Last Monday, I finished my final internship hours with the International Harp Therapy Program, and yesterday I submitted my final portfolio to the program.

More developments as they unfold.

In the news

The public relations team at my new job found out about my harping and interviewed me for the school newspaper!

PS – My new job is keeping me very busy this fall, and my fingers are crossed that this weekend is the one where I finally catch up and can stop working 12 hour days. So the posts will be short and sparse for a while longer.

Right Intent

Right  intent is one of the elements of the Buddhist eightfold path, including “the intention of harmlessness, meaning not to think or act cruelly, violently, or aggressively.”  Who wouldn’t want to aspire to harmlessness?

Eightfold Path

When I worked on an assignment clarifying my intent in the very first IHTP lesson, I understood that it was an important exercise in goal setting and motivation – helpful for working through the year long (or longer) program. The IHTP also needs to know what we are thinking; they need to protect the quality of their stamp of approval for the sake of their graduates, the facilities they work in, and for their own viability.

I am playing bedside in a local hospice to fulfill some of my internship hours. The very first person I played for was near death and unresponsive. As I played,  my mentor suggested that I add a high F to my improvisation. With that addition, the patient gave a little sigh and settled himself int bed a little bit. Another F. Another little sigh, another little settle. Another F?

There is fine line between exploring to find what will help the someone relax, and experimenting- manipulating someone to see exactly what the limit of the music is. The difference? You guessed it – intent.

The effect of that high F was so astonishingly, dramatically, evident, that now I see  just how easy it was to wonder, “what if I…,” instead of “what is helping” – to manipulate, instead of meet and follow what is already present. It is such a simple thing for delusion to take over and color our approach to this work.

This firsthand message shows me another facet to the importance of right intent. Our intent is our mission statement and our target, and we need to keep our eye and our focus on it. We have not only to identify our purpose for others, but to articulate it to ourselves, actively and regularly, so that we continually remind ourselves why we’re here.

How do you find that fine line in your own life? Do you have a daily practice, or is it easy for you to see where you need to go? Or something else?

Reiki Share

OK, the last time I checked, I wasn’t from Missouri, but as a card-carrying  ISTJ, I’ve got to see it to believe it. So what is it with this Reiki thing? Well, it looks like it is going to be a long story.

Part of the self-care portion of the IHTP curriculum includes a basic introduction to reiki. During our training, we got a short attunement from our instructor Judith Hitt, who is a Reiki Master. And I”ll be darned if I couldn’t pick up the resonant tone of everything around me after that — the room, people’s voices,birdsong, the air conditioner…  Before that session, I was humming high and low, trying to match what I heard, and never quite sure that I was getting it.

So back to the ISTJ-ness that is me. True to form, I found the Reiki Harmony Center here in Phoenix, and found out that reiki practitioners really do practice — on each other. So for $5, I got another attunement, along with an introduction to the actual practice of reiki. So far so good, I can still hear. 🙂

For the record, I don’t know what ki is — maybe it’s a god, maybe it’s some universal electromagnetic energy, maybe it’s something else. I am leaning toward  thinking of it as something hard-wired in our brains – some way we have evolved to be able to recognize, in some form, the bigger picture of things, and put our own selves into perspective. But even if it’s just a giant placebo in the sky, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then we are doing well to provide it with a pond to swim in.

Going to San Diego

This Sunday begins my first week in San Diego for the IHTP program. We will be working and studying together at the San Diego Hospice.

And, we’re off!!

The first month’s lesson is online for the IHTP. This month, we study the historic use of harps, and music in general, toward a goal of health and healing, and some of the basics of the physics of sound.

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