Wednesday, 6 April 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…


When I gave my first concert in Chartres I felt that the cathedral almost kicked me out. For I was young and I tried to perform as I always did: just playing my violin.

But then I came to realize that in Chartres you actually cannot play your small violin, but you have to play the macro violin. The small violin is the instrument that is in your hands. The macro violin is the whole cathedral that surrounds you. The cathedral of Chartres is entirely built according to musical principles.

Playing the macro violin requires you to listen and to play from another place. You have to move your listening and playing from within to beyond yourself.”

Miha Pogacnik

[for more on Miha, check out]

Personal Wisdom:

What is your mastery?  What is it in your life that you dedicate yourself to get good at,
to excel?

Think back to the days when you were a child: what did you want to do? To be? How does that compare with your life as you’ve led it?

Former Senator George McGovern took up the piano in his sixties. Human potential
pioneer George Leonard set out to become a black belt in aikido while in his sixties….

What do you intend to master?

Societal Wisdom:

What is our mastery as a society? What are we dedicated to getting good at?


What should be our mastery? What is calling for our greatness as a society?

a Moment with Sharif…


I don’t remember when and how I became friends with Miha. For me at first, it was a bit of a stretch… he looks like segregationist Alabama Governor George Wallace. And he sounds like Dracula.

But, putting aside first appearances (and I won’t ask him about his first impressions of me), I quickly came to understand that Miha samples the world from a completely unique point of view. The viewpoint of mastery.

For most musicians, they would simply be honored to be invited to play a gig like Chartres, do their best, and stick it on their resume.

But, for a master, that’s not enough. With true mastery, one has to admit and acknowledge those times when we do NOT master a given situation or event. It’s those times when the deepest learning can take place – when the situation itself teaches us a valuable lesson.

For those of us who are not master violinists, what does Miha’s wisdom teach us?

Perhaps our lesson is that, as we act in the world, we must pay attention to our “macro space”, not just our immediate world of our immediate surroundings. Am I aware of the energy and quality of the places I inhabit? Do I pay attention to the past, present and perhaps future of my space? (As a kid, I remember taking a class trip to Independence Hall. As we walked to the second floor, I remember thinking, “Thomas Jefferson walked these stairs. Benjamin Franklin walked these stairs. James Madison walked these stairs…” While the rest of my classmates were bored, I was in awe.)

Perhaps our lesson is that our “macro violin” is not a space or event… perhaps the “macro violin” is US, in our greatness, our majesty, our Divinity.

Some years ago, I was walking down the street in San Francisco, deep in my own thoughts. As I walked, a homeless woman walked up to me, took me by the elbow and said, “Cheer up, honey! It can’t be all that bad!” I have no idea what expression I had on my face, but it was enough to depress the homeless. (My expression… what was I expressing into the world at that moment?)

Wherever I go, whatever I do, people SEE me. It may be someone who is familiar with my books and speeches.  It may be someone who doesn’t know me from Adam. However, in that split-second of eye contact, of human recognition, they are experiencing my “greater

In playing the “greater Sharif”, I have to move my awareness beyond myself. Beyond the
thoughts running through my mind.  Beyond all my learning.  Beyond my wants, needs, desires. Beyond even concepts. It is then that we fall into alignment with the Great Wheel of Being.

And it is then that our walking, talking and being start to make sense, when our “greater Being” starts coming into focus. That’s the place of true mastery.




All photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise

Cathedral photo:

Miha’s photo:

Commonway Institute

for Societal Transformation

PO Box 12541

Portland, OR 97212


To envision and implement a transformation of human societies, one radical enough to match the times, inclusive enough to heal humanity and all other beings, and visionary enough to propel us to the next step of human evolution.


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One Response to Wednesday, 6 April 2011

  1. Chuck Willis says:

    How beautiful! Thank you, Sharif, for these wonderful thoughts and the vision that accompanies them! Of my four Prime Gifts within my Gene Keys Holographic Profile, my Purpose is the journey from the Shadow frequency of Indifference through the Gift frequency of Versatility to the Siddhi (or Essence) frequency of Mastery (i.e., the 16th Gene Key). The choice of Presence is, indeed, a major element within the context of this journey.

    Bless You My Sacred Brother!


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