Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quiet Time

This is from the Robert Fripp Diary of June 6, 2010:

Posted by (me) eclecticguy on June 03, 2010

I come to praise the morning sitting and to ask a few questions. In my very brief exposure to this practice, I have to say that it is remarkable in every way. The morning sitting has become part of my routine for the past few months and I have noticed some things going on which do not concern me, but rather intrigue me… Does it sound like I’m going in the right direction?
And one final plea: has Robert ever recorded his teaching of this?

When he led our group through this, it was marvelous. Personally, I think this would be helpful to others who have not experienced it and to preserve it for posterity…

His answer:

“It is not possible to exaggerate the importance of the morning sitting. Life without it is rather like trying to walk without legs.
It is to be introduced in person, for several reasons, so a recorded and/or written introduction does not have the same effect. Its preservation in posterity is its practice. And the quick answer to Mr. EclecticGuy is, yes.”

Yes. That is me, eclecticguy, being answered by the mighty Fripp. Do I seek his attention? Hell yes. Was I being sincere? Oh lord, yes. Let me explain.

The morning sitting?

Back in February of ’08, Fripp and the Crafties held a four-day introduction to Guitar Craft. One of the things that have remained with me, besides the right hand picking technique ideas, is the morning sitting.

The morning sitting is simply to find a quiet place, sit in a chair and mentally focus on the parts of the body that usually harbor tension and systematically relax each one until a total bodily unity is felt. Well, that’s my definition anyway. This has nothing to do with spirituality, God or angels in the architecture. It’s simple biofeedback. And baby, it’s beautiful. I first time I actually felt like I was getting real results, it was like I was floating. Traditional education does not give us any tools for dealing for our physical, emotional or psychological well-being. This seems to me to be a very useful tool for one element of creating balance.

Fripp recommends a half an hour and on the course we met every morning at 7 to sit in utter quiet. (Once you got past that the man who has been a part of King Crimson for decades was sitting mere feet away from you, the relaxing and focus came easily. The impact of this man’s presence in total silence was something to experience.) I have not yet reached a commitment level where I rise before work to get in a full half-hour, but I have found that I can achieve total relaxation within fifteen minutes. My wife calls it my “quiet time.”

I will not bore you with endless details, but I tell you that this short little relaxation/meditation exercise has changed so much. This has spilled over into public performance. While the Velvet Gypsies were doing their bit for Festivall, I could sense when tension was beginning to build in parts of my body. Tension and nerves are the enemies of the performer who must believe in his/her own abilities and the music that’s being presented. If there is any doubt, this can effectively cripple the player. I know this all too well.

I would have liked to have known about this twenty years ago, but maybe my know-it-all youthful self would have just been uncomfortable with any real self-discovery techniques. We are educated, but remain so fundamentally ignorant about our own bodies and natures.

If anyone expresses genuine interest, I will post the process I go through.

Otherwise, you’ll have to guru on yer own, lads.

No comments: