Friday, May 02, 2014

Tuning into enlightenment

Don't think that I have abandoned the effort to provide an accompaniment to "Buddhism and Modern Thought" of musical works. To energize the students as they pull together the research projects I sent them these two youtube links. The first is a karoake breathing song (!),
giddily performed by followers of Thich Nhat Hanh. It's entirely disarming: once you realize that it comes not from musical expertise but from overflowing happiness, it produces titters of giggly joy. If you don't sing, there are hand gestures to follow. And of course the breath.
The other is a 1967 song by Donovan whose refrain takes the famous Zen sokuhi 即非 line about mountains that aren't mountains and turns it into a dangerously catchy refrain - listen at your own risk, for it's a skipping little jig you'll find yourself whistling for days.

First there is a mountain then there is no mountain then there is ...

Take your pick! If you're up for it, there's also a film of Donovan performing live on television in 1972 in full psychedelic color, a change in whose lyrics suggests an intervening encounter with Chogyam Trungpa:

First there is a hang-up then there is no hang-up then there is ...

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