Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Silence Between The Notes.

"Wolfgang Mozart, one of the most brilliant, prolific composers of all time, said that music exists “not in the notes,” but rather, “in the silence between them.” Without the off-beats—the silent, restful moments—we would hear no sound."

Tonight my heart is full.

You know the way sometimes there is a slow accumulation of tiny things, small moments of awareness that drop into a pool in your unconscious over a period of time, until either the pool overflows and begins to seep into your conscious mind, or maybe they become a softly glowing thread that you gradually become aware of, there when you look up, like a beautiful bright web of light all around you?
For days now I have had a feeling as though I walk around trailing a string of bright balloons above me that I somehow cannot grasp, that still bob behind me every time I turn to try and see them.
I could not pin down what exactly it was that was settling inside me, what it was I wanted to write about.

Last night I sat in the growing dark, saw the sun sink behind the steadfast mountains, the scent of incense drifted in from another part of the house. Jay is meditating. A soothing silence settles around the house. A distinctive quiet that allows soft voices to surface out of the whirl that has been my week.

And so, it begins to come together. As I sit, I become aware of my aching limbs, tired after the morning's challenging yoga class, and coupled as it is with words from one of my daily reads  (that I quoted at the beginning here) that has stayed with me all day, I understand.

I think what has found me is the beginnings of Mindfulness. An old and long-forgotten friend.

It definitely has to do with my now twice weekly yoga, (and whatever I can manage in between), and what this has brought me aside from the obvious physical.
A reaching out, for similar minds, for a plain on which to rest, to replenish myself, for people and places that fortify and sustain me in my daily rush, that refrain from negativity.
It is in what I seek out to read, whether books or blogs or online articles or what pages I choose to follow on facebook and in doing so choosing what is there each day on my wall.
It is in the books that Jay is reading, that lie on bedside table and on couches.
It is in the conversations we are having, the conversations I am having with others. That moment in an exchange with someone when a link is made and a spark happens and even if you don't know it immediately, that moment of warmth, of reassurance is there between you.

Yesterday evening I read this article that somehow crystallized it for me. I see now that, certainly not every time, but increasingly so, as I go through my day my awareness of each thing I do, the way each person interacts with me and I with them, whether my child, a friend or a stranger, is somehow slowed down, so I see each each exchange, each action with Presence Of Mind. And isn't that Mindfulness? And like muscle memory in yoga, there is a memory in my mind that this sits neatly and comfortably into. I have done this before. It's good to see you, my old friend.

I am not fully clear, fully aware, and may never achieve this, but the opening lines of the above linked article just about sums it up: "I can't tell you exactly when it occurred. My shift, I mean. My transition from being someone who does yoga to being someone who believes yoga, imbibes yoga, embodies yoga."

And this belief, for me, also applies to Mindfulness. I believe Mindfulness. I believe it to be something more positively powerful than we can imagine.

 "It’s now—as we interact with our children, as we smile at a stranger, as we choose to forgive—that our practice radiates and resonates."  

As we interact with our children. As we smile at a stranger. As we choose to forgive.

As we choose.


Poetry24 said...

I think I understand, Ciara. Sometimes, when I feel particularly small in the scheme of things, I remember, there never was a time when I didn't exist and, there never will be a time when I'll cease to exist.

Have you ever read 'The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying'?

Ciara Brehony said...

I find it amazing that I haven't, Martin! But it's now just moved up my to-read list, thank you!

Mimi said...

Hi Ciara, just want you to know how much this post is resonating with me, here, now, today.
I feel that I'm breathing differently, more fully, that my whole awareness and being has, in one way, come down a level, and yet gone up a notch too. As though I'm wholly present in my own life at this time. And that includes interactions,conversations, observations.
I put it down to summer (maybe wrongly), the removal of distractions/activities/work.
It does make one wonder, though, what's the point of all the classes/ workshops/practice sessions etc.?
Finally, and sorry for such a long comment, the Mozart quote is just perfect. Apart from my love for his music (I play his horn concertos,over and over, never tire of a single note)I just think he was a genius who will live on forever. Sounds like you're having a good summer, I'm pleased for you.

Ciara Brehony said...

