A quick note before I go.
No need to get into lengthy explanations now. Keep it brief. Maybe some anecdotes. A few thoughts. The experience is everything. Talking about it, is not “It”.
I remember, years ago, in the winter of 2006-07. I was composing some music at the Leighton Artists Colony, at the Banff Centre For The Arts in the amazing Canadian Rockies. Something happened there. A good thing. I remember taking the shuttle from Calgary Airport to Banff National Park. A 2-hour trip. I was the only passenger. The driver lectured about the history of the area, the First Nations. He used to be a tour guide. Slowly, I saw the mountains growing bigger… and my heart melted. I wanted to cry. It felt like coming home. And I had been away too long.
I planned to stay for 3 weeks. A long period so it seemed. A luxury I thought. Talking to the few other artists in residence there, they thought I was crazy. A painter from Alaska, Jo Going, took out 6 months to produce some new work. Gail Scott, a writer from Montreal, worked on her new book, for several months.
The Leighton Residency was absolute bliss. Nine gorgeous custom build studios to inspire creativity. I got the Valentine Studio, especially build for composers, with a grand piano and stunning surroundings. Beautiful. So the first week I did what I was used to do. Work. A lot. Writing 12 hours a day. I hardly went out for a walk. It was freezing !
And then the second week, I remember pausing for a moment, looking through the large windows, into the woods. It was snowing gently. Millions of snowflakes mindfully moving through the trees in slow motion… Silence. It was so quiet I could hear the inner sounds of my own body… What a racket !
And then a deer appeared, and lay down in the soft whiteness… And my heart melted again. Everything stopped. From then on I hardly worked at all. It didn’t seem to make much sense anymore. I would just sit there, for hours at a time, gazing through the windows, in awe of so much beauty. And I would listen, listen to the wisdom of the Silence.
I’m off tomorrow for a few days. Yoga retreat. Teaching. Detoxing. Not the same as complete Silence. But a good step in the right direction. Nature. Meditation. Simple healthy food. Hatha Yoga. Chanting. Good company. I think the only thing that can be like Silence – for me – is chanting, singing. Or humming. It reduces the chatter in the Mind. It feels so nice. It melts the heart.
Thanks for visiting and reading this post. Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts…
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