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Posts tagged ‘Chögyam Trungpa’

Huge mistakes, mistakes that were huge…

“Huge mistakes, mistakes that were huge…”
(Sean Penn as Sam in I Am Sam)

I’ve made some pretty big mistakes lately. (huge mistakes, mistakes that were huge.) Or maybe they weren’t mistakes. Or maybe they were. But that’s not really the point. The point is I made them. In good faith! Motivated, as always, by a desire to further develop the intimate connection with myself that this life offers, and of course, perhaps more dangerously, with others. Everything I do comes from here, from the desire to give and receive love fully, with abandon. Well, so sometimes it goes horribly bastard wrong. I walk into the fire and I get absolutely fucking scorched. But tonight as I arrived home to a freshly empty house and faced what may or may not be the truth of my situation, I had a new thought: what if it’s ok to make mistakes? And not just ok…What if they are even great, my mistakes? And the seemingly inconsequential small ones that slip drearily through the net…what if they’re ok too? What if instead of sitting at home beating myself to a pulp with a horsehair whip (I’m not actually doing that, if it were even possible) I could dance, dance naked in my room (or maybe with just a sports bra and appallingly tight lycra shorts on) like a madwoman (whatever that is) and celebrate my huge fucking mistakes, safe in the (lack of) knowledge that I will never actually know whether they were mistakes or not, because who I am now is partly because of them. And who I am now is definitely wiser as a result. Who I am now is learning to be itself the hard nasty brutal boring way with lots of potholes and although it is painful and infuriating to keep on falling in, surely that doesn’t preclude having a little jig at the bottom and a grand knees up when one finally climbs out?

“In the name of heaven and earth, you can afford to make love to yourself”
(Chögyam Trungpa, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior)

Amen to that.

 

Perfect Love

 

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.

You can stream and/or purchase the full EP on Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Gogoyoko; it’s also available on iTunes.