When I attune my mind to the Oneness that is All of Life, I understand my place in Wholeness. I am the very Presence of Life, and this Presence of Life is me. I am blessed through this understanding. In return I bless all I encounter.
Do you know what makes a singer/musician/rock star great? One answer (so I’ve heard), is the really great performers can get up on stage thousands of times doing the same song, and do it with all the passion they had for it the very first time they performed it. Think about it…musicians who are on tour go from city to city performing the exact same songs. The crowds are different, but the performance is the same. But each time…each time the truly great performers sing their hearts out. They perform as though the music is fresh and new and vital…because to each crowd it is. I would think it would be really easy to become complacent singing the same songs over and over, to become stale and boring. But the truly great performers, they know how to tap their passion and convey it to the audience; there is almost a transmission of energy that goes out, that the audience feels from the performer, an excitement about the music.
That’s what I’ve heard anyway.
To me, this idea is a lesson for anyone: bring passion and excitement to everything you do, no matter how many times you do it. For many musicians, this is their job. Wouldn’t you like to bring that passion to your job? Your repetitious, mundane job? Maybe you would say, “well, they love what they do, of course they are passionate”. True, I’ll give you that. But… don’t you think they still have to rise to the occasion and generate the passion sometimes, especially when they’ve performed a song over and over and over? If they can’t do it, then they need to figure it out. If they can’t figure it out, they become stale and boring. For performers, it’s a matter of shelf-life: if they get stale, they’ll be thrown out; they have to give the audience that energy or they will be replaced. For them, generating the passion is critical to their career.
What a learning curve it would be if generating passion were the standard for keeping a job: You must bring passion every day, or you’re out of a job. Lots of people who are not musicians do this, already. When your livelihood depends on your ability to generate excitement and appreciation in others, you learn to do it pretty quickly, I would think.
Now, applying this discussion to your practices–your writing, your prayers, your yoga, your chanting, your Journey. How much passion do you bring? How much energy to you generate toward accomplishing the goal of your practices? (Your goal can be peace, physical health, enlightenment, whatever it is for you.)
This idea is at the heart of why people who don’t like rituals object to them: because when people perform the same rituals over and over with no passion, the ritual seems to become stale and boring. It’s not the ritual that is stale and boring, just like it’s not Hotel California that is stale and boring when it’s performed for the gazillionth time. It’s that the practitioner does not bring the vitality to the ritual.
Repetition of a ritual can be very liberating, and can expand your mind if you let it. Bringing passion to what you do, even when you have done it a gazillion times before makes you go deeper into yourself to find that passion, that energy, that aliveness that you can bring to it. Aren’t you worth that?
This is a lesson I have been working on, consciously now, for a few weeks. It’s not so easy. But I would dare say, it’s bringing me much learning and growth. I want to be able to go deeper and deeper into my own vitality, and bring that to the surface…again and again and again.