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 Post subject: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:55 am 
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Right now i have to learn many songs by hard, because i joined a new A Cappella Singing Band. The Songs are kind of comedy based German Popsongs... So it is nothing really spiritually uplifting. It is like a job.
It fills my brain...
I wonder, if this action drags my away from my dharmic path. I would like to integrate this action better than to get disturbed by it.
Joyfully there are just two (from 18) unknown songs left. Maybe it would be less hard, when i'm able to sing them all...

Has anyone here experience with integrating music or a hard work into the path? :namaste: Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:51 pm 
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Ayu wrote:
Right now i have to learn many songs by hard, because i joined a new A Cappella Singing Band. The Songs are kind of comedy based German Popsongs... So it is nothing really spiritually uplifting. It is like a job.
It fills my brain...
I wonder, if this action drags my away from my dharmic path. I would like to integrate this action better than to get disturbed by it.
Joyfully there are just two (from 18) unknown songs left. Maybe it would be less hard, when i'm able to sing them all...

Has anyone here experience with integrating music or a hard work into the path? :namaste: Thanks.


I make music also, it's abstract arty stuff..but I have the same questions. I dedicate it all to the Triple Gem and to the welfare of beings before I work on it, doesn't matter if the listeners know about it of course, but for me setting the intention for it matters, and I want it to..on some level make people feel better (even if it's in an unconventional way) It's not inconceivable that what you are doing could be turned into the path, is it?

I look at it like this:

A the very least music is catharsis for me, even if that's all it amounts to, clearing out and transforming negativity benefits others that come into contact with me. It sounds cheezy, cliche, and mundane..but if you are looking for simple justification I think this is enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:04 am 
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No, i hope i'm not only interested in a simple justification... :smile:
My topic is "How to keep the bond between Dharma and my existence? How not to forget it in the things i do?"
That leads to observe the effects of the doing on the mind.
It is interesting.
Yesterday i carried these thoughts into the band rehearsal - my other band plays improvising relaxing hippie-music...
I found out, thinking of Dharma (in my case thinking of Tara) while playing the music uplifts the whole situation.
Maybe this will not lead to Nirvana directly :tongue: but it is not bad...

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:00 am 
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Anything we come into contact with will have effects on the mind. Depending on where one is on the path, will determine just how much something has effect.

I've struggled with this myself. I've always considered myself a metalhead, and even played heavy metal guitar years ago. But lately, the topic keeps popping up in my mind, whether this is a good thing or not. For a time, I found justification for listening to heavy metal, which, by it's nature, is violent, angry, and hateful. Eventually, I had to realize that it was having a negative effect on my mind, and causing me to find justification for me being so angry, and having violent daydreams. So, I had to give it up.

As long as you keep mindful and unattached, I don't see a problem with it. But if you begin to notice that it is having an effect on your mind that is causing you to lose your way, then that's time to give it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:18 pm 
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Ayu wrote:
No, i hope i'm not only interested in a simple justification... :smile:
My topic is "How to keep the bond between Dharma and my existence? How not to forget it in the things i do?"
That leads to observe the effects of the doing on the mind.
It is interesting.
Yesterday i carried these thoughts into the band rehearsal - my other band plays improvising relaxing hippie-music...
I found out, thinking of Dharma (in my case thinking of Tara) while playing the music uplifts the whole situation.
Maybe this will not lead to Nirvana directly :tongue: but it is not bad...


I like your solution,, i think anything that improves your connection to dharma during your work time is good, especially things like consciously holding a particular vow or one of the 8fold path all day at work. Because let's face it - work gives us plenty of opportunity to practice..

For me I have a similar concern, i work in the entertainment industry & I often feel that what i do (while exciting to most others) is kindof trivial nonsense.
But for now, i see it as an opportunity to earn money to afford dharma retreats and pursue study to do something i feel has meaning and helpful to others.


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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:26 am 
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Image

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:52 am 
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"Don't park there ANY TIME", says the little sign...

"God appreciates you when you work - but he loves you when you sing." , is a saying here.
(If we talk about God. :tongue: )

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:56 pm 
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Justification was poorly chosen wording on my part, sorry. I just meant connecting it.

Anyway, for me I can "feel" when something crosses the line from being healthy in way that it can be connected to Dharma practice, and when it slides out of that, one of the first things I notice if things are going in this direction is that it becomes about self-aggrandizement...I start thinking more about how people will react to the music, about whether people will praise the music, rather than simply wanting people to enjoy it, or for it to have some kind of positive effect. Thankfully for me because I make weird noisy nonsense only a small portion of people pay it any mind anyway....

It will never be one way or the other permanently, some days the real altruistic motivation is there and some days you fake it..just like mediation, but I guess faking it is probably better than not trying at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:15 pm 
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Yes, this is similar in many actions - not only in doing music, but also in working anything for people - if there is too much thinking of "How wonderful am I?" it turns out bad and powerless... Image
And i have to apologize for my English - i didn't know that "to justify" has this meaning also. :smile:

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:12 am 
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No problem, it really was a poorly chosen word on my part, so your English skills might not be involved:)

One thing that I have tried to do lately with Music and some other stuff, is to focus on how I interact with other people in these activities. For instance, especially if the people you make music with enjoy your company and the experience is a positive one for them, maybe the more that can be focused on, the more you are "safe" that it stays an activity that is healthy by Dharma standards?

