The Beauty of What's in Front of You
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds -- then hurried to meet his schedule.
A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3-year old boy...
His mother tried to rush him, but the boy stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats averaged $100.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The themes were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: How do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
Try not to miss the beauty of life coming your way -- it may be right in front of you. Right now, in fact.
March 27, 2010
Thanks to Larry Lustbader and Matt Miller for forwarding the link.
I Share My Poetry Too Soon
March 22, 2010
my poetry too soon,
before it is done,
a small man
beneath a half moon
gossiping about the sun.
Too soon told secret,
it ruins what will come,
of a human heart,
the Holy One.
Find the Key
March 21, 2010
Where Is This Headed?
"It's not enough to be busy. Ants are busy. What are we busy about." -- H.D. Thoreau
Maharaji in Miami
"In each one of us lies the source of joy. Of fulfillment. That's reality. That's the true reality."
"Heaven? Where is that heaven? Drop the glasses of arrogance and you will see that heaven is not away from you. Heaven is in you."
"Get with it! Be alive! Live! There is something inside each one of us that says, ARISE!"
"Choose! Make that choice. Those of you who want peace inside, you have to make that choice. What do you choose?"
"We have mastered the art of provoking what is bad in people. We have not mastered the art of provoking what is good in people."
"Dignity. Peace. Prosperity. Without dignity it is hard to be in peace. Without peace, it is hard to prosper."March 16, 2010
Be Who You Are!
March 11, 2010
It's a Wonderful World Puppet Show
Louis Armstrong...shadow puppets...and you.March 10, 2010
PUPPET-JI: Why Are We Here?
And now a word from the most conscious puppet on planet Earth...March 08, 2010
Maharaji in Santa Monica
"You want to know the truth? The truth resides inside of you. Where else would it be?"
"You are here. It's on! It's happening. The beautiful music you hear -- the orchestra is not just warming up."
"In my downs, I want to remember the up. And in my ups, I want to remember the up, up!"
"Everything that is necessary for you to truly enjoy yourself is here. Make the connection."
"You want to know about karma? Pinch yourself. Do you feel pain? Karma. If the person sitting next to you screams, you pinched the wrong person."
"When you don't know, even answers are questions. And when you know, even questions become answers. How cool is that?"
"I have the tickets to the best show in town. And you want them. If you want those tickets, I have them."
"Don't try to make every day the same. But see the same beauty in every day."
"Whatever you decide to do, be at peace. Experience dignity in your life. Experience peace in your life."March 06, 2010
The Entire Universe is Yours
March 03, 2010
If you knew how much you already had, you wouldn't waste a second wanting anything more. The entire universe is yours and still you are longing for something else. The world is a milkweed pod. The more you try to grab it, the further it floats away. Stop for a second. Extend your hand. Receive your inheritance. All the legal work's been done a thousand years ago. Throw a party! Invite your friends and a hundred people you don't know. Feed them. Give them something good to drink. Dance until you cannot stand.
The sun is setting. There is precious little light to write my song of praise to you -- only the glow from the dashboard of a 1983 Toyota taking me deeper into the sudden mountains of Mexico.
Victor, the driver, sees what I'm doing and turns on the overhead light, but I prefer the glow of the dashboard.
It's softer on the eyes and my heart rejoices in the romance of needing to write in order to see.March 02, 2010
VIDEO: The Beloved