As the weeks of silence rolled on, music came into my head … and stayed. I was awake 18 hours a day and I’d guess that towards the end of the retreat the songs were alive and well for 16 of those hours. First it was recognizable tunes, such as “All Through The Night” and “Pachelbel Canon”. But then the words and known melodies faded away, in favour of unknown music. I went for a three mile walk every day and one particular melody stayed with me for the whole time. It was vibrant and danceable, and my body often responded with a jig and a jag. That one song went on for an hour or more.
During periods of sitting meditation, the melodies were usually slow and sweet but occasionally the orchestra inside my head would swell to ecstatic highs – great runs of fast notes. My head and the rest of my body rose up. I was still sitting but my spine was erect. It felt like I was reaching for heaven. I worried that my fellow yogis could hear my silent singing. One of my teachers commented, “Bruce, have you ever heard music that’s inside people? No? Neither have I. They can’t hear you!”
For the first few days back at home, the melodies kept coming. Now, two weeks from the end of the retreat, I don’t hear the songs anymore. And I miss them. Sometimes in the meditation hall, I tried to stop them. I scrunched my forehead. I lowered my head between my legs. And still the music flowed. I eventually let go and let it all wash over me. Now I want it to come back. And I can’t control that either. Ten days ago, I sat at the piano and felt the music in my fingers. I want to do that again.
I haven’t meditated much since I got home. Tomorrow, I’m going to sit for an hour or so and see what emerges. Not an act of will. A letting be. But I feel my attachment to the music. Like I did with Ginette, I need to let that go. By grace do we receive.
I might even go for a walk.