at the end of december i went completely off the grid up in occidental, california for a 10-day vipassana meditation course. i’d been working toward something of the sort for awhile, strengthening the bond between my mind and my body, learning to live in the moment. never had the time to unplug quite like this though: 9 of the 10 days are spent in complete silence without distractions. no phones, no computers, no writing, talking, gesturing, singing, dancing, or even physical contact. we lived like buddhist monks, really.
the hardest thing about it was not having music to listen to. i was aching for nick drake one morning as the sun rose, glittering like gold leaf in the trees. i wanted to belt out lines from “me and bobby mcgee” as i listened to my footsteps squishing in wet leaves and mud. instead, i let my brain play these songs as i meditated, wandered, and soaked up my surroundings with the full capacity of my senses. it was magnificent.
naturally, i had to make a playlist. it’s just what i do. so if you are curious about what kind of music plays in the brain of one who cannot speak or sing or listen to music, you are about to find out!
enjoy, and may all beings be happy.
december 26, 1990.
i was a fifteen-year-old vegetarian kid in a smiths “meat is murder” tee shirt (that i wish i still had). i was on my way to london for the very first time. this classic Wham! song was playing in the airport or possibly on the plane as we were boarding. i think of it every year at this time, it was playing in my head a whole lot while i was in the UK recently. the holiday lights were out, shoppers filled oxford street, and i felt like that same teenager, full of wonder, ideas. this song always ends up on my holiday playlists.
this music video is so of the time. look at that hair!
this year, to save me from tears, i am spending the holidays in northern california at a 10-day vipassana meditation course. it will be my first holiday season away from all distractions to go deep into mindfulness. exciting! scary! challenging!
there are a lot of stories still to share from the UK adventures and even more groovy happenings coming in 2016 so don’t be a stranger, ok?
happy holidays to all!
who is your favorite band or musician at the moment? if you know me, we have probably talked about my favorite band of the now, tame impala. this morning and many mornings since it was first released, i awoke with “let it happen” playing on my brain radio. it’s something of an anthem for this time in my life, particularly the last year or so, when i finally started getting in touch with what i really what from the universe and what i want to contribute to it. the hardest part is staying true to that and not deviating from that path.
when this song first came out, i had it on my phone and listened to it on a walk in my neighborhood. the sun was shining, i walked fast, along with the beat. “all this running around, bearing down on my shoulders.” i’ve been so sick of the hustle, selling my marketable skills to the next bidder. i just want to share stories and ideas and things i make with the world, not just the things i do to pay rent. “something’s trying to get out, and it’s never been closer.”
this is a wild time to be alive. listening to music keeps me from getting too lost in the sadness of the world and reminds me of the beauty that exists.
why don’t we just let it happen?
for as long as i can remember, music has played in my head constantly. sometimes first thing in the morning, the day begins with a tune. other days, a full track list can be created from the songs that pop into my thought stream. i eventually started calling it my “brain radio” and posted a few on twitter with #brainradio and even kept a running playlist.
today on the ol’ brain radio, we have “save a prayer” from the wonderful, dreamyliscious duran duran. i know exactly how this got in there too, i watched the eagles of death metal performing this with duran duran in a video just the other day. it’s been on my mind all evening so let’s time travel back to 1982 and get lost.