Beth Orton: “The discipline and the focus that I learned in the monastery became the same discipline and focus that I write with.”

Beth Orton on National Public Radio: “When I was 19, my mom passed away very suddenly. … She left [me and my brothers] 2,000 pounds each. It was a bit like a fable — you know, what do we do with our money? I bought a ticket to Thailand with some friends, and then we all kind of peeled off. Me and this girl, she’s like, ‘I know of this place we can go and meditate.’ And I was like, ‘Meditation, what’s that?’ I didn’t know what she was talking about. I went because it sounded like a laugh. After a while I just opened up to it.

“The strangest thing was, it was one of the most profound experiences of my life, and I left there and never meditated again. I was like, ‘I could go do anything now — get my heart broken and just meditate it away, and it’ll be fine.’ And then I started to play guitar and it became much more natural. I think what happened was, the discipline and the focus that I learned in the monastery became the same discipline and focus that I write with.”

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