Sri Chinmoy: When we say ‘public’, we mean many, many people, hundreds of people, thousands of people. When we think of thousands of people, usually we become nervous or excited. Appreciation also we expect, and again we may anticipate all kinds of criticism. If you want to give your very best, your utmost, you have to try to feel that there is only one person in the audience, and that person is your best friend or your best admirer, not your critic. While playing, you have to feel that you are a tree. You have hundreds of fruits, hundreds of flowers. When you play, start by seeing the entire audience as hundreds of fruits or beautiful flowers. Then try to feel that these flowers and fruits have become only one reality, which is the tree, and that you yourself are that tree. Then you will be able to give them everything that you have. Your musical talents you will be able to give them most satisfactorily. Always try to see the audience as one individual, not as many.
Now you are playing most of the time from your heart, but please try to go one step deeper. Try to play from the soul through the heart. You have the cry of your heart in your music, but you can bring forward the smile of your soul. While you are playing music from your heart, you are feeling oneness with others. But when you can play from your soul, you will feel that inside oneness there is something called satisfaction or fulness.
In your family you have your father, your mother, your brothers and sisters. You feel oneness with them because you are all in the same family. But the mind complicates everything. If you see that your sister has done something wrong or your mother or father has done something wrong, the mind will immediately come forward and divide the family. But when you use the heart, at that time you see that your mother, father, brothers and sisters are all one. If you make a mistake, it is their mistake. If they make a mistake, it is your mistake. That is called oneness.
Deeper than oneness is fulness. Fulness comes from the soul. In fulness you are complete. There it is all silence. If you play from the heart, it is most haunting, but sound is coming. But if you play from the soul, it is the silence that is playing. You are using your hands, you are using your eyes, you are using your bow, everything, but it is coming from the very depths of silence. If you play from the soul, you will have tremendous poise and peace. You will not be affected by anything.
During the day if you have to go to work to make your living, you have to feel that your real home is inside your heart. Then, inside the house there are many rooms, but one room is your private room. Again, inside that room in one corner is the shrine, where you keep a picture of Jesus Christ or some great spiritual figure. That place is the most sacred and secret place for you. Inside the shrine, you have to feel the living presence of our Heavenly Father. He is your Father, my Father, everybody’s Father. So first start by thinking of your home. There are so many rooms, but you want to be in your private room so that you can pray and meditate in silence. Then think of the shrine, your sacred place. There you have placed a picture of the Saviour, and inside the picture you have to feel the presence of your Heavenly Father. If you can do this, then you will have tremendous joy and satisfaction, not only from your music, but from everything you do. Then you will see that all your earthly strains and stresses will be illumined.
SCA 681. Sri Chinmoy answered this question on 23 October 1992 in Puerto Rico.↩