Mark Terry

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Today's Buddha-Head Lesson

March 26, 2009
Apply it to your writing, apply it to guitar, apply it to your life. Or don't. This is from Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo.

"Here are three adages from the samurai on the spirit required to know the Way. Fix these in your heart as you train.

1. Don't ask, practice.
Some questions no one can answer but yourself. Practice properly and the answers will come to you in time. The only route to understanding the Way is through your own experience.

2. Seven times down, eight times up.
If you slip in your training, get up. Even should you think defeatist thoughts--'I can't learn this,' 'My hands aren't strong enough,' 'I'll never be any good'--never voice them aloud. Burn such thoughts from your mind before you make a single utterance.

The famed martial artist Bruce Lee was said to have done that exact thing: Whenever a negative thought came into his head, he would visualize writing the words down on a slip of paper and putting it to flames.

Apply this thinking to your own training.

3. The only opponent is within.
What matters on the path of Zen Guitar is not the obstacles we face but how we respond to them. Master your reaction to the unforeseen and unfortunate circumstance, and you will master the Way of Zen Guitar."

Mark Terry


Blogger spyscribbler said...

Hah! The first sounds like what I tell my student's parents. "Just practice, and all will be fixed!" No one believes me, though.

I am definitely my worst opponent!

Someone needs to write a book: Zen Piano!

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

All very true. Whether I could actually stick to these precepts, I'm not so sure. Probably the practice before asking -- I hate asking.

And yes, I am also my worst opponent. Wish I could beat others as easily as I beat myself!

7:01 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

There you go. Your next project. Become one with the white keys.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

"I've met the enemy and he is me" is a truism, as far as I'm concerned.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

In the black and the white keys are the yin and the yang of the music...

I'd buy a book on Zen piano.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

See Spy? One sale already. And since good music is about internal tension and resolution, and yin and yang is about internal tension...

9:21 AM  

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