Are Your Perceptions Blocking the True Wonder of Life?
A violinist was busking at a metro station in Washington DC on a cold January morning during rush hour.
He played six Bach pieces, lasting around 45 minutes. During his performance, 1097 people passed him by. Of that total 7 stopped to listen, and 19 gave him money. He collected $32 in total. When he finished playing nobody applauded; no one even noticed he had stopped playing.
The violinist was Joshua Bell, former child prodigy and now one of the world’s great violinists. He had just played six of the most intricate pieces of music ever written, on his $3.5 million violin. Just two days before Joshua Bell had given a sell out performance in Boston at $100.00 a ticket.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organised by The Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.
Due to our mindset we limit our world; we sort things into ‘worthwhile’ and ‘not worthwhile’ largely based on context and appearance. We reduce the world to a means to an end rather than the wonder it truly is.
Another example of this is Susan Boyle, our hearts are warmed when we experience such raw authentic talent in the midst of a world based on appearance, being cool and sleek. The expressions on the faces of the judges bore witness to complete awe, their faces naked with the intensity of the experience.
As part of our Mindfulness programs we ask participants to be mindful around the experience of eating a chocolate. It is not only beautiful watching the faces of busy adults experiencing, focussing and enjoying just one thing, but also amazing to witness the intensity of experience for participants.
Last week a male who initially was very sceptical of the whole Mindfulness thing…. commented on the intensity and clarity he experienced in just being present around one thing and how he for the first time noticed the 4 or 5 different preoccupations of his mind immediately after the exercise.
If you feel like trying the chocolate eating exercise, get some good chocolate (we recommend Lindt) have a look at our Mindfulness clip where there are clear instructions and Enjoy!