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Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 61 My Buddhist teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, said it was essential for the Buddhist practitioner to have a “sad and tender heart.” Your music often has those qualities of tenderness and pain. Definitely. I suppose “melancholy” is a word that might apply, but I kind of shy away from that word because it carries a negative connotation. There is, though, a peacefulness in melancholy, be- cause it’s balanced. When something is too entirely desperate, or too entirely sublime, it’s not balanced. The middle way is the most sustaining. Does the title of the album, Watershed, refer to your own life and what you’ve gone through becoming a committed Buddhist? I would say so. The idea of watershed has a great deal of perti- nence to becoming a Buddhist and following the path. It seems to me that the flow of dharma—or the flow of one’s own innate buddhanature—is like water. There are obstacles, but eventually the water will find its way around them. A change of direction happens when you take refuge and become a practitioner. For me, it’s been about reassessing, reviewing, and reprioritizing everything in my life. It’s been about revitalizing my morality and my relationship to cause and effect, meaning what I do as a person—with my body, speech, and mind—and how it affects all other beings. Each song, as I said, is about my relationship to something, and it’s also about the cause and effect of each of those relationships. When the album comes out, and you talk to the mainstream press about the title, are you going to talk about it in Buddhist terms, as you are now? I would essentially answer in the same way I’m answering you, although I wouldn’t use terms like “bodhichitta” or “planting the seed of dharma” or “refuge” because dharma is a very per- sonal thing and I wouldn’t want to have it taken out of context, which I think would be a negative thing. In other words, it’s better to be it than preach it. Exactly. I think we’ve seen instances where famous people have talked about Buddhism in the press, in a way that was not nec- essarily beneficial. I feel very protective of the dharma path and very protective of my relationship with Rinpoche. But at the same time, I want to connect people to it, I want to awaken people to it. I have been very cautious, though. Beyond its impact on your lyrics, has your meditation practice influenced how you sing? ➢ page 111 PHOTOBYJERIHEIDEN MAR 58-61.indd 61 MAR 58-61.indd 61 12/20/07 1:47:15 PM 12/20/07 1:47:15 PM