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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


On the one hand, I want to be badass about learning a lot of piano music and writing a lot of pages on the book. On the other hand, I want to have a feeling of self-compassion toward myself, forgiving all.  These sound like contradictory goals, but then again, does beating myself up make me better at anything?

For example, I am a terrible piano player and a very, very good literary critic (let's say!).  But the attitude I take toward these two activities is very similar. The frustrations and small triumphs I feel produce the the same variety of emotions, whatever the activity is. If you begin to play the piano, you will likely be terrible at it for a while, so the inability to accept that fact will deter many people from even starting. Either they suspect, rightly, that they will be terrible, or they start out and realize that they have to start out from that place of utter incompetence, and aren't very accepting of that situation. By the same token, being very, very good at something just means that the frustrations will be of a different, and more advanced sort.

So the idea of being good at something, or terrible at it, is kind of meaningless, at the phenomenological level of doing the activities from the inside, what they feel like to you. It's ok to know you are horrible at something, but in a humorous, constructive way.

 I am horrible at meditating, I could think, but I've gained these insights from my practice, so maybe I'm not so horrible after all.

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