Above: Haarlem, yesterday. Sarsential 23: train! [ practice ]

"One day, after a rehearsal that hadn’t pleased [ violinist Mischa ] Elman, [ he was ] leaving Carnegie Hall by the backstage entrance when [ he was ] approached by two tourists looking for the hall’s entrance. Seeing his violin case, they asked, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Without looking up and continuing on his way, Elman simply replied, 'Practice.'"

'Who created the “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” joke?' on the Carnegie Hall, Midtown Manhattan, New York City website:

"When you acquire a certain level of competence that is presumed to be satisfactory, practice typically stops. As soon as ‘good enough’ is achieved something subtle yet extremely powerful happens: habituation steps in. One of your habituation’s central attachments is comfort. Wherever you are comfortable, wherever ‘good enough’ is subjectively perceived, your habituation will invest vast amounts of resources to maintain this comfortable status quo. One way your ego achieves this is to stop practicing.[…] Suddenly, the practice that birthed the greater competence in your life stops and your conditioning steps in. As engagement ceases the conscious participation and inhabitation of your body, mind and life is replaced by your ego’s habituation. And as soon as you cease consciously metabolizing your experience within the direct immediacy of the present moment you are no longer preparing yourself, your ego is just repeating itself. […] The essential aliveness of […] Practice resides in the engagement of all of your major faculties in the immediacy of the moment and your present activity. […] Practice from this perspective has no end, only a beginning...followed by another beginning. This path requires a constant unwavering commitment to engage. While this may appear tiresome, […] this is the only path from which you will truly and fully understand rest, and the complete release of Surrender, the letting go of the ego’s compulsive struggle. Sadly, the alternative is the continued unconscious investment in your ego’s unwavering habituated struggle with the truth of what is and the deception that this process of grappling can eventually result in genuine happiness."

From: 'Why Practice? Adapted from an article by Ken Wilber', first published as Pdf by Mark Divine, Februari 2012, trough: