Many teachers declare that the moment you become aware, the moment you wake up “from sleep” you are then awake.
Last night I saw one of my absolute favorite guitarists on the planet, and as I arrived noticed strange, uncomfortable feelings inside. I saw that I wanted to be the guy who was noticed, I longed for better gigs, more attention, and was chomping at the bit to start a conversation with someone about “me and my playing” even though I was an audience member at someone’s gig!
Ahh! Sounds like the ego to me…
Couldn’t I just for once sit and appreciate someone else? Couldn’t I let them be appreciated and enjoy what they were offering? Couldn’t I be thankful that they were just excellent? “What the heck is going on here?” I thought.
On my last European tour – I took stock of my inner feelings when people complimented me after a gig. I asked myself “so this is what I am yearning for so badly?”
So – I internally asked myself “What do I do?”, as I anticipated the first song and chatted with people at the table where I was sitting. Then I got very quiet. I listened more than I spoke to the other concert goers, and noticed the involuntary nature of this little screaming impulse inside. I observed the guts churning.
And then I reflected on everyone else walking through life getting these little surges of anxiety, or a need to “prove”, to “show everyone”, and to “be special” – just like what I was feeling. The impulse of the ego comes in different packages with different scenarios, but this behavior of the human character and psyche just leads to unhappiness and is basically a flawed way of looking from the inside out.
Here was the lesson, special delivery. The Universe brought me right to my weak point, right to the thing I need to learn. Not intellectually, but through a gripping feeling.
When I saw this impulse, this ego wanting love and approval, to be the best, to be noticed, and ultimately to survive – I sat still, breathed slowly, watched and listened – and allowed the feeling to be there. I said “thank you” for the awareness to allow and see the impulse and not “run with the feeling” and think more, more more.
Zane Charron says
I know the feeling. Since I’ve been playing professionally I’ve had to think ALOT about self-promotion, making posters and flyers, PR stuff, interviews, etc, as well as taking compliments from the audience. All my life I’ve never had any kind of ego whatsoever, always knowing that there are a helluva lot of other guitarists out there better than me. But I’ve been finding it creeping in during the last couple of years, wanting to talk about me, me, me and developing the first, tiny signs of an ego. And I’ve been beating it back best I can. I hate people with giant egos.
I would like to refer you to http://www.zenhabits.com, with many tips especially on how to become more aware and “be one” with the present. Highly recommended!
BTW i really love your guitar playing (on youtube)!
oops, the link should have been http://www.zenhabits.net , sorry about that!