Tag Archives: lifelong learning

Naiveté Redux

Every true genius is bound to be naïve.  –Friedrich Schiller

My drumming education has begun!  The weekend I played at Ladies Rock Camp eight years ago, our drumming education was simply learning a couple of beats which could then be added to a song.  I’m not critical of the experience at all; there simply wasn’t time for more than very basic instruction.  I expected my drum education now to be similar – learn various beats and how to add them to the other music.  Wrong!

My first lesson was on how to set-up my drums to fit my body.  My husband had set them up for me when we moved last summer, but there were definitely adjustments to be made and I’m still not sure I have everything entirely right.  I’ll work on additional adjustments as I begin to play.  Then there was a lesson on how to tune the drums and how to hold the drumsticks.  Another lesson focused on reading musical notes for drums – what!!!???  I didn’t even know there was written music for drums!

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed – much like last month when I realized how naïve I was about what it takes to start a garden.  I’m going with Schiller’s quote, though, and believing it is okay to be a bit naïve.  I may not become a genius gardener or drummer, but I’m taking action and I’m learning.

I’m still learning.  –Michaelangelo at age 87

I Need a Mantra

After three weeks of almost daily meditation sessions, my mind still regularly runs away on its own tangents.  I thought having a mantra might help keep my focus.  I tried the traditional Hindu sacred syllable, “Om”, but it doesn’t hold spiritual magic for me and I just felt silly saying it (even in my head).  I then decided to come up with a few words, meaningful to me, that I could repeat.  Doing this on the fly during my meditation session (my mind running wild again), I came up with health (I’d been sick for three weeks at that point), joy (something I strive to recognize daily), love (no explanation needed), and creativity (a long-standing goal, a “someday” I see manifesting in different possibilities:  writing, card making, sewing, maybe even painting).

I like these four words as a mantra and it did immediately help my concentration when I focused on saying one with each breath.  However, I found myself playing games in my brain.  I’d say a word with each breath, then I’d say a word breathing in and another breathing out.  I found myself trying to make the words come out in a continual loop, rather than starting with health and proceeding, in order, with the others.  I tried starting with a word other than health and looping on from there.  Each of these thoughts led me off on another tangent of thought that wasn’t focused on breathing and mindfulness.

Maybe mindfulness meditation isn’t right for me or maybe it’s not the right beginning point for me.  I’ve decided I need to research the types of meditation.  I focused on mindfulness because that’s what first comes to mind when I think of meditation, but I know there are many other types.  I like the idea of lifelong learning, so…here we go again.  I’m not giving up, just learning and modifying.  Maybe my mantra should be “Never give up, never give up, never give up…”