December 4, 2008

The soundtrack to my life after an i-tunes addiction: meditation on the album

This past weekend Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche visited us in Halifax, NS.

For 3 days the Student Union building at Dalhousie University was filled with the young, the old, Buddhists, non-Buddhists and future Buddhists sitting and listening to Dzongsar Rinpoche speak about the Bardo drawing from Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche‘s book “Transcending Madness”. The whole weekend was really amazing and I was so inspired that on Sunday I took my refuge vows. Now for the last 4 days I have been doing at least a half an hour of yoga and 20 minutes of sitting meditation every morning. (yay for me, pat on the back). But seriously. I feel great and I wanted to write this blog for two reasons. The first reason is primarily to give a quick summary of Dzongsar Rinpoche’s visit. The second is to introduce you to some music that I discovered right after I came home and it has been playing non-stop ever since.

For the past 5 years or I have been listening to a lot of redundant electro rock and pretentious electronic folk music. Whatever new genre it was, I was listening to it, downloading it, listening to it a few times then getting bored and moving on. The more songs I had, the more bored I got and the more incessant it became… i-tunes really became my new addiction (don’t we all have a few?) and all the songs and bands and songs and bands were intoxicating. I would spend an hour a day just listening to 15 seconds of songs and either buying it or not. Sometimes I would go back and listen and really like the song and sometimes the next day I would kick myself for buying something so… lifeless. Then I would go and do it all over again.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on Sunday, November 31st, 2008 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Rinpoche spoke during the youth talk about boredom and that it is actually good to feel bored. I thought about my recent post on Hipsters and how our generation is constantly fighting boredom.  We have so much filler (tv, music, fashion—> STUFF) and the struggle to be different and to discover something new that no one has ever seen or heard before is unrelenting. This creates even more boredom and we try and fight it even harder. It’s a vicious cycle.

Why can’t we just be bored?!

My boyfriend sees my i-tunes addiction better than anyone. He goes through my i-pod and tries to find something and he can’t because it is filled with so much stuff (not always a good thing see). He says to me “Anna, what ever happened to the album? Didn’t the album used to be sacred?” His words resounded truth as I thought back way back before i-tunes to when I bought a cd and it was special and I listened to it sometimes for weeks on end. I miss that. To me a whole album tells a story and that story can be a journey. One song from that album taken out of context can be fun but it is over so quickly and we move on to the next sound bite easily forgetting the previous one. For so long I have been downloading music and downloading music like I am searching for the perfect lover. Well I did find something that may not certainly be the perfect lover but, I stuck with it for the week and it has grown on me and i love it. So I thought I would share it with you.

Low Motion Disco is that music. They are either Belgian or from Switzerland, I am not sure. The names of their albums are called Keep it slow and Things are going to get easier. I don’t know if the names had a subliminal effect on me but certainly the music does. The soft hypnotic songs expand on your own dream-like story. I highly recommend it.

A fellow blogger named Luke explains the feeling well…

I’ve just listened to ‘East Mountain Low’ for the eighth time end to end, and I haven’t even started writing yet. It’s… captivating. And sure, I’ll admit I’m a few beers down right now. And perhaps I’m hitting that point where you’re not necessarily morose but you do feel as if you’re slightly more attuned to the vicissitudes of the world. But it’s still wonderful. It still speaks to me… Or something like that… Not that this is depressing fare – I’ve been listening to the song almost non-stop since Friday – but there’s something wonderfully undemanding about the emotional tenor of the track, like it’s a loose clay onto which you can paste the wanderings of your mind; the euphoria, the depression, the middling contemplation.

So yeah…maybe don’t buy it on i-tunes.  Go out and buy the actual cd/record at a local record shop.

And remember, keep it slow…

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