serious and dedicated Guitarist, learning to play and
master the Guitar represents the Path or Way of Enlightenment of
which there is no end. Ultimately, playing the Guitar represents
the Path to Spiritual Perfection." (The Spiritual Guitar Guide)
Guitar Yoga is the mystical art of becoming one with the guitar. Yoga means Union, so Guitar Yoga is the experience of uniting with your guitar. It is not my invention, nor the invention of anyone else. It is a process rather than a system. It is a form of active meditation and a concentration of one’s attention on playing the guitar to the point that one becomes the guitar itself, letting go of the illusive ego or sense of self. You become the guitar itself, and the body and mind become extensions of the guitar to make music.
Guitar Yoga is the spiritual side of playing guitar. It is the Spiritual Path of the guitarist, if you Will, but the guitarist does not have to be interested in spiritual things to do it. The most mundane of guitarists, without a trace of spiritual interest, can do Guitar Yoga and, in fact, does Guitar Yoga when he or she is one with his or her guitar and making music.
The guitar is more than just a material instrument. It is a living symbol of the Divine. (I refer you to The Spiritual Guitar Guide for more information in this regard.) By becoming one with the guitar, you become one with the Divine. Any guitarist can do Guitar Yoga and be united and made one with the Divine (or, if you prefer, God, Spirit, Christ, Krishna, Buddha, Horus, the Tao, Zen, ad infinitum), since the Divine is already one with all. It is the inner energy, the natural flow and true Nature of our being. It is the True Self of everyone, so any guitar player, no matter what his or her beliefs may be, can experience it.
It is a spiritual experience, not a form of relative knowledge, not something you think about in the process, but rather something mystical, intuitive and creative that comes about through intense concentration of the Will on the guitar to make music. This is also the experience of the artist or poet when completely absorbed in his or her art or poetry. The artist becomes his or her brush to make art and the poet becomes his or her pen to make poetry. It is selfless concentration, a focusing of the Will (symbolized by the instrument in hand) to the point of creative un-self-consciousness.
Guitar Yoga is what every guitarist does when he or she is fully concentrated on playing the guitar, when there is only the act of playing the guitar and making music. It is when the guitarist is beyond him or herself, existing in a creative world without thought of self, with only the pure Will to play the guitar. It is the act of playing the guitar that counts, not the person playing the guitar. In the act itself is the fulfillment of the Will of the guitarist, and in the act there is no person, only the divine source of the music.
When you are playing guitar (not merely practicing), all self-consciousness must go. Watch an experienced and "mindful" guitarist, and you will see that he or she is completely absorbed in his or her guitar playing. Self-consciousness is annihilated in the pure act of playing the guitar and making music. But to do this properly, one must first know what one is doing. Before you can properly play the guitar, you must know how to play the guitar through learning and practicing. If you do not learn and practice, you cannot do Guitar Yoga.
Now playing the guitar requires posture (called Asana in Yoga) which helps one to better concentrate and use the arms, hands and fingers with greater dexterity and ease. There are postures for playing classical, acoustic and electric guitar. The guitarist should learn the basic postures from an informed source to find the posture or postures suitable to his or her body, instrument and method of playing (sitting or standing). Of course the experienced guitarist can and should come to know his or her own "natural" postures after learning the basics. It is then a process of natural body adjustment.
Guitar Yoga gives us a creative way to arouse the Kundalini (Serpent Power of Yoga) and open the Chakras (Wheels) or Padmas (Lotuses) of Yoga through posture and sound. The Chakras or Padmas (Internal Centers of Energy) are seven in all if we include the metaphorical Crown Chakra. The planetary and elemental energies of these seven Chakras are awakened through the seven Natural Tones (C, D, E, F, G, A and B).
In a way we can view the guitar as symbolic of the Kundalini or Serpent Power within. When we play the Natural Tones on the guitar, with enlightened understanding and spiritual attunement, it is similar to the Kundalini striking upon the Chakras, activating them into motion for creative application. Every guitarist should experiment and discover for him or herself which note awakens which Chakra in his or her Subtle Body. There is no fixed system in this regard, nor should there ever be.
Guitar Yoga is a creative process by which the guitarist can become enlightened. Enlightenment is when there is no personal self, only the Creative Self, which is universal and impersonal in nature. It is when the personal self or personality is no longer the point of reference, but rather it becomes a tool to realize the True Self and to do its Creative Will. The True Self is the Divine in Yoga. Yoga aims at uniting the illusive personal self (ego) with the Eternal Divine (also called the Universal Self).
The union and enlightenment experienced in Guitar Yoga will find natural expression in the music. Such music will be in accord with the Musick of the Spheres, the fruit and flower and fragrance of the divine harmony of existence. The music will come from the heart, the soul, the very core of one's being. It will be the creative and sublime sound of the Gods, something from the beautiful Beyond, illuminating and inspiring, majestic and mystical.
Copyright © 2008.
All rights reserved.
by David Cherubim
Click on the links below
Hands of Musick
Diabolus in Musica
Major Scale of Musick
The Spiritual Guitar Guide
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