The present moment

Saturday, 03.28.2020

Foto: Ina Aydogan

"A while ago I gave an interview that will be published in may. The journalist - who is not a music journalist - asked this interesting question: „How do you think, being a musician and teaching music is relevant for society?“
Luckily it’s a question I’ve been asking myself regularly for many years and I could answer right away: It is relevant for society because it gives me stability.
Being able to surrender to music, to playing piano prevents me from getting anxious, desperate and from losing myself in fear and worries given what is happening in the world around me all the time.
These days I can say that even louder than ever!
The stability I get from playing piano results from me experiencing the present moment.
And in moments of presence there is usually no space for fear, desperation, anxiety. There happens a lot on a physical level: the nervous system relaxes, tensions release, circulation gets better, breathing deeper - the way our brains work is different! (and: it strengthens our immune system!).
I am also aware of this when I’m teaching and so I spend this day teaching my students, via video conference. I think we are all really enjoying it so far, talking about music, consciously focussing our attention, digging deep. We are present in the moment!
And I think - no, actually I know - that the reason why people attend concerts is that they are looking for this experience of presence. Maybe they are not fully aware of it.. but  lately I got a lot of feedback after my concerts expressing exactly that. People said things like: they didn’t think about anything else for the whole concert, they could relax, they were deeply touched and could feel their emotions, they could dream, they could escape their daily business for a while..
There is nothing more valuable then being present!
Neither am I ignoring what is going on right now - I’m fully aware of all the challenges we are facing. But dealing with them, finding solutions, adapting to the situation is so much easier with inner stability.
Nor am I saying that this is easy. I struggle a lot myself, every day. But so far I managed to pull the wheel around - with the tools I have - everyday. Sometimes even several times ;)
So, go on making your art (art = things that make you experience presence): play, paint, write, read, knit, cook, love, dance, laugh, invent….
Trust that it is part of the solution!"

V.Z.

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