An enjoyable, Mindful afternoon at ICRFM! When Elene asked me to spend an afternoon on her radio show she asked me to choose 4 of my favourite tunes for her to play and to talk with her about mindfulness.
My first thought was a trip back memory lane to my teenage years (the Eighties) and remind myself of the stuff I used to listen to. A chat with my hubbie reminded me of a whole lot of music tracks which I didn’t have in Itunes (but I should have had and now do!)
The music selection varies from lyrical and calming Enya to bum shuffle boogie music from the Black Eyed Peas. Links to the music videos are included in this transcript.
(BTW the transcript of the show is been edited for space and clarity).
Elene: I was watching one of your videos about being mindful just before the show started and it has put me in a really lovely state!
Annya: That’s really good! I’m sure that you have to be very calm before you come into the studio to do your show.
Elene: Tell me about the first piece of music you have chosen
Annya: It is by Ebudae by Enya. This reminds me of waves breaking on a beach, a very calming sound.
Before I took the path that led me to acupuncture and being mindful, I used to be a person who pushed myself really hard. I had tons of things to do because as well as a full-time job I worked in the evening as a fitness instructor. I was burning up a fair amount of energy, as you can imagine. This was one of those tracks which would bring me back down to earth and restore me.
Elene: Do you know what Ebudae means?
Annya: I did look this up, but I don’t think that it means anything specific. The sound of the looms used to weave wool in the Hebrides inspired this song. You can imagine someone very skilled working to the calming rhythm of those looms.
Elene: They are being mindful in their work! Only aware of what is in front of them
Annya: Yes! The Weavers produce their cloth by being completely focused on what they are doing but relaxed and ‘in the zone’.
Elene: You were telling me how much you enjoy being outdoors – tell me about a place you enjoy being outdoors in
Annya: One of my favourite places in the Lake District – when Steve and I visit, we tend to stay around Keswick.
My favourite walk is down towards Derwentwater, along a footpath to a place called Castle Rock. I love climbing to the top – the air is always clear and beautiful and you can both see and smell the lake. It is usually very quiet because it is a hidden little corner. It is the perfect place to just sit down and realise ‘I’ve arrived in the Lake District!’
Elene: And just be…
Annya: In nature, exactly! Hopefully, with a clear blue sky, you never know…! I like walking slowly and looking at what is around me – the fells, the plants, the water and the trees.
I am amazed by how the roots of the trees grow into the rocks and crack them open. There is a beautiful valley called Watendlath where this has happened – over time trees have crept all over some massive boulders and started to split them. I imagine the boulders got there because they were thrown by giants! There is a lovely stream running through here as well, clear water, smooth stones, fascinating whirls and eddies.
Elene: That sound amazing…is the sound of water another form of meditation and being mindful?
Annya: It is a beautiful form of meditation. One day Steve and I will remember to take the right equipment to that stream so we can record it.
Elene: Tell us about your second piece of music
Annya: My second piece is Golden Heart by Mark Knopfler. I especially love these words ‘Nothing in the world which I love more, your heart, your heart’. In Chinese Medicine, your heart is reflective of the element of fire. I have a mental image of a fire in a hearth, in a warm room where you can just lie back and relax when I hear this song. This is where your heart can be if it is in balance.
Elene: That was beautiful. Tell me Annya, how does meditation and being mindful soothe your heart?
Annya: It helps bring your mind to a calm, quiet space. In Chinese Medicine, your heart and mind are interlinked – each one powerfully influencing the other. Your heart is encased in your lungs – the two of them co-exist in the same place like husband and wife. You can calm your heart by calming your lungs and calming your breathing. This, in turn, calms your mind.
Elene: I had not heard your third piece of music until you introduced me to it and I love it! Tell me about it.
Annya: It is called The Boy who wouldn’t Hoe Corn. It is written by Alison Krauss, but this version is by Dan Tyminski. I love that it is a story: about a boy who asks a girl to marry him, but she turns him down! My response, ‘Go, girl, don’t hitch yourself to a guy who won’t hoe his corn!’. The question in my mind is ‘what happens next?’ In this story but we never find out, it’s up to us to imagine.
The story reminds me of the idea of Karma, that there are things that happen, causes and conditions that affect our life.
Some of these causes we are conscious of (they are choices we have made, like not marrying a lazy, non-corn-hoeing man!)
Some we are unconscious of (like the boy not even thinking about what a girl might be looking for in good husband material). And there are also conditions that are external to us that we have no influence over. We can’t know how these things (causes and conditions) will unwrap for us and affect us until we get there (to a particular moment) in our life.
Elene: What is your final piece of music
Annya: My final piece is I got a feeling by the Black Eyed Peas from the album The Energy Never Dies. The concept of qi means energy. Energy never dies, it is always changing from one form to another; you can nurture it and grow it – this song, I think, nurtures your energy. It has certainly nurtured mine!
I am now creating videos/vlogs for teaching mindfulness with meditation. At the beginning when I first starting using video, I felt really stiff and like a complete idiot when I was on camera. I couldn’t smile…so, in order to warm up my facial muscles, I would play this song and dance along to it before I started…and it worked, I could smile!
Elene: Annya, how do my listeners access your videos?
Annya: You can go to my website and download a short, free meditation. As we were talking about earlier, this meditation helps calm your breathing which then calms your heart and calms your mind. It only takes 3 minutes but can still have a very profound effect on your life.
Elene: Thank you Annya, I’m sure my listeners are feeling as inspired as I am!