As a teacher, my desire is to pass along the inspiration I feel, the knowledge I’ve gained. As I venture day by day into the gift of getting to know my true Self, I’m often challenged with how to present what I experience.

I’ll try to explain.

Imagine a time when you were in nature: at the coast, on a mountain, in the forest, feeling yourself expand with the water, the sky, the trees. Perhaps you felt your breath deepen, your pulse relax, and your mind calm; and in that expansion, a place for your heart to open in safety, to feel all that is there to be experienced.

Sometimes the combination of meditation and a quiet morning gives me all of that, without leaving my living room. It’s an incredible gift, something that I would wish for all of you to experience. Sometimes it is a sense of calmness after intensity, the feeling of devotion in a time filled with grief, or perhaps even an inner joy, which defies all the headlines and yearns to be shared with others who need joy in the guise of hope.

Photo: Kent White

However this might be felt, or whatever word I choose to describe my experience, it is a presence. Not a presence outside of myself, or an intrusion, but rather an energetic field that originates from my heart. It’s something way beyond anything my ego could possibly construct, but not superimposed from elsewhere either. It comes from my soul, my tiny spark of the Divine which lies behind my layers of self-definitions.

Holding On to Joy

As I write this, I do not wish for this experience to end. I could easily just sit and be with it, relaxing with my breath as it flows slowly in and out. But sometimes sharing what I am feeling is an even better practice, to hold onto inner joy in the midst of activity.

Sometimes, when a deep presence overtakes me, I don’t know what to do with it, since just sitting and not doing anything when there is so much to be done is extremely difficult for me, I usually allow distraction and restlessness to drag me back into my normal way of being.

But since the nature of joy is to share itself, I’m practicing active stillness and expression.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “hold energy” or “hold space” as ways to consciously hold onto these experiences of expansion to share with others. As a musician, I know that speaks through sound and music, whether just through one note or spoken word. That’s why my own cello practice is such a great opportunity. Slow practice. Single notes filled with as many overtones of sound and feeling as I can imagine.

May we all find and share the deepest there is to know, to feel, to experience.


AUTHOR, David Eby
Cellist, Director, and Teacher

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