Letters to a Young Musician – 2

02009-02-18 | Letters to a Young Musician | 0 comments

Dear Friend,

To listen with a mind that flows freely is to listen with your whole body. In Western thought we often separate Body and Brain. But is that correct?

I think Mind happens where Body and Brain meet.

In a groundbreaking New York Times story, Sandra Blakeslee disclosed that new scientific evidence is giving credence to the notion that the human body actually possesses two centers to process knowledge and dictate physical actions. Blakeslee reports:

[Scientists say] that the body has two brains–the familiar one encased in the skull and a lesser known but vitally important one found in the human gut….The gut’s brain, known as the enteric nervous system, is located in sheaths of tissue lining the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. Considered a single entity, it is a network of neurons, neurotransmitters and proteins that zap messages between neurons, support cells like those found in the brain proper and a complex circuitry that enables it to act independently, learn, remember, and as the saying goes, produce gut feelings.

Musicians can learn to perform with their whole body, that is to follow the flow of the music with their mind, using the brain, ears, body and their “gut”. Eventually we can learn to LIVE with our whole body – if we are willing to do the training. The main obstacle is our own ego/brain that can get in the way by jealously guarding the self it has created. There is nothing to fear but fear itself, and there is nothing separating us from life itself but our own small selves…

Now check out the definitions of Hara and Qi.

Go with your gut! And integrate Body and Brain through your music.

And remember to practice.

(Reference: “Complex and Hidden Brain in the Gut Makes Cramps, Butterflies, and Valium,” Sandra Blakeslee. New York Times, Tuesday, January 23, 1996. p. B5)

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