Lessons from Zen Guitar
Zen Guitar is one of my favorite books. I must have read it 5-6 times already. It’s also a book I have recommended to hundreds of students through the years.
Philip Sudo offers his own experiences with music to enable us to rediscover the harmony in each of our lives and open ourselves to Zen awareness uniquely suited to the Western Mind.
Through fifty-eight lessons that provide focus and a guide, the reader is led through to Zen awareness.
This harmony is further illuminated through quotes from sources ranging from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis. From those who have never strummed a guitar to the more experienced, Zen Guitar shows how the path of music offers fulfillment in all aspects of life — a winning idea and an instant classic.
You can find Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo here:
There’s a ton of amazing insights you get from reading this fun little book.
Here’s just some personal, inspiring or motivating thoughts and notes I made inspired by this book.
- Play the song you are born with inside
- Play to harmonize my body, mind and spirit.
- The aim of Zen Guitar is not to aquire information, but WISDOM. It is only through the experience of our senses that we truly gain wisdom.
- The only way we can learn to play our song is through the direct experience of our bodies. A path can not be thaught, it can only be taken.
- I am “cloud and water”, a truth-seeker: floating and flowing with and without form
- Live in the moment! Don’t remove the frocus from where I am, the destination is not important: just put 1 foot in front of the other. There is joy in the struggle!
- I am a master of the guitar. “Mastery” lies in how much joy you have while playing and learning and with how much conviction and personality you play whatever notes you know how to play. Mastery is not about how much you know.
- Keep in mind: “I have direction… I play guitar for a reason: I want to make sound, create!”
- From 1 thing, know 10000 things.
- Never stop listening to the sound inside you (“voice of God”): delve into the source of all sounds.
- Always practice like it’s the first time you play a guitar: open your mind to the incoming knowledge flowing in from all around. The beginner’s mind is the mind of wisdom.
- Always pick up your guitar wth a purpose.
- Combat discouragement with your desire to learn.
- Tuning means learning to hear, lessen your reliance on other senses.
- Be in tune (harmony) with your instrument, find an internal tuning between body, mind and spirit… be in harmony (one) with your listeners… sympathetic vibrations.
- Always play with joy, from the heart and the soul… then a personal style will develop itself.
- Master your deeds… never “try” to do somethng… you either “do” or you “don’t”.
- Do 1 thing the right way 1 time… then make the same commitment when the next moment comes… cut the grooves in your brains… make it a habit.
You will get hundreds of really fun or inspiring thoughts or insights from reading Zen Guitar.
Reading Zen Guitar is highly recommended to expand your playing, become a better overall musician, rekindle your love for music if you feel in a rut, and so much more.
Hit me up anytime at [email protected] if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.
You’re on your way to becoming a great guitar player.
Have fun! 🙂
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