Mind & Body

The Secret to Feeling Centered

No time to meditate? Weave a practice into your workday.
The Secret to Feeling Centered
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My Meditation: Playing a Piece That I Know Well
It’s funny: People look at the instrument and they think, Oh, it must be relaxing to play the harp. And it is—but there are so many elements that need intense concentration and practice for many, many hours. So, I’m not always calm when I perform. There are some very stressful moments, because when you’re playing with an orchestra, you have to be alert: What’s the conductor doing? Am I keeping up? That happens especially when I have to perform a new piece that I’ve only been able to rehearse a few times. On the other hand, I recently had the chance to perform a piece I love—one that I know very well. When I was on stage, sure, there were still a few stressful moments, but then I got into the groove. I felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself, and everything clicked into place. When I overcome the technical aspects of the piece and fully embrace the music, it’s magical. I start to forget myself and just play.—Gillian Benet Sella, principal harpist for the Cincinnati Symphony, Cincinnati