Saturday, November 14, 2009

Building Community Through Exploring Your Own Voice

"All the world needs now is love sweet love". And harmony sweet harmony.

Through the work we have been doing this fall in the Lavocezensing Women's A Capella Group Workshops, I am beginning to hear the music in a new way. To connect with others deeply we must listen well, and to listen and truly hear we must allow space within ourselves, around our own thoughts and ideas. To feel comfortable enough to do this it helps to first focus on listening to ourselves in a meaningful way. Such inner listening is the territory of musicians but anyone can learn to do this. And exploring the musical qualities of the voice is a great way to develop a greater sensitivity to ourselves and then to others. Whether or not you consider yourself a singer, you can develop the "musical qualities" within your own voice. Such development will bring you more understanding of yourself and has the possibility to expand your expressive abilities with others. What do you think?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Equanimity or Equality?

Here are some zen thoughts to consider for singers and non-singers alike:

Which is more important to you, equanimity or equality? Definitions are below

Which do you think would be most effective in solving the problems in the world?

Equanimity describes the unattached awareness of one's experience as a result of perceiving the impermanence of momentary reality. It is a peace of mind and abiding calmness that cannot be shaken by any grade of unfortunate circumstance. It is a concept promoted by several major religious groups as follows:


Buddhism

In Buddhism, upekkha is considered

Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality's transience. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being. The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as "abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.

Yoga

Upeksha is also mentioned in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras (1.33), as one of the four sublime attitudes, along with maitri (loving-friendliness), karuna (compassion), and mudita (gladness, goodwill). This list is identical to the Four Immeasurables in Buddhist literature.

Judaism

Many Jewish thinkers highlight the importance of equanimity (menuhat ha-nefesh or yishuv ha-da'at) as a necessary foundation for moral and spiritual development. The virtue of equanimity receives particular attention in the writings of rabbis such as Menachem Mendel Lefin and Simcha Zissel Ziv.

Christianity

Samuel Johnson defined equanimity as "evenness of mind, neither elated nor depressed." In Christian philosophy, equanimity is considered essential for carrying out the theological virtues of gentleness, contentment, temperance, and charity.

Hinduism

In Hinduism, equanimity is the concept of balance and centeredness which endures through all possible changes in circumstances. According to the Bhagavad Gita, one may achieve equanimity through meditation.

OR

Equality as referring to any or all of these social concepts:

Egalitarianism, the belief that all/some people ought to be treated equally
Equality before the law
Equal opportunity
Equality of outcome or equality of condition
Gender equality
Racial equality (disambiguation)
Social equality

Citations are from wikipedia

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lavocezensing: The beginning

is sometimes hard to pinpoint. Maybe when I was 5 and sang a solo in school? Maybe when my mother played recordings of Caruso and Debussy to get me to go to sleep as an infant? I am interested to know the origins of your singing and musical life whether you are a professional singer or a shower singer.

This journey that has been guided and enriched by music and the voice (la voce) as a musical instrument continues for me with the combining of yoga and voice. For all of the years I have been exploring my own voice I have always been fascinated by the breath and how it works in all styles of singing. Now that I have begun to go deeper into a personal yoga practice, the traditional pranayama practices are calling me to look further.

I look forward to finding out more through my own singing, teaching private and group classes as well as through healing work that I am doing. And through what any of you out there might add to this blog!