Water Pianism – The Guide – Sample 5

If the pianist is frustrated or distracted for any one of 10,000 reasons, playing is negatively affected. The five most common reasons of frustration are: impatience, force, comparison, expectation and doubt.

By impatience, it is to be understood that immediate results are impossible and that rushing is not a property of water. Thus, rejecting the concept of time, which itself implies a beginning and an end, is a special quality of the Water Pianist. That which is studied will surely be mastered when the moment of mastery reveals itself. It is therefore unnecessary to be impatient.

By force, it is to be understood that the excessive repetition of a particular part of the music or scale or the physical abuse of the hands or fingers coming from a strong desire for absolutely perfect execution are entirely detrimental to progress. A significant trait of water is that it shapes landscapes only through steady persistence. The Water Pianist never exerts energy in a futile attempt to unnaturally achieve that which is not yet naturally possible.

By comparison, it is to be understood that no two pianists are alike and that when one tries to replicate the abilities or style of another, personal identity is lost and the art of music itself suffers from the loss of that individual’s artistic value. The Water Pianist understands that the use of adjectives is of no use since that which is acceptable or suitable for one, is not acceptable or suitable for another, thus rendering comparison futile.

By expectation, it is to be understood that what you are able to do is a result of what you have done at every moment until this very moment; everything is perfectly as it should be and any thoughts of believing a great You should exist now, are unfounded. The Water Pianist understands this logic and never sets up expectations, understanding that they are obstacles which impede natural progress and cause nothing but disappointment when not achieved or overcome. You are always a product of previous thoughts and must accept this at every moment.

By doubt, it is to be understood that whatever you wish to be able to do with your piano skills is most certainly possible, realistic and achievable. The negative mindset of doubt is a poison to any individual in pursuit of any form of artistic expression which is why no doubtful thoughts are permitted to enter the mind of the Water Pianist. The time given to doubting oneself is time better spent focusing on that which is necessary at that moment.

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Water Pianism – The Guide – Sample 4

A label is an adjective given to a fact, opinion or experience based on our own unique perception of it. Considering that everybody indeed has their own unique perception, it becomes impossible to absolutely define a fact, opinion or experience with one adjective agreed upon by all.

In pianism, this could be understood as playing a ‘difficult’ or ‘easy’ piece, trying to tackle a ‘tricky’ passage or confidently playing a ‘simple’ melody. What is difficult, easy, tricky or simple for one maybe indeed be the opposite for another, rendering the musical moment indescribable.

This is a well-understood key word to the Water Pianist, indescribable. By not considering any piece, passage or melody as anything at all, everything becomes possible; the duration to achievement is simply set by the individual without comparison to others. This invokes a removal of doubt, as well as that of immediate expectations, and provides an obstacle-free, more pleasant journey along your musical path.

Understanding what labels are helps in their removal from the conscious mind. What may seem difficult at this stage, no matter any experience gained, must be considered doable because eventually, it will become easy. This change of label should be key in understanding why labels are of no use and actually do not have any value in personal progress; what is perceived difficult now will become easy yet still be considered difficult to another. Both individuals would do well to remove the label and simply spend time on making natural progress, with every musical moment considered indescribable.

Because labels come from the ego’s need to be in control at all times, conscious thought must be involved. It is a conscious decision to say to oneself, “This is really difficult” or “I enjoy this because it’s very easy to play”. Further, this usually results in avoidance of the perceived difficulties and repetition of the easier components since it satisfies the ego to act as such. What results is staleness in playing because the easy parts are repeated and the difficult parts are never worked on. This is not progress. As can be seen, labels may have a detrimental effect on the pianist.

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Water Pianism – The Guide – Sample 3

Mastery of the mind does not mean that it is controlled consciously; it means that its natural functionality is recognised and acknowledged. This particularity is one of the unique traits of the Water Pianist and results in the fullest freedom, most natural progress and most enjoyable piano experiences.

In order to reach the state in which total recognition and acknowledgement of the natural functionality of the mind becomes possible, and from within which one may become a Water Pianist, a few mental exercises are recommended.

One way to introduce yourself to your mind is through repetitious concentration activities. These will quickly reveal the large gap between your conscious mind and the natural mind state; or, the false self and the true self. The former is what causes many difficulties to a regular pianist, provokes frustrations and guarantees jealousies; the latter being from where the Water Pianist plays at peace.

Although it may still be believed that playing the piano takes place with only the hands and fingers, it must surely be understood that control of the fingers originates from the brain? The brain itself either sends voluntary or involuntary signals to the body; the former from the conscious mind, the latter from the unconscious mind.

