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Source Of The Cool

Written by on December 10, 2019 in Conscious Living, Inspirational, Meditation with 0 Comments

As a yoga and meditation instructor as well as jazz musician, I see parallels in both disciplines. One obvious connection is the notion of practice. Another is sourcing something deep inside of you to offer your best self out to the world. Just like Miles Davis did.

Miles Davis was Miles Davis. He was always miles (work with me) ahead of the others regarding jazz innovation. In 1957 Miles Davis released an album called Birth of the Cool and ushered in an entirely new and refreshing style of jazz labeled “Cool.” In addition to his technical virtuosity, stellar writing, and unmistakable sound, Miles Davis’s genius lay in his ability to single-handedly steer the entire jazz movement world-wide.

So, big deal. Miles Davis made a new style of jazz. That’s the point, though. He didn’t set out to change the direction jazz, he simply knew who he was and found his voice. Really, though, Miles Davis didn’t create anything, he just sourced it. Instead of “Birth of the Cool,” should be “Source of the Cool” referencing that deep mystery within all of us. Whenever we source this deep mystery within us, something seemingly miraculous occurs. Miles Davis just was the notion of cool. He knew his heart’s purpose for the world which was to connect to Source and express that through his trumpet. He was the leader in many other jazz movements like Hard Bop, Modal Jazz, Avant-Garde, and Modern Jazz.

For me, yoga is the process of understanding Self through the method of listening. Like Miles Davis demonstrated, it’s about being who you are, understanding what your heart’s gift to the world is, and letting that find expression in your everyday, in your job, your relationships, your speech, and your art. That’s yoga. Source your cool! What is your heart’s gift to the world?

What is your cool? For some of us, the answer to this question is obvious, we are teachers or parents, we run businesses or make art. For others, discovering our heart’s gift to the world might take some serious quietness and contemplation, some movement and breathing. And for those of us involved in this earnest exploration of our heart’s purpose, listening to our heart’s deeper wisdom might seem maddening or just very quiet at first. But the more we practice, the more we listen, we’ll become adept at hearing that little but wise voice inside that will lead us to discover monumental things we didn’t know we knew, we’ll hear ourselves saying things we didn’t know were in there. We’ll find our cool. I’m sure Miles Davis had many moments being surprised at what found its way out the end of his horn.

There’s also practice. Practice is where the real magic happens. I play my best saxophone alone in my living room with no one listening but myself and my neighbor’s dogs. If you walk by my house and hear dogs howling, you can blame me. Also, regarding practice, it dawned on me that is never a yoga performance, it’s always a practice. The practice is the destination. Practice gives us permission to explore and try it differently next time until we find our true, strong voice. Also with practice we’ll find the clarity and courage to let that voice be heard in the expression of our everyday. Miles Davis said, “Practice, practice, practice and when you get on stage, just play.”

With our daily practices like meditation and yoga, when it does come time to be “on” we’ll have the presence and mindfulness to really shine, and to share our heart’s purpose for the world.

May I invite you to practice sourcing your cool in whatever practice you enjoy.


Photo by Alex Adams

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US (New York, Salt Lake City, LA) and abroad and the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he's not teaching or conducting retreats, or traveling to teach, he also writes for Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott currently lives in Southern France with his wife and son.

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