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Robin’s Nest

Lovingkindness Meditation

by Robin Munson

In these turbulent times, when there is so much political discord and the noise level from our TVs, radios, Internet and print has reached staggering proportions, you might find – as I do – that it is important, maybe even crucial, that you take some time off from the cacophony and clear, or at least quiet your mind. (How else can you possibly hear the music?!)  To that end, I would like to refer you to a beautiful little book by Jack Kornfield, a psychologist and Buddhist priest. It is called The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace.  The book was written in 2001, just before the events of 9-11, and I have found it to be an invaluable friend over the years. I can open it to any page at random and find something that nurtures my soul. Continue reading

‘TIS THE SEASON

by Robin MunsonRed Christmas Tree Ornament in Snow

It’s Crunch Time. We are a few weeks from Christmas and Chanukah. Once again, we must gather whatever remaining strength we have at the tail end of a challenging year and summon up the holiday spirit. We have shopping, cleaning, cooking, family gatherings. Some of us might have holiday gigs, musical or non. You might be tempted to drown your sorrows in Haagen-Dazs. (I might be!) So how do we take care of ourselves at a time like this? Continue reading

The 80% Rule

Music Composerby Robin Munson

Years ago, when I was taking the yoga teacher training, I remember something my mentor, Christy, said that has stayed with me ever since. We were talking about how hard it is to be consistent in your practice – whether we’re talking about meditation, or asana (the physical poses of yoga), or for some of us, composing music. We start out with the best of intentions (New Year’s resolutions, anyone?). And then life happens. We had planned to live on vegetables and whole grains from now on, but a friend presented us with a homemade chocolate cake. We were going to study all weekend every weekend, but the sun came out and lured us to the beach. Continue reading

Sharing Our Gift

by Robin Munson
Sharing
A while back, Art and I had a gig! We played at the annual holiday brunch at the community clubhouse.  It was the first time we had played out in a very long time. (Like, decades!) I played piano and Art played acoustic guitar.  We were joined by our neighbor, Gary, who plays violin in a local symphony and string quartet, and later (quite spontaneously) by our neighbor, Vib, on his harmonica.

There were around 50 people there of all ages, milling around the clubhouse, eating a potluck brunch, laughing, joking, and wishing each other the joy of the season. As people were streaming in we played quietly in the background, just to help create the holiday mood.  Continue reading

Hedging Our Bets

by Robin Munson

Music runs in my family. My father, who had written songs during World War II as a POW in Germany, had dismissed the notion of being a professional songwriter Poker acesafter the war as a crazy, impractical idea. He opted instead to partner with his brothers in a home improvement business in order to provide for our family. My mother, who had inherited a beautiful singing voice from my grandmother, loved to sing and made no secret that she was a frustrated Judy Garland.

So it’s not surprising that all my life I wanted to be a musician and I opted in on piano and voice lessons quite early on. But I soon came to realize that my chosen profession was not exactly the most stable one in the world. My father used to quip, “It’s not a profession, it’s a cult.” And for all my mother”s encouragement in general, she lectured us on the vicissitudes of The Biz. Furthermore, surrounded as I was by very talented musicians, it seemed to me that at best, I was mildly gifted. Continue reading