Return to Previous Page     Words about Music    Home

The Three Treasures
by David Gordon

There is a wonderful and ancient book of philosophy and insight called the "Tao te ching."

I occasionally choose a page at random and see what the book has to say to me.

Several times recently I've turned coincidentally to the same page: "The Three Treasures."

These three precious attributes are essential for the singer.

The first Treasure is Simplicity. By focusing on the simplest element of our singing, of our vocal work, we return to the Source, to our basic connection with our singing and our love of Voice. As I wrote in "One Step at a Time" we need to see our growth as singers as a step-by-step journey.

By remaining in a place of simplicity, everything becomes easier, more relaxed, at ease. You tend to find yourself right where you want to be.

The second Treasure is Patience. Patience allows you to listen, to learn, and most importantly to understand. Patience lets you slow down and experience the moment, without haste or frenetic activity.

As singers, we need to be patient. If I tug on the leaves of the plants in my garden, they will not grow faster. They are what they are, and I need to help them and guide them and protect them, but I can't make them grow faster than nature will allow. So it is with our voices.

The third Treasure is Compassion. I believe the Tao te ching means "compassion for others" but the singer also needs to have self- compassion. Even the most diligent singer makes mistakes, even the hardest-working student sometimes falters. Don't beat yourself up. Do the best you can.

Pay attention to detail, to the simplest element of your work. To know yourself is to empower the greatest expression of your self. In simplicity is insight.

Be patient, and let things develop at their own speed. If you hurry you may miss everything. In patience is strength.

Be self-compassionate. Cheer yourself on, as if you were encouraging a good friend. Let this compassion guide you. In compassion is courage.

Copyright 2003-2007 David Gordon

Inspired by the Tao te ching, verse #67

Back to Top of Page   :   Return to Previous Page

Home   :    Words about Music    :    Contact David

The David Gordon Studio  :  Pacific Grove, California  :