A skilful pianist will always enjoy sitting simply at their instrument and experiencing the familiar pleasure of playing a single note – perhaps two notes, and very simply structured chords. They feel the weight of the keys beneath their fingers and savour the harmonic interplay of sounds.
This complete simplicity – the exact same experience as for someone who sits at a piano for the first time – is always a delight, even for experts. Both beginner and expert can enjoy the fruit of practice immediately – in the moment, in every moment.
The heart of mindfulness practice seems similar. Each of us can experience and enjoy, immediately, what is apparently quite a simple practice. And the simplest practice is something we can each be happy returning to, again and again, throughout our days.
A reference text in piano might tell us all that is known about the musical theory and technical skill of playing, but attempting to absorb such detail may confuse and bewilder us. In order to actually play, all we need to enjoy is practice – without judgment; and being kind to ourselves regarding our efforts.
At the outset it definitely helps to sit with someone who can explain the simple structures. And it helps enormously to practice with others. With others, everyone can learn from each-other and share the experience, ‘moving as a river together.’
Words by Kev Place