Passacaglias

Chaconne in Dm Buxtehude (1638-1707) “We Gather Together” Improvisation The idea of building a piece on a repeating pattern (eight bars long, say) has been around since time immemorial. Baroque era versions of that would be the "passacaglica" and the "chaconne" ("shah-CONE"). Two modern applications of that idea would be Taizé (a Christian meditative musical…

The Stone which the Builders Rejected

Bagatelle Op. 126 No. 4 L. Beethoven (1770–1827) Chorale Prelude on "The Ode to Joy" "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" ("Rejoice greatly, o my soul") S. Karg-Elert (1877–1933) The Christ is of course the Prime Archetype of "the cornerstone whom the builders rejected". But as "the student is not above the master", so lesser…

“Be Following Me”

According to Jesus, the requirement for being His follower is to follow Him. Here’s where He says so: “Come, be following me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people. (Matthew 4:19) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross…

AGAPĒ Love

It seems to me that the first essential step to expressing Love is to focus attention. To not focus attention is to ignore, and ignoring someone or something is certainly not an expression of Love. Focusing attention is of course not always enough — putting Love into action may be necessary. But action isn’t always…

Flowers

“The Harmony of Flowers” Zeitler [PIANO] "Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise" Improvisation The title of this week’s prelude was inspired by poetry by Christopher Smart (1722-1771). Christopher Smart was born to a moderately well-to-do family in England. When he was 11 his father died, and their estate had to be sold to pay off debts…

Meditiation 3

One of the main challenges and purposes of meditation is addressing the ‘monkey mind’, that inner dialog that just yakkity yak goes on an on. As we’ve discussed in an earlier post, a problem with this inner monologue is that when we’re paying attention to it, when we’re internally talking to ourselves, our ability to…

Meditation 2

As anyone who has tried meditation can tell you, or has paid attention to their own consciousness, we have an inner dialog that just won’t stop. We just talk talk talk to ourselves inside of our heads. This has its place — talking to ourselves is how we engage in discursive thinking, and talking in…

Meditation 1

Near as I can tell, if you ask three people who meditate about their practice, you’ll get four different answers! So here’s a fifth point of view… If ‘prayer’ is ’me talking to God’, am I doing all the talking and not doing any listening? To me that’s where ‘meditation’ comes in – setting aside…

The Name of G-d

In traditional Judaism you’re not supposed to say the name of God ’YHWH’ because it is too sacred. When they read their Scriptures and come across “The Name” (that is, ’YHWH’), they say ’Adonai’ (’Master’) instead. Indeed, in their Scriptures they print YHWH without the vowel points — there’s no point! In some forms of…