Archive for July, 2015

How to become a virtuoso of life

July.30. 2015

My life has been defined by one mission, achieving virtuosity in life.

Virtuosity to me simply means mastery, understanding what it takes to do something easily and effortlessly.

The key word here is effortless.

Effortless does not mean without effort, it means not having to exert more effort than you have to.

For example, when I play guitar, there is absolutely no effort involved at all.

I simply pick up the guitar and the fingers are moving about on the strings by themselves. I am like an observer watching them do their thing.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no effort in my fingers.

It just means that the effort is so minimal it seems effortless.

How did I develop this effortless touch?

From years of playing.

Years of experience have taught me exactly how much force to exert to pluck the strings and that’s exactly what I do.

I exert the energy required and not one ounce more.

My search for virtuosity led me to identify the basic components that must be present before virtuosity can occur

The discovery became the basis for my first book, the Art of Virtuosity.

In that book, I listed the necessary conditions for virtuosity to occur.

These are lightness of touch, looseness of body, fluidity of movement, rhythm, economy and release.

They are universal principles of virtuosity, present in all manifestations of virtuosity.

Take painting for instance.

A good painter is defined as someone who has mastered a light, fluid, rhythmic and economical touch in his brush strokes.

Have you ever seen a master painter with a heavy clumsy touch?

Or for that matter, a martial artist?

Or an athlete?

Even in boxing, a pugilistic art based on brute force, consider Mohammed Ali’s famous line, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Look at any virtuoso and you will see the same qualities in their movements.

In life, I’ve found the same conditions and attributes to be true.

In life, to achieve mastery, one must also move lightly, fluidly with grace and rhythm, and with economy.

These are all necessary conditions if you want to live an effortless life.

Next, some ideas on how to achieve effortlessness in life.

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Three stages

July.25. 2015

The search for wisdom and truth, I’ve found, goes through three stages.

The first stage is the stage of externals.

Here you’re preoccupied with appearances, with how things look rather than what they are.

This is the stage of rules and rituals, of formulas, and magical incantations. As long as you perform all these externals well, you feel you’ll be okay.

In religion, it’s mostly about following strict rules religiously. (Now you know where the word ‘religion’ comes from.)

And condemning all others who don’t share the same blind adherence to these rules as you.

But the preoccupation with appearance is not just a religious phenomenon.

You find it everywhere, including the rarefied world of guitar playing

Where many self-professed experts will try to convince you that they have the keys to guitar heaven and they will try to impose their rigid rules on ‘correct’ guitar playing on you.

The modus operandi is the same.

If you follow their rules, you’re ‘saved.’

If you don’t, you’re an infidel, to be cast into their guitar hell.

This stage is ruled by fear and ignorance.

Fear because the punishment for non-compliance can be brutal.

And ignorance because to maintain their hold on you, these self-appointed guardians of ‘truth’ will keep you in darkness and ignorance.

Because they know that if you ever find the truth, their little racket is over.

The second stage is the stage of internals.

This is the stage of experience.

With experience, you begin to understand that there are more than externals.

There’re internals in everything and if the externals do not reflect the internals, it’s all a sham.

At this stage, you begin to see though all the hype, all the hypocrisy.

You start to question.

And you begin to realize that behind all the smiles and rituals and rules, there’s something a little less wholesome.

And that the glossy externals are really a cover for incompetence at best and more sinister intentions at worst.

If you’re a guitar player, you realize that it doesn’t really matter how you look, more important is what’s coming out from your fingers.

If you look the model picture of the ‘perfect’ player but you sound like crap, well, time to focus on your internals.

Or if you see pastors spewing their Sunday fire and brimstone driving their fancy cars and cavorting with their glamorous sidekicks, well time to check out their internals.

In other words, you begin to focus on the real as opposed to the phony.

The substance as opposed to the superficial.

And the third stage?

Well, this stage is beyond words, it’s beyond explanations.

You’ll have to experience it to know it.

All I can say is that once you experience it, everything else will be of little consequence.

The paradox of l energy

July.13. 2015

You’re probably saying, “Now wait a minute, didn’t you say that a love-energy filled life is effortless?

So what’s this about having to put in effort to spread its energy around?”

That’s the paradox about the energy of love.

It’s no effort at all if that energy comes from the heart, but if you have to force it, then it’s a lot of effort.

I think I’ve mentioned it before.

If you have to force yourself to practice the guitar, then it’s a lot of effort.

But if you truly love playing it, it’s a joy.

The same is true of any other expression of love’s energy.

If you truly love someone, your expression of that energy will be effortless, but if you’re doing it simply because you feel you have to, it can require some real effort.

But as with everything else, if you persist and keep on doing it, you will find that over time, that expression will become completely natural and soon, all that energy will come pouring out of your heart effortlessly.

The key to a good life

July.12. 2015

Understanding how the energy of love operates is the key to a good life.

Because then you’ll be able to understand its flow in your life, you can precisely fine-tune how much of it you want in your life.

In other words, it puts you in the driver’s seat.

And it takes the blame out of things.

Because you know that its flow is completely determined by you, how much you get is a direct result of how much you put in.

If you feel you’re not getting enough of its energy, now you know why.

If you feel lonely and neglected, now you know why.

If you feel like everyone’s avoiding you and it’s not fair, why is that guy so popular, now you know why.

If you feel everyone in the office hates your guts, now you know why.

Instead of feeling bitter and drowning yourself in self-pity and blaming others for their lack of caring, you know what you need to do.

But of course it’s easier to blame.

(Which is why most people take that route.)

Because spreading love energy around you requires effort, quite a bit of effort, especially if you haven’t made much of an attempt at it before.

And conversely, if life is a breeze, and goodwill and blessings follow you everywhere you go, and whatever you want to accomplish is accomplished without much effort, you also know why.

In fact, you probably don’t need me to tell you this, you already know.