Mimi, at the moment I cannot fit meditation into my life, but I can fit yoga in. I believe any regular practice of ANYTHING that positively enhances our lives, BECOMES a meditation, and the point of all those classes etc is to REMIND us! Call it Mindfulness, or Living In The Moment, or what you will, but if it brings us more awareness then that, surely, is a good thing?
So good to hear you are feeling this way, and even if it is the summer that allows it, the fact is you are AWARE of it, and that is huge. :-)

Rebecca S. said...

I believe that yoga is as much for the body as it is for the mind. I only get to go once a week, but that once is a time when I can let go and just live in each pose - I feel put back together after each session. Sometimes I do feel like it helps keep my head on, particularly when I've been fretting, as I am wont to do.

I loved your teenager post, too. It does creep up on you, and I now have three beautiful changelings to let live and to guide, and to provide a loving landing place for. (If you ever come across a comic book called 'Zits'you might enjoy it as a mother of music loving teenagers who take up a lot of room. I do!)

GourmetGirlfriend said...

I LOVED this post.
For lots of reasons.
I loved that you give yourself time to seek out the feelings you have.
I love that you live with meaning.
I love that you make time to explore the joy that life gives you.
I love that you live with such SOUL.
I love it because I know all too well that the day to day busyness of being a mumma to many, a wife to one, a daughter, a friend.....all these things as magical and wonderful as they are what sometimes lead to us blurring the ability to find what it is that gives us joy.
Those things don't have to be big, in fact sometimes they are things mundane to others....but it is really only being mindful that allows us the clarity to see and the rewards of this are immeasurable.
Bless you Ciara for finding the silence between.

Ciara Brehony said...

Rebecca, I love what you said, you 'feel put back together', I know exactly what you mean. I think that very feeling is an essential part of what I am talking about. When we are present in, and aware of, our bodies, it brings us into the moment so much more readily.
And I'll be checking out Zits, thank you! :-)

Ciara Brehony said...

Ruth, I love that you get this! And you are right, it really is in the mundane that Beauty lies, all we need to do is remember to pause and savour it.
We owe it to ourselves, and our children, to keep a gentle hold on the source of our own Joy, for that is what nourishes us ultimately, and in turn nourishes them. :-)

yew tree nights said...

I love this... the way this post, the rhythm of words and the pictures, encourages the very mindfulness you are describing. It makes me really happy to read; glad for you, and appreciative of the reminder to take the time and find that state of mind. Reminders of that sort are always good... my friend told me once that according to the Muslim world view, human beings are considered to be "the forgetful ones"... too, too true. So thank you, these little re-acquaintances are so important!

Stephanie V said...

Thank you for a beautiful post that went straight to my heart.

bright star said...

I really enjoyed this post,loved the sentiments and charming photos. Thanks.

Rain said...

I love this. It reminds me that I must slow down in order to remember this. I forget it as my pace quickens and practical life takes over.

maja said...

thanks to you as well.

Ciara Brehony said...

Thank you all. So glad this means something to you! Yes, to slow down, and to remember. :-) Cxx

Anonymous said...

What gorgeous photos and thoughts. A good reminder to slow down before school and work starts up again.

Mimi said...

Hi ciara, me again! I came by to tell you that I nominated this post for Post of the Week at Hilary's blog, and it's up! I hope that's ok with you.
Here's the link

and now realise my previous comment re classes came out all wrong. I meant what's the point of classes etc for the kids, you know the running around that we do in term time.
But on reflection, you're right, anything that we do to keep us in the moment, calm, is a good thing, and that includes summer, when we get it!
Congrats on your POTW!

Pauline said...

A wonderful post on how to slip into mindfulness. My daughter and I call those bright balloon recognitions "happy moments" and often when we're talking with one another we stop to say, "Oooo,happy moment!" as that lovely wash of recognition and belonging sweeps through us.

Bossy Betty said...

Just beautiful!

Congrats on your POTW!

Siofra said...

It's a lovely post Ciara, very gentle and inspiring. Funny, your tea picture reminds me of the picture I took of the silver tea set in Tangiers...

Ciara Brehony said...

Mimi, THANK YOU!! Wow, I am honoured. And a warm hello to any new readers via The Smitten Image, so lovely to have you here.

Síofra, the tea picture, if you remember, is from our original blogging meeting, not the most recent one, as it just said so much about what it's like hanging out with Siofra! I'm so delighted to have a whole new slant (blogging) to our friendship! :-)