I always seem to start the year from a point of complete despair, but as Chögyam Trungpa puts it, despair is a staircase. I always found great inspiration in his books. After I read The Myth of Freedom, I never felt the same about spirituality. One must make a distinction between spirituality and religion. Strictly speaking, Buddhism is not a religion. It is a “nontheistic spiritual discipline, which does not talk in terms of worship and does not regard the world as somebody’s creation. According to the Buddhist teachings, there was no great articifer who fashioned the world. The world is created or produced and happens to be purely through our own existence. We exist; therefore, we have fashioned this particularly world.” *

As my father said, music is my religion. I find it to be a spiritual exercise similar to meditation, like a ‘meditation in action’. I am surