27 July 2016

Practice TIP: Play Every Day

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

20 Minutes a Day - You can make this a spiritual practice

You can spend 20 minutes a day doing any one particular activity, and you will get better at it.  If you did yoga for 20 minutes a day, your strength, flexibility, and balance would improve.  If you ran for 20 minutes a day, your cardiovascular function and physical stamina would improve.  If you meditated for 20 minutes a day, your level of insight and your outlook would probably improve.

What if you played kalimba for 20 minutes a day, every day?

I myself sometimes have difficulty finding the time to play kalimba every day, but when I do play every day, my life is better.  I am challenging myself, and I am challenging you: can we play kalimba for 20 minutes each day?

This is one of the remarkable truths about being human - we learn!  We improve!  We change!  We grow! 

We might put some heroic slant on our work and put extreme effort into our practice and think that we are going to progress faster, but this isn't really necessary.  Mainly, we just need to show up.  I think 10 minutes a day isn't long enough.  But if you can play for 20 minutes once a day, you will find more often than not, you will go somewhere wonderful each day, and the kalimba will reveal some secret to you.  Or you will feel you have gained some level of mastery over some part of some song - though kalimba mastery is fleeting and must be revisited each day.

If you play for an hour at a time or more, you might feel you are really pushing it hard.  I would suggest that you not push.  Just show up for 20 minutes a day, and don't make yourself do any more than that.  But do be open to when the kalimba calls you, speaks to your heart and pulls you in.  If you cannot put the kalimba down, run with it.  There have been thousands of times when I've been playing on my own, and it just seemed as if I could have played forever!

When I play kalimba, my mind often drifts to consider essential matters such as compassion or wonder.  This gives me a renewed perspective on life in general.  I myself consider playing the kalimba daily to be every bit as much of a spiritual practice as sitting in meditation or doing yoga.  If you are interested in making the kalimba a part of your spiritual journey, I encourage you to commit to a daily practice; this will lay the groundwork, making it possible for you to find your own path.  

About the Author

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway has been playing kalimba for over 30 years.  He invented his kalimba tablature in 2004, and has been writing books and instructional materials for kalimba ever since.  His business, Kalimba Magic, is based on the simple proposition that the kalimba is a real musical instrument capable of greatness.  Mark's kalimba books are a down payment on this proposition.

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