Someone once asked the Dalai Lama if he ever took a break. And his response was “a break from what?”

If we are committed to living our lives in the freshness of the present then it doesn’t matter where or what – summer or winter. If we are fully alive and fully aware, in this body/mind moment, then we can see how things are always new, and that they are infused with the sacredness of life.

But the danger is that we get into routines and map our lives without this awareness. And so taking a break becomes even more important. Vacations offer opportunities to rest. And they can sensitize us to learn from the natural rhythms occurring in our bodies and minds as part of the natural world. Not escaping or running away from… but going in deeper into this harmonizing pause, an idleness that lets us reconnect with what we know is already there.

What ever you think a vacation is – something happens – something slows down – something is let go of and seen in a new light. So that when we come back, refreshed, we can be in our lives with greater commitment to all of it.

That is the plan.

I am committed to creating opportunities that allow me to continue playing music for people. Offering me an edge where I feel most alive and a vehicle where I am most able to express so many of my core values; an appreciation for and a responsibility to listen and serve the (fill in the blank) as it unfolds among us in the moment.

My schedule of performances includes a monthly residency on the first Wednesday of each month at the Lily Pad in Inman Square. I lead a different group each month, and we play one set of music starting at 7:30 pm. It is an intimate space with an excellent piano. This will be my third year at the Lily Pad. They now serve beer and wine.

Also playing once or twice a month on Thursdays at Spice Thai Kitchen a terrific restaurant in Ipswich (north shore) where a loyal band of friends and fans assemble to listen each an every time we play. 7pm to 9pm (978) 356-1828 for reservations.

This week I am playing trio at both gigs. Wednesday with the the very exciting and colorful drummer, Austin McMahon, and bassist Simón Willson from Chile. And Thursday replacing drums with hand percussionist (magician) Brian O’Neill.

I hope you are taking a break or have plans to do so before long. So that even a shorter break, like going out and hearing some improvised music for an hour can remind you of the power of stillness.