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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Musical Interlude: Jason Mraz, "I'm Yours." Buddhism and Music.

I thought I'd post a fun, happy and relaxing song this morning. The artist is Jason Mraz and I really dig his reggae sound. Reggae is one of my favorite musical styles because it is so calming and gets me to dance around a bit and let my body relax to the beat. I also really like the message of this song of living in the now, letting go of our hang-ups and enjoying what he have and not worrying about what we don't have. As well as rejoicing in the power of love.

Music can be very spiritual as I think sound is something that our brain can easily absorb without too much thinking. Songs are great ways to express feelings, ideas and emotions that might be otherwise difficult to express through language. For me, It's about letting go to the present moment of the songs to just enjoy the beauty and power of sound. When I'm having a bad day it's hard too continue feeling glum after listening to say, Bob Marley.

Music is very meditative in that it can relax the body and mind to better enable deep contemplation and peacefulness. It's also a way to release stress and anxiety as music is for me a kind of audio massage and/or way to channel and safely discharge my less skillful thoughts and energy. I have found listening to positive music and/or chanting before meditation to be a great way to calm the brain and prepare it for sitting meditation.

The vibrations from the musical tones of chanting vibrates throughout the body and I have found relaxes the muscles that tense up in our day to day motions/actions. In addition it opens up the lungs so that breathing deeply during meditation is easier. From my experience I have found that listening to music and/or chants before meditation is kind of like stretching before running.

~Peace to all beings~

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5 comments:

Jamie G. said...

I recently downloaded this song for my mp3 player ...it's great.

In fact, it's one of those songs that gets stuck in your head that you can get out (I'm hearing it in my head now). I hate it when that happens.

anonyrod said...

As I don't have an MP3 player and generally prefer 5,000 piece orchestras, as you can imagine I don't get to listen to much music.
Thus, I have no other choice but to go off topic once again. This is really connected to a previous post, and although perhaps many people will have read it already, to those who haven't it really is a classic read. Here is an excerpt:

Teachers Are Prison

Now we come to the prison called "ajahn" (teacher, master, guru), the famous teachers whose names reverberate afar. In Burma there's "Sayadaw This," in Sri Lanka there's "Bhante That," in Tibet there's "Lama So- and -so," in China there's "Master Whoever." Every place has its famous teacher whose name is bouncing around. Whether national, regional, provincial, or local, every place has got its Big Guru. Then people cling and attach to their teachers as being the only teacher who is correct; their teacher is right and all other teachers are completely wrong. They refuse to listen to other people's teachers. And they don't think about or examine the teachings of their own Ajahns. They get caught in the "Teacher Prison." They turn the teacher into a prison, then get caught in it. It's an attachment which is truly ridiculous. Whether a big teacher or a small teacher, it's upadana just the same. They keep building prisons out of their teachers and gurus. Please don't get caught in even this prison.

The full article 'Prison of Life' by the late Ajarn Buddhadasa can be found at:

http://www.suanmokkh.org/archive
/arts/ret/prison1.htm

They call him James Ure said...

Jamie:

Yeah it does get stuck in your head.

It's better than the commercial jingles that have been in my head for days before I posted this.

Anonyrod:

Yep, anything--even teachers shouldn't be attached too in my view.

release_in_extremity said...

hey james, it's great you posted this! i've been a fan of this song for a while and recently bought the cd its on. i was thinking of writing about it on my blog. as i've begun studying buddhism, i think, as you point out, the parallels are very strong. nice post.
-- rooster

They call him James Ure said...

Rooster:

All the best on the Dharma path. I always love hearing from fellow Buddhists. Come back again and again...

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