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the jazz ensemble of life


This visual came in a meditation I had after reading a friend’s reflections about patterns and music.   Below is what came to me while meditating, as I related to him later on.   His response is further below.

You are lying on your back, in the grass.  All the colors are much brighter than in regular life, as in a cartoon.  The grass is super green and the sky super blue, and the sun’s light is really bright and radiating everywhere.   You are feeling the earth beneath you, enjoying the breeze on your skin, sensing and hearing the aliveness of the world and sounds around you, while tapping your fingers on the ground to the beat of your heart and other surrounding sounds.  Black and white music notes rise out of the right side of your body and dance over it.  Over the other half, words are doing the same, and arranging themselves in different sequences, and then changing again.   Notes and words are dancing and merging in changing rhythms.

The sun is beaming.  Ducks are running around, making funny sounds.   A big bird starts singing from a high branch.   You look like you are in heaven, totally in sync with all the beings and elements around…  part of a giant jazz ensemble, with your heart beat as the bass.   There is incredible lightness and humor streaming out of the whole scene.   It feels a bit like a scene out of Fantasia.  Other people start entering the scene, drawn by the sound of the ‘party.’ They lie down in different parts of the grass, and start tuning in and feeling, listening, seeing… surround sounds and sights as they are listening to the words and sounds rising out of you.  They are being entrained, increasingly deepening their ability to perceive the whole orchestra unfolding around, each slowly turning into a new part of this growing jazz ensemble.   And then the visual zooms out to the whole earth…  I cannot see you or anyone else anymore, but I keep seeing notes and words rise out from every part of the planet, and the earth herself is happily expanding and contracting in rhythms, like a giant heart, fully alive, and healthy.I sat with eyes closed for a while feeling the energetics of this visual unfolding in my awareness, with a growing sense of expansion, spaciousness, joy and connectedness inside me.

His Response

I am moved to tears by the power of the resonance of your visual response to my thoughts.  Just before reading your words, I was thinking about how life, moving through a person, receives and carries an imprint of that person’s energy.  As the next person encounters that expression of life, she processes it however she must, and her own energy is added as life is re-expressed. If the first person encounters this expression, he can compare his perception of the energy as it left him and as it returned. He will process this comparison as he must, and so may learn some things about himself, her, and life, or he may react in a number of other ways, depending on his needs, desires, and aversions.

It occurs to me now that Life may also choose to express afresh during this exchange. In your visual response, I see a very clear analog to experiences I’ve had at a local lake on sunny days (and rainy ones and windy ones, too). It is as if you were there, in my head. Of course, you weren’t, but Life was, and your email is like Life saying “Yes, hello” to me. And I am grateful and joyous for that hello.

I was wondering a lot yesterday what it means to do something useful in a world so full of tempting opportunities to do the useless and the destructive. I wondered, as I have many times, how music and expressions of beauty might be useful or not. It occurred to me that, precisely in a world so full of distractions, over stimulation, and disconnection, musical expressions of peace, love, joy, gratitude, and more generally, Life, though filtered through the musician, can be nourishing encounters of Life that ease the stresses of living, promote healthy being, and point to the direct experience of Life from within. Playing such music with and for other people, and teaching others how to do that, opens channels for the expression of Life. To help someone move from distraction and disconnection to being an open channel of Life is, yes, a way to be useful. The second part of your visual, where other people are drawn into the “party”, speaks to me as a confirmation of this.

I see you just now as an opening from one world to another, Spirit poking through happily, and I have a new appreciation for the word Namaste.

Oh, what beauty there is in this world.