Meditation 411

May 26, 2015 Atlanta, Georgia, USA   In this series, Getting What You Want: Directing The Mind To Desired Ends, we will examine applying meditation techniques to train the mind and get better results. For this discussion to make sense, there should be a number of assumptions at the outset:   Our mental and emotional states affect our playing deeply. It is possible, with practice, to direct our mental and emotional states. Rules that apply to physical technique can be used for mental and emotional technique too. These rules can often appear illogical, contradictory, or counterintuitive. In each case, there will be ample anecdotal evidence that said technique does actually work.   What IS Meditation?   What, exactly, is meditation? Well, one could define it as the progressive refinement of conscious awareness. Its’ progression moves from merely calming the mind to improving focus, eventually developing one-pointed concentration, and ultimately, a state of such stillness, clarity, and bliss that it is sometimes called Nirvana. It is reportedly a state in which the meditator fully realizes the interconnectedness of all things.   While these lofty goals require a prodigious amount of effort and discipline, even the beginning stages of meditation practice can yield beneficial results you can use, and that’s what we’ll focus on here. Not to mention, let’s face it, my meditation practice is by these standards quite un-advanced, and some of these advanced practices I’m just not qualified to discuss (or instruct).   Where to start?   Okay, this I can help with. As we do this, remember: just as many techniques in drumming require slow diligent practice for...