I don’t meditate, even though my doctor tells me it would be good for my heart and overall stress level (in California, even a regular M.D. recommends meditation along with exercise and diet).
However, I do practice the fine art of sitting still. You can relate to this, right? Sitting in a darkened room, in the money seat, with sounds swirling around me (from either two or six directions, depending on my mood). I’m committed for 45 to 60 minutes–the length of the disc–of concentrating on nothing but the music. The cell phone is off, the land-line phone ringer is turned off, the computer is nowhere in sight, and if I’m really lucky, the family is out of the house. My normal multi-tasking mode (wolfing down a meal while returning e-mails and keeping one eye on the TV) goes into hibernation.
For that hour, the outside world drifts away and all of the energy goes into appreciating the genius of the composition, the skill of the musicians, and the art of the producer. It is more difficult to find the time and the space these days, and my kids look at me like only an alien would sit still in the dark for an hour at a time. But that only heightens the importance of making it a priority.
And besides, I can always get a note from my doctor.