So recently I went for a talk on the wonders of meditation by a particular famous guru from India.
After having gone through a rather turbulent 20s, I seek to attain inner peace within as I welcome my big three-o this year. This explained why, being such a skeptic on religious and spiritual affairs, I went for the talk.
During the talk, the guru guided us through a 20-minute meditation session, and it was after that the realization struck me.
Actually, I have been going for weekly meditation sessions all along, for the past decade. As I step into the studio with a group of like-minded people twice a week, we start off by breathing and stretching exercises. That prepares our mind and body for meditation ‘training’.
And then meditation commences: we focus on making sounds, unifying those sounds, using our brains, minds and ears to do so, as we try to achieve a harmonious blend (well not the music, per se, but the ensemble-ship). We do all these at the same time. We train ourselves to be mindful of our own sound, of the sound made by the person beside us, and of the choir as a whole. Sometimes we get distracted and thrown off by a stray quartertone here, or a triplet out of place, flared tempers and emotional outbursts; but we will always find ourselves at the start of the practice again – focus on the music, sing with others, repeat this rehearsal after rehearsal.
On hindsight, singing with this choir has trained me well in keeping my focus, in being mindful of the moment, and appreciating the present. Sometimes I lose sight of these seemingly trivial concepts as I get carried away by the negative emotions that arise as a reflex reaction to everyday life and things. And coming to these weekly rehearsals, had helped me to remember and to train these skills, all of which I shall put in practice in my meditation outside of choir, in my life, and in the endless flow of moments in time.
And also, to carry me through the entire 90 minutes of Flood of Beauty.