Last night, as I prepared to launch my new music video for ‘Perfect Love,’ I discovered something rather curious, and wonderful. Chögyam Trungpa, Buddhist meditation master, teacher, poet, artist – the list continues – and perhaps the most important person in my life that I never met, also wrote a poem entitled ‘Perfect Love.’ It’s published by Shambhala Publications, in a volume called ‘Mudra,’ including poems that he wrote between 1959 and 1971, described as ‘spontaneous and celebratory.’
Whilst I am in no way comparing myself to this great teacher, I can’t help but be excited by the coincidence, especially since the manner in which I came up with my song could also be described as spontaneous and celebratory. I was actually rehearsing another song at the time, and as I struck the last chord, I made a mistake. However in stead of stopping to correct myself, I simply kept playing, and the new song just kind of rolled on out.
A frequently quoted phrase of Chögyam Trungpa’s is ‘first thought, best thought.’ As I understand it, this doesn’t exactly mean that the first thought you have is necessarily the best, but rather the unedited version, the spontaneous one, the one that just comes out when you are totally on the spot – the one it can be hard to trust because you didn’t exactly ‘do’ it.
When I was writing the song I didn’t fully know what it was about, it was more like uncovering a code than constructing something new. Then when I realised what it meant, I decided to dedicate it to a couple of friends that were getting married and had asked me to sing at their wedding. A nice kind of synchronicity.
In Trungpa’s poem, which you can read in full on the Chronicles website, he says:
‘What is going to be is what is,
That is love”
Some kind of acceptance of things as they are? When I played my song to my best friend she asked me if my boyfriend was upset, because the song suggested things weren’t perfect. Firstly I said, ‘well you know, it’s not exactly just about me…’ and then I explained that I don’t see it as a negative thing to accept what is – rather it’s an aspiration for me.
That’s not to say that you should just make do and never try to improve a situation that’s not working. But that you can’t even begin to improve things if you don’t accept how they are now… And in any case, striving for absolute perfection – does that ever bring about happiness?
There is much more to his poem, and I hope that I will continue to understand it more and more. But for the moment, until the next craving seizes me, I am content in the knowledge that our creative paths crossed for a moment, his and mine.
And to complete the circle, another song on the Water Snakes EP, ‘Save Me,’ is dedicated to him.