This is the second stage of my personal Strategy for a Rich Life. Seek Tranquility.
I believe we have to actively seek it. There is just so much noise, confusion and out-right stress in the world that the quiet and still aspects can be drowned out. If we are to do good to others, to live compassionately, to share our gifts, to positively engage as World Citizens—-we need to come from a place of calm. And to do this requires some effort on our part. To seek tranquility.
How? How do we go about this? I believe “mindfulness” is key. Whatever it takes to achieve mindfulness. Crystals, astrology, meditation, I Ching, long walks, music, poetry, sacred writings. This is just part of a long list. I feel for certain that the important thing is to seek this sense of tranquility, achieve some degree of mindfulness, consciously slow down a bit. How does the 70s cliche’ go? Oh, yes: Stop and Smell the Roses. Most everyone loves roses. Not a bad idea, come to think of it.
Lately, I’ve become intrigued with “sleep music.” It is also called music for meditation, relaxation, calm. I am particularly enamored with the efforts in that direction by Max Richter. His 8 hour composition called “Sleep” is wonderful! He called it “a lullaby for a frenetic world, and a manifesto for a slower pace of existence.” I don’t think I could say it better than that.
So I devoted myself to creating my own composition of “Sleep.” It is nearly 2 hours long. It reflects my 2 years spent in India, as well as my 40 year involvement with Flamenco. I have imbedded a “bhajan,” a Hindu sacred song, in the piece. I learned it, along with the text, entitled “Aum Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram”, during the times I stayed at the Anandashram, in Kanhangad, South India many years ago. It is the ashram of a great Saint of India named Swami Ramdas, Papa Ramdas, no relation to the American-born, former Harvard professor by the same name. We chanted this bhajan and mantra each evening and I derived great peace from it. Happily, it recurred to me, in it’s entirety, when I began thinking seriously about seeking tranquility and writing music to help with that.
Perhaps the most sacred “palo,” or flamenco form, is one called Siguiriyas. I created my piece called “Contemplation” around this palo. There is a carefully imbedded and deconstructed Siguiriyas in my new creation, as well. Lastly, there is a thread of Soleares, the palo of aloneness, throughout.
This journey has been one of discovering deep peace, personally. I am so happy to share my Sleep Music.