“Continuity of practice is the secret of success.” S.N. Goenka
I’ve been reading Sharon Salzberg’s book on faith as I’ve been examining my own in regards to my work, my relationships, and my spiritual life. I was drawn to the book after hearing Sharon on Michael Gervais’s podcast “Finding Mastery”. She had a deep happiness and focus about her that lasted throughout the interview. It made an impression.
It’s not always easy to have faith when things don’t turn out the way we want them to. Performers know disappointment well as we face constant feedback in auditions, when sharing our music with potential musical partners, or with our audience. Sometimes we perceive a “no”, or no answer at all, as negative feedback, and we can spiral mentally. That doesn’t have to be the case, and we also don’t have to panic when we do doubt ourselves.
Salzberg writes about looking within yourself for faith and not giving all the responsibility to a teacher. I found great solace in Salzberg talking about our need to verify our faith. “In order to deepen our faith, we have to be able to try things out, to wonder, to doubt. In fact, faith is strengthened by doubt when doubt is a sincere, critical questioning combined with deep trust in our own right and ability to discern the truth.” As an artist, a teacher, and a partner, I certainly know self-doubt, and Salzberg’s wisdom helps me to realize that having doubts doesn’t make me a fraud, a failure, or mean I’m wallowing in self-pity. It’s normal to question our experience. And with continuity of practice – see the S.N. Goenka (one of Salzberg’s meditation teachers) quote above – be it with our music making, our meditation practice, or any mindful practice for that matter from love to finances, we will find success.
I hope these nuggets of wisdom help you to deepen your practice and find peace and confidence. For more, pick up a copy of Salzberg’s book…