Music and Spirituality
In this week's Spot, a seeker asks if music and spirituality are connected. Sadhguru responds, "Spiritual process is not connected with chanting, meditation...playing the guitar, or anything for that matter. These are activities which cannot be done without involvement, because of that, these activities have been identified as spiritual process." Enjoy!
Dear Sadhguru, How are music and spirituality connected? I would like to know how I can make playing a musical instrument into a meditative and a spiritual process.
Sadhguru: Music and spirituality are not connected. It is just that if you bring about an enormous sense of involvement in something, spiritual process opens up. First, let us understand what spiritual process is. If you scratch the surface, it is called "material." If you scratch a little deeper, it is called "spiritual."
If you sweep the floor, you can become spiritual. If you breathe, you can become spiritual. In that context, you can play music and also become spiritual. A whole lot of people have identified music and spirituality not because those two things are connected. If you play proper music, without involvement, you cannot do it. If you are absolutely involved, only then you can produce some worthwhile music. In that involvement, doors have to open for you. There is no other way. I am telling you, if you sweep the floor with absolute involvement, it will happen. You don’t have to learn any musical instrument.
A new musician who has just learned to play a guitar wanted to play music. Of course, he doesn’t get a stage and an audience. He wants to play somewhere and he had good intentions, so he went to an old age home. An old person was very ill and in the bed. So, he went and sat next to him, and as an offering to the old man, he played music for half an hour. When he felt that he had made enough contribution, he got up and looked at the old man. He was wheezing. And he said, “I hope you get better.” The old man indicated for him to come close. He came close, he whispered, “I hope you get better too!”
Spiritual process is not connected with any particular aspect of life. Either every single atom is a doorway or nothing opens for you. Spiritual process is not connected with chanting, meditation, sweeping, playing the guitar, or anything for that matter. These are activities which cannot be done without involvement, because of that, these activities have been identified as spiritual process. Otherwise, it doesn’t need anything. If you can simply sit here absolutely involved, involved to a point that you are not, if you become an empty doorway with whatever activity you do, then everything is a spiritual process. Otherwise, nothing is a spiritual process.
Swami Vivekananda said, “You are closer to the Divine in kicking a ball than in prayer.” Because you cannot kick a ball unless you are absolutely involved. It is the involvement, it is not a particular activity which opens the door. So, if you are very good at it, please play!