-perspective April 5, 2010
Writing these posts about perspective is reminding me to attend, attend, attend.
The implications are so far-reaching.
Today’s example: I like to read while eating, but today I’m realizing how insulting my lack of attention is to the beings whose bodies make this food; who gave their lives so that mine might continue. Also, this multitasking likely contributes to my being not so skinny, since when we’re unconsciously shoveling it in, we don’t notice we’re satisfied. And to top it off, I’m also not giving proper attention to the wonderful gift of words from the minds of my favorite writers.
So this afternoon, just now, I ate outside and put down my book. Instead, I felt the sun and looked at the clouds while smelling and tasting and feeling the textures of the good vegies and rice and tempeh and garlic pickle as I ate, feeling all of this invigorate me.
Lots of ‘ands’ here!
Wait, here’s one more: And as I was eating, this crazy bird kept looking at me from atop a nearby roof. Then she flew over and landed on the fence right by my head, peered down, and deliberately gazed into my eyes. I tell you, I doubt that would have happened were I still in the world of my book; and even if it had, I would not have noticed.
That moment felt like a gift; a pat on the head from the universe, training me. Good girl! Nice job!
Meta-observation: I think I’m finally learning how to blog. Short is okay! Man, it’s rough overcoming the learned tyranny of academia, where everything must be perfect; never show anything until at least the third draft, etc. Some of the stuff I’ll post here will indeed be very well-thought-out; I care about craft and beauty. But it’s also very cool to just say something quickly, like a conversation with you, O mysterious one who is reading this now, in my future. (Twilight Zone music here.)
You’ll know the difference and will be able to find what you desire.
And everything will still be spelled right.