I have been passionately playing electric blues guitar for about two years now. Before that, I spent about forty years playing acoustic rhythm guitar and a little bit of lead. Then two years ago this August, I fell in love with a guitar at a friend’s house. He was selling a vintage guitar―which I bought and then kept playing and playing and playing.
It’s been an amazing journey, because I’m a singer-songwriter, among other things, and I think I’ve written and recorded four albums worth of songs. But during my late forties and as I was approaching my 50th birthday, I hit a wall where my creativity and music were concerned. Actually, in regard to my whole life.
It wasn’t until I started reading Ken Wilber’s work and studying the AQAL Map, that I was introduced to the idea of integral transformative practice, or as Ken called it, integral life practice, which is working the essential capacities, body, mind, emotions or heart, and spirit, in ongoing practice. I started wrapping my head around that and engaging in my own integral life practice. Then, I discovered brain entrainment technology, or binaural brainwave entrainment, which is what we were using then, and had great results. I noticed that, within the first year, as I kept doing the process, there was definitely an increase in creativity. Playing the guitar started coming back to life for me. I noticed my singing was getting better, because I just wasn’t worried about it anymore. I had more confidence in letting my voice do all kinds of interesting things instead of holding back thinking, “Maybe I’ll make a mistake,” or, “I won’t sound good.” It seemed there was an increase in my vocal abilities just because of the flow or loosening of creativity from my practice of using the technology.
So, two years ago I picked up the electric blues guitar. I was playing last night and this morning and I just hit another plateau of capacity. It’s so exciting to play the guitar like I always dreamed of maybe playing the guitar, but didn’t figure I had the talent or the ability, or whatever. And instead of getting to the point where I might think, “Okay, well, I think I’ve pretty much mastered the guitar,” the complexity, the variation, the skill, and all the music there is to play seems infinitely deep at this point. I’m swimming in an infinite ocean of creativity and music. It’s wonderful. It’s a real blessing and a real gift to my life―maybe not for my dog and my wife Pam, who have to listen to me practice a lot, but they’re pretty good about it.
We live in a pretty isolated area where there are really not a lot of people to jam or play with, a few, but not too many, and I don’t care. Recently, I was talking to a young man who happened to visit. This guy was definitely a four on the Enneagram (for those of you familiar with the Enneagram); the four being the “romantic poet,” very artistic, very deep, etc. He was a musician also, and talking about how, as a musician, one struggles with the music biz and trying to make money, and I said, “Maybe we’re not supposed to approach music as a money-making thing, maybe we’re supposed to approach music as a prayer, as a way to reach out, and reach out to divinity, or reach in to divinity, for music’s sake. Music for the bliss of it, music for the joy of it, music for the emotion of it, music for the flow of it, music for the spirituality of it.” If we do that and money comes out of it, that’s great, but that’s not why we do it.
This approach really rescues music for me. I’ve known so many great, talented musicians who could never quite make it, who became cynical and hurt because oftentimes they’re much more talented, and really doing better stuff, than those who reach the top heap and make millions. You just have to do it because that’s what you do and not be attached to the outcome.
I’m convinced that this new loving relationship with music that I have is because I’ve been doing the practice on a daily basis for so long. In September, it will be seven years. It has changed my whole neurological landscape, my whole interior landscape, my whole exterior landscape, my whole relational landscape, and my whole financial landscape―all these different dimensions because of the integration and healing that happens when we practice with this technology. It’s just extraordinary.
Adapted from iAwake Technologies’ free, weekly teleconference call on July 11, 2012.
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John Dupuy is the CEO of iAwake Technologies and the founder of Integral Recovery, a holistic addiction treatment approach inspired by Ken Wilber’s Integral Model. He is also the author of Integral Recovery: A Revolutionary Approach to Alcoholism and Addiction, recently published by SUNY Press. As a pioneer in the use of brainwave entrainment in therapy and personal development, John has dedicated his life to helping others deepen their spiritual practice and transform their lives.