The conscious mind can focus on no more than three things at any one time whereas the unconscious mind, the natural mind state, controls uncountable commands from breathing and heart rate to balance and speech. Its content has been programmed either consciously or unconsciously, both through repetition.

Considering ten fingers are available, it would seem more beneficial to let the natural mind state deal with playing the piano and let conscious thoughts focus on absolutely nothing at all, when playing.

You would do well to remember this mantra: ‘habits are the result of positive-ideal repetitions’.

Since habits are stored in the unconscious mind, the place from where the Water Pianist plays, it is necessary to access it through conscious, repetitious concentration activities.

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First, understand that habits may be physical or mental. Physical examples include on which arm one naturally places a watch, which shoe is put on first and the way the mind knows its way home from almost anywhere, within reasonable distance, all without any conscious thought. In fact, such actions usually take place when preoccupied with other activities such as speaking with others or thinking about things consciously.

Mental habits are the instantaneous reactions to events in sensation and feeling form; in other words, emotions. If you see an animal being killed for food, you will either instantly feel disgust or you will be unperturbed. In terms of piano, listening to a particular pianist will either astound you or leave you with a painful boredom.

Second, understand that both the aforementioned habit types are acquired through either environmental or conscientious conditioning.

Water Pianism – The Guide – Sample 2

The Self, when free from the ego’s need to label and structure all points of learning and practice according to ‘tradition’ or the infamously generic ‘that which is done’ approach, remains free from the illusionary need for knowledge and can thus do what it does naturally: exist.

As water, the mind (Self) is in a constant state of motion. Water always follows the path of least resistance and never tries to go faster or slower than is required by its environment. It never questions and is at all moments content with what is happening to it. Of course, by this, it is to be understood that water is ‘being done to’ and is indeed not ‘doing’.

To the Water Pianist, this is interpreted as “Do that which is necessary, when necessary, for as long as necessary” and then move on to that which naturally follows. No label of difficulty or ease is attributed to whatever ‘that’ may be and no complaint is made as to its perceived difficulty, effort or time to complete. Has water ever complained over the height of a waterfall or the length of a mountain stream it travels?

In addition, no comparison is made to the progress of other water pianists since their environment is surely completely different at all times just as much as no comparison is made to other areas of focus since all are as equal as one another. Thus, comparison is futile and meaningless, unproductive and frivolous.

Just as water changes shape and form without force to adapt to its surroundings, so does the Water Pianist focus on that which needs to be achieved at that moment, without fear of failure or difficulty.

A significant obsession in most fields of study is the need to structure knowledge. Since everybody finds certain concepts and physical skills easier and more difficult to grasp than others, it should seem strange to the reader that any kind of structured learning, especially in the arts, is deemed useful based on this irregularity.

In traditional piano studies, the idea of key signatures is thus: less common, more difficult; more common, less difficult. It cannot go unmentioned that Chopin started his piano students on the ‘uncommon key’ of B major since the shape of this major scale does indeed fit nicely and naturally under anybody’s fingers.

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Water Pianism – The Guide – Sample 1

Water, just like all observable nature, teaches us so much about how to live, let alone simply how to play the piano. It has been, until now, an untapped source of teachings which can guide us along the most natural path possible to achieve anything we so desire; pianism, of course, being the focus in this particular guide.

As has been mentioned, one already possesses what is required to play the piano. Furthermore, once the human need to apply comparative labels to everything and anything has been entirely removed, the only thing left to do is apply the teachings acquired from water and you can call yourself a Water Pianist.

The Water Pianist understands that what he wishes to achieve already exists within and is not something ‘attained’ through practice, it is instead ‘revealed’ at random moments of sudden awareness. This more natural way of thinking is part of the removal of ego labelling because instead of having a sense of uphill struggle and progress, one is simply travelling without obstacle, just like water.

At no point does water stop to wonder where it is travelling, check how fast it is flowing, consider what its environment looks like, sulk that other water has a nicer view whereas it is currently in darkness. Never does water compare itself to what it interacts with, want to be elsewhere or worry about the size of the pebbles and rocks over which it will surely flow without any hesitation or qualm.

Not once does water use force yet still it exists in a constant state of motion. Most interestingly of all, water is not conscious of a final destination. Indeed, what would it do once it had arrived? Instead, it is perfectly content on its label-less, destination-less journey.

What freedom. What pleasure. What ease.

Such is the state of mind of the Water Pianist.

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