Before you start to play, take a breath. Just as in meditation, ithelps you (and other listening to you) focus on the presentmoment and the music being played.
Mindfulness has many aspects, extending to composing,practicing, and performing. In composing, it might mean beingaware of the value of and using emptiness and space. It alsomeans recognizing and valuing the peaceful, centered feeling thatZen guitar music can generate, whether the music is mellow or joyous. Another example is that mindfulness can foster a feelingof completeness with only one instrument. There is no need to fillup the spaces in the music and our minds with a lot of instruments or a driving drumbeat.In practicing guitar, anothermanifestation of mindfulness is to expect and even welcomemistakes. They contain wonderful ideas. And in performing,mindfulness can mean things like remembering to connect withthe audience and to remain humble, recognizing ourselves simplyas a conduit of music.Personally, I use space in several ways. Most obvious is the uselong pauses and sustained notes in many of my pieces. Adifferent kind of space is letting compositions "breathe", taking asmuch time as they need to develop. Nothing is rushed, because if a composition is forced, it will sound forced. When practicing, Ilisten to mistakes and then decide whether or not to discardthem. And in performing, I constantly remind myself that the truepurpose of performing is for the benefit of others, connecting withpeople through a shared musical experience.