Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy


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A Perfect Reminder

This past month has been interesting. I have left my hometown of NYC to be in Colorado and California to spend time practicing guitar, recording, and breathing easy. Many New Yorkers think if they’d get away from NY life would fall apart. Funny, there is life outside NY and I feel fine.

However – there are a few universal principles to remember. 1) wherever you go, there you are 2) you take yourself and baggage with you wherever you go.

I found yesterday – exactly one month in, that I took my baggage with me. A feeling of “it’s not good enough” and “I want more” and “everything will be ok when (fill in the blank)”. Ahh, the tendency to deny the present moment was something I got into my “carry on item”.

Luckily I found the medicine I needed. A quick profound message from a Sadguru on Youtube, and then one from Lester Levenson. Sadguru observes how there are people who create their own heaven and their own hell. I realized that I already have everything I want in life, and that once I have gotten “the object of desire” – it is utterly transparent. To want more, and to deny the present moment – is a mini hell I create, and to sit quietly is a heaven I create.

Another teacher (not the one posted above)Lester Levenson describes it quite simply. He has observed that we already are whole, complete – and that through desire we create a disturbance, an added unhappiness, and when we fill that unhappiness with the object of desire, we find our wholeness which was there the whole time. The mind quiets, we call it happiness – and then get on the merry go round again. The happiness is simply our natural state. It is that we “assume” a lack which is not real.

Just hearing the words of these enlightened teachers is a perfect reminder. I can reflect on all the desires I have fulfilled over the years, and can also see that these did not bring me lasting happiness. Knowing that, I can breathe right here right now and allow myself to be happy.

Our happiness is not “coming” at “a future time, a better time then now” when we have something, or when something special happens. We can listen now. We can breathe now. We can let it all be, and allow a profound peace to pervade.


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Planting Seeds in the Mind

Good Morning!

It’s 5:21 am here, Pacific time. Blackness outside as I listen to Oliver the cat crunch his dry food. Time to put some coffee up…it is peaceful right now.

Life is good. It’s just good. Always has been good, and now I feel it’s good!

I taught 3 private students yesterday. Much to my surprise, one walked in with a Gibson ES 175 guitar and wanted to pick my brain jazz wise. It’s been a while since I taught jazz guitar.

I showed him how to construct lines that fit over chord changes and walked him through an example. Then I realized it was an just an example and wanted to convey to him another level of the work that really has to be done in order to learn the language of jazz.

Learning an example is step one. Then at least the conscious mind is fooled into thinking it understands. It still does not mean there’s a deep knowing, but at least is encouraged. Examples are good, and offer a welcoming feeling and encourage deeper study.

What I then saw, in retrospect was how I learned much of what I learned in jazz. This could apply to anything – not just jazz. In fact, what I discovered was that I had applied the Law of Attraction to my musical studies without knowing it.

As a college student learning jazz I “transcribed” solos. That means that I’d find improvised solos on records (yes lp’s) that I liked, record them to cassette, and proceed to write them down on paper. Sometimes I would use a guitar or piano for help, but soon after the first few transcriptions I could start writing to the paper by ear with no instrument.

I’d never learn the solos on my instrument, but I’d have them kicking around in my mind. I remember going to jam with other musicians after doing this kind of work, and sensing an expanded sense of musical possibilities.

What I now realize is that I “planted seeds” in my mind that would grow for years to come. I’ have to focus so hard that I’d see, hear and envision the music – and that for years after, everything I’d practice would in fact make my “vision” come true and manifest. That’s why it’s so good to see and listen to great performances in all areas of life – not just music!

We all work towards the vision we have in our mind whether we realize it or not, and many of the Law Of Attraction books are more about the awareness of the vision we hold. The law operates whether we realize it or not, like gravity we can’t change that…but what we can do is hold a vision in our mind of our ideal life. Upgrade the inner vision, then you upgrade the match when it arrives!

A psychiatrist friend of mine put it differently….but similarly. He said that our minds are problem solving mechanisms and that if we have a discrepancy between the vision inside and outside, our minds will work night and day to make the outer circumstances match the inner vision.

Fascinating and exciting stuff. The more and more and I watch, and the more and more I am clear regarding my inner vision, I see my dreams are in fact coming true. It’s incredible. As I said before, life is good.


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Allowing Transparency

Greets Friends. I am writing you from the Bay Area in California. It’s about 6am Pacific time, and I have been up for some hours, already working – uploading a new vid to youtube, looking at emails, etc. Busy work, you know…

It’s just bizarre when one sees how beautifully transparent life is. As I look “back” (whatever that means) on accomplishments, relationships and life, and – as I look forward to ideas about what I’d like in the future, or what it may bring, there is this itty bitty speck called NOW.

In this NOW it’s like this transparent nothingness – like just a small crack allowing light in. It’s this small valley in between the massive past and future. But – on looking again and again, maybe these huge mountains of past and future are nothing but illusions, and all that has ever and will ever be is this weirdly eternal speck of time called NOW.

Lester Levenson calls life “the dream that never was”. I’ve not experienced a trauma lately, but I’m reflecting on relationships with people that have “returned to the invisible and silent realm”, looking back on relationships with mentors, animals who I loved and nurtured until their passing, music I have written….wondering where did it go? Or – maybe it didn’t go anywhere. It’s almost as if it never was….only my observation made it feel real.

Quantum physics shows that even the smallest particles are only “probabilities in motion” (or something like that) until and observer comes and looks, crystalizing a vision. Isn’t life the same? Constantly in motion, wiggly, never defined – until we imprint an image in our minds and observe it? Like a snapshot. Then for a brief moment – when we observe, it appears as if it all stands still and forms into some kind of NOW point.

Sometimes this transparency frightens me when I “think” that there’s nothing to hang onto. No job, parents, lovers, home will stay permanent…it’s all much more fluid than any of us sometimes want to admit. From where do these friends, lovers and circumstances come, and where do they go?

In meditation the NOW moment merges with the flow of time it’s like flying with no net…we realize this is the only moment there was, there is…and it’s all okay when we allow this transparency.

Thus…it’s not about the destination – it’s about the journey.