Rick Cutler is certainly well traveled in the world of music. Playing both keyboard and drums from an early age, he graduated from the Julliard School of Music, studied with the jazz great Chick Corea, performed in multiple Broadway shows, such as Hair, The Wiz, and Candide, played alongside the likes of Herbie Hancock, Leonard Bernstein, and countless others, and received an Emmy nomination for his work on the theme of Dateline NBC. For 18 years, he served as keyboardist & musical director for tap dance legend Gregory Hines.
As a musician, Rick knows what is like to be in the groove. “You’re not thinking while you’re playing. You’re not analyzing your improvisations. When you’re playing, it just flows out of you. You’re just in the moment.”
Despite playing music everyday, Cutler craved a similar feeling of clarity and wholeness in his daily life while not playing. He learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in 1985 but says he got especially inspired to meditate regularly when he read David Lynch’s book, Catching the Big Fish. “His description of the importance of diving within really resonated with me,” Rick says. “I’ve always been a spiritual seeker. There wasn’t anything directly related to music that spurred me to want to meditate. There was just a desire to go within and get to that deep silence.”
Since then he noticed how his regular TM practice has had an impact on his music.
“I put out a CD in January and am currently writing another one. Since I started practicing TM regularly, it’s like there has been a waterfall of music pouring out, an experience I haven’t had since the ‘70s.”
He has also noticed increased clarity and creativity in his music:
“[Playing music] puts me in almost a different state of consciousness. I’m dancing with my transcendent Self. And through meditating, your ability to take advantage of that heightened level of creativity increases. It is 100% you.”
This article was written by Oliver Lazarus who is a senior in high school in Washington, DC. He will be starting college next year at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.