Nostalgia and Grace, by Carolyn Lee (page 3)

Exploring Bach

Before long I was studying organ with the organist of the Anglican cathedral in Sydney, who fostered in me a passion for Bach. On the day of my very first lesson, he said enigmatically: “Come to the cathedral tonight and hear the greatest choral work ever written”.

I went. It was Bach's Mass in B minor.

I could not say that I enjoyed this monumental work with the toe-wiggling pleasure I had felt at Solomon's recital, but I was extremely impressed. Bach felt to me like some sort of god, inhabiting an Olympian sphere that I might one day reach by earnest striving. I was ready to become his devotee. And so began years on the organ stool, grappling with his great preludes, toccatas, and fugues.

Playing Bach was a remarkable training in many ways. As I look back now, I can see that most of what I learned about discipline before coming to Avatar Adi Da, I learned from Bach-by accepting the hours of practice required to perform his music and submitting to the systematic methods needed to make the practice effective. However difficult at times, the effort was always worthwhile because of the happiness of applying myself to something so beautiful, so perfectly formed. I could not believe Bach's genius for invention, how he could take a mediocre theme and turn it into a work of marvelous art and splendor.