This isn’t really anything to do with meditation or Buddhism directly, but it’s very cool nonetheless. And it’s not an ad! This is just something I’m enthusiastic about and want to share with you.
The Buddha Machine is a palm-sized plastic box that plays meditative music loops composed by Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian. It looks like a 1970’s transistor radio, and the music is absolutely gorgeous. I have one of the loops playing in the background right now, and it’s luscious, expansive, and relaxing.
The Buddha Machine costs $23, but there’s an iPad app available which is free for the next five days. For some strange reason the iPhone/iPod app is set at $0.99, … Read more »
Rolf Hind: It was a rainy October afternoon in Huddersfield two years ago. I was fresh off a silent retreat – 10 days in the countryside being instructed in sitting and watching my thoughts, and I was brimming with epiphanies. I was between gigs at the new music festival, whiling away time with some old friends and new acquaintances, and trying not to bore them with my breathless “insights”.
But in every case, with each new person, I was blindsided or scotched by their response to my enthusiasm. It seemed that I was the last person to have discovered meditation… Read the rest of this article…
Video directed by Matt Marzulo, shot in Sedona, AZ.
I recently made contact with Kellee Maize — a young, blonde, female rapper from small-town, Pennsylvania, who moved to Pittsburgh and started her own guerrilla-marketing company, Näkturnal. She formed her first rap group at age nine, and music has been an important part of her life. Her debut album, Age of Feminine, was released independently in May 2007, and has had over 100,000 downloads on iTunes.
Kellee’s lyrics are often urban and gritty, but spirituality plays a large role in her music, which see sees as a way to transcend the ego. Here she talks about what the “third eye” means to her.
… Read more »
Kaki Hunter is no stranger to success. Her background includes a career as a successful film actress, a published author and a recognized guru in sustainable building.
Two years ago, however, despite all of her success, Hunter says she found herself miserable and at what she describes as, “an extremely low point in life emotionally, spiritually and physically.”
After hearing about friends’ experiences with Vipassana, a 2,500-year-old silent meditation technique designed to eradicate human suffering, Hunter decided to enroll in a 10-day retreat.
The program required all participants to abstain from all communication, including talking, eye contact, writing, music, and reading. As Hunter entered into “noble silence” and began the practice of nearly 16 hours … Read more »
A few months ago I received in the mail a CD called Dhamma Gita: Music of Young Practitioners Inspired by the Dhamma. It was described as a compilation album that “offers a taste of the varied, beautiful forms of Dharma-inspired music made by young practitioners.” I loved it, promised I’d review it, but then got too busy. In the meantime, though, many of the songs have been on regular rotation on my iPhone, and the time has finally come to give you my opinion.
Right off the bat, however, I confess I’m not a music critic. Like everyone, I know what I like, but I don’t necessarily have the vocabulary to describe the music … Read more »
Although this CD was suggested to me as yoga or meditation music, I don’t do yoga and don’t hold with the notion that meditation is (just) about relaxing, and would never have music on in the background while I’m sitting. Nevertheless, I loved the music.
Kitarō, a Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning Japanese musician, composer and multi-instrumentalist, composes luscious sound-scapes incorporating the sounds of both western and traditional Japanese (and sometimes middle-eastern) instruments, along with natural sounds, such as birdsong and water.
“Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai, Vol. 4” is the latest in a series of a collection of albums inspired by the Buddhist monk Kukai’s classic pilgrimage to the 88 sacred temples on Japan’s remote … Read more »
Cats relax better if they are played yoga meditation music. When they are unwell, cats become less stressed when they listen to relaxing music, a study shows.
Student veterinary nurse Sian Barr carried out the research on cats being treated at a vet’s surgery.
She found that those who were played yoga meditation music and “Om Shanti” tunes calmed down and began to breathe more slowly while in cages at the practice in Powys, Wales, reports the Telegraph.
Barr, who has just graduated from veterinary school with a first class honours degree, said: “Stress in small doses can be a good thing, such as if a cat is under stress to eat, then it can … Read more »
Moby has spoken out in favour of Transcendental Meditation, or TM, as it’s often abbreviated to. He explained that he had avoided it for a long time because it “scared the shit” out of him, saying “I thought that TM involved ritual animal sacrifice and moving to some country and renouncing wealth and materialism”.
He continued: “One of the things that impressed me so much about TM when I finally learned it was its simplicity. It’s a simple practice that calms the mind… and the thing that won me over about TM, apart from having my hero David Lynch as its vocal practitioner, was its effectiveness. Nothing else helped me quiet my mind and go … Read more »
Every time Sunada watches Bobby McFerrin or Yo-Yo Ma perform, she’s left in awe. It’s not just their amazing musicianship, she says. What uniquely comes through in their music is their generosity of spirit and totally engaging way of expressing their individuality. As a musician herself, she muses on what it takes to cultivate that kind of open-hearted spontaneity and creativity.
I recently read an interesting discussion that’s given shape to my thinking on this subject. It was about the difference between spontaneity and impulsivity. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are some subtle but important differences.
Spontaneity arises out of studied mindfulness.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “spontaneous” means
Vajradaka looks back on a meeting in a smoky Jazz club and explores the mystery of empathetic communication between artist and audience.
I once had a chance encounter with a jazz musician that had a big effect on me and characterized some of the important qualities of living a creative life. At the time I was living up in the hills of Wales and coming down to London periodically. During one such visit I went to a jazz gig at the old Vortex in Stoke Newington, as part of the London Jazz Festival. It was smoky and dark with only a dozen people in the audience. We did not need much empathy to realize that … Read more »