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:01 am 
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Johnny Dangerous wrote:
One thing that I have tried to do lately with Music and some other stuff, is to focus on how I interact with other people in these activities. For instance, especially if the people you make music with enjoy your company and the experience is a positive one for them, maybe the more that can be focused on, the more you are "safe" that it stays an activity that is healthy by Dharma standards?

This is a matter of balance. To interact with the other musicians is the fruitful thing. On the other hand there is nothing to interact with if i forget the inside and am only in the outside. It is possible to spark this inspiration off when this balance is there.
This is one reason why i think music must be something good on the path, because it gives feedback ... Sorry, not easy to explain for me. The more free the music with friendly people the more healthy it seems to get in touch with this inner flame...

But the new thing with this a capella group is more commercial. This are the old songs the people like to hear. It is not so much inspiration but fun... and hard work. :shrug:
I will see how it affects my mind, when i'm finally incorporated.
Hopefully it will be a matter of attitude, if i can keep in touch with Dharma while doing this secular music... :smile:

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:44 pm 
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I have just discovered a website that lets you effortlessly and accurately compose, hear and print out musical scores:
http://www.noteflight.com/
So, given the choice, I will probably be spending a lot more time there and not as much here at DharmaWheel.

There are only so many minutes in a day,
only so many discussions that lead nowhere,
and yet, so many melodies to create!
.
.
.

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:58 am 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
I have just discovered a website that lets you effortlessly and accurately compose, hear and print out musical scores:
http://www.noteflight.com/
So, given the choice, I will probably be spending a lot more time there and not as much here at DharmaWheel.

There are only so many minutes in a day,
only so many discussions that lead nowhere,
and yet, so many melodies to create!

Aha! :smile:
We use this one: http://musescore.org/

But to discuss with it is a very lonesome affair... It never answers, but does its nonsense freely. :tongue:
Have a good time, Padma.
Hope to see you again.
:namaste:

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Ayu, look up 'Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir' -- they're about to release the parts for #4 any day now, after which a few thousand of us all over the globe will have a few weeks to videorecord ourselves singing, all our parts eventually to be edited together into a single video. Sure, maybe it's a clever way for a professional musician to enlist thousands of people as unpaid Public Relations flacks, but it's still fun! I still enjoy seeing my big old bald head in the #2 video...

Back on topic, the original question kind of raises a more general question to my mind -- what is the proper place in one's life for things that don't have anything to do with Dharma, or any chosen spiritual path, for a lay person? (I'm guessing there are a few interesting discussions on this topic somewhere on this site, I'm all ears if someone has one or two useful links at hand ...)

My wild guess is the right balance is always going to be self-evident, more or less, upon giving it a little thought, as I explore this stuff. I've known a few people whose every single thought, every conversation was informed by their own path (Christians in my experience, though no doubt you find 'em everywhere), and while it evidently worked for them, that approach seemed a little... one-dimensional to my mind. All work and no play, as the saying goes.


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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:50 am 
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Thank you, phaseolus, for the reply. :smile: I found your choir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs
That is very nice, spiritual upliftig music. Don't you miss to stand in between all these people while singing? Isn't it a bit like being cut off just to be in front of a monitor while singing? :smile:
But perfect music as result.

Now i reflected and contemplated a lot about my music problem and came to temporary peace about it.
First: i don't think that my friend was right, when he claimed music would drag me out of dharma. This is just a jealous throught of his own. If i do my other works (shopping, gardening, housekeeping, painting, etc.) this also does not drag me out of dharma. This are the normal worldly things, i cannot sit in front of my altar all the time...
And: i don't have to. Nothing is out of dharma - it is everything within. Only my perception can be out of. This has nothing to do with actions in the outside - as long as they don't harm anybody. So i have to work hard on my singing that i don't harm the ears of any listener. :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 12:24 pm 
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I see no reason why wrathful practice and metal music can not be combined.
Tibetan music would frighten away Captain Beefheart . . .

I have known Tibetan nuns who composed and performed raps for lamas as a devotional offering.

It is intent and mindfulness that makes music right attunement rather than discordant . . . :jumping:

Personally I prefer birdsong, silence and mantra . . . this too is music . . .
http://youtu.be/pGHT3odq3xs

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 1:59 pm 
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A old Lama once told me that when you practice and perfect artistic skills externally, you are polishing and perfecting your own inner nature at the same time.
:namaste:


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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Namgyal wrote:
A old Lama once told me that when you practice and perfect artistic skills externally, you are polishing and perfecting your own inner nature at the same time.
:namaste:

Wow! That's really good news! Deep inside i was hoping for an answer like this. :D Because singing obviously makes my mind and even my body healthy. So there must be something good about it.
In which tradition was this Lama?

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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Ayu wrote:
In which tradition was this Lama?

Gelug (he spends hours every day practising painting). From a traditional medical perpective singing is also excellent, because you expel a lot of poisons from the body with the breath.
:namaste:


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 Post subject: Re: Music and Dharma
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:42 pm 
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Gelug. :)

It seems to me, that accustic chords are shaking the chakras somehow. Maybe they get balanced or even cleaned by some sort of music.
On the other hand "bad music" can put the nervous system down or push it up. But selfmade music out of the own heart seems to be healthy (for me) somehow.

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