Walter Bitner

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Meditation 101

Meditation has been a big part of my life for my entire adulthood, like a personal mountain I have been climbing a step at a time, nearly every day, for forty years.


Saying Goodbye To 12 South Dharma Center


the zendo (meditation hall) at 12 South Dharma Center, Nashville

the zendo (meditation hall) at 12 South Dharma Center, Nashville



After 8 years, Nashville’s unique and only ecumenical Buddhist center is closing its doors.

This weekend the three local Buddhist meditation groups who share 12 South Dharma Center are moving out of the second floor suite of rooms on hip & trendy 12 South Avenue they have occupied since June 2008. Nashville will no longer have a dedicated space where those interested in Buddhism and meditation can choose from several groups to sit with or experienced practitioners to receive instruction from 6 days a week.

It’s been great while it lasted.



emptystaffEmptiness at the Heart of Music

So often when we speak or write about music – when we practice, when we listen or perform – the focus of our attention is on the notes being played. These notes, their pitches and rhythmic accuracy, the articulation and tone with which they are produced, how fast or slow they come one after another, how they blend with those being played by others if we are playing in an ensemble: these notes and the attention we pay to them form the basis of so much of our work as musicians.

Yet there is another element to music making that is just as essential as the notes: silence. Silence is there before the music begins and continues after it ends. Silence punctuates the spaces between the notes and exists even as the notes are sounding, buoying the notes up like foam on the crests of waves on the surface of the ocean. Silence isn’t just the absence of sound. It is what gives music perspective and depth, and the power to penetrate deep into the psyche of the listener.

Without silence, there is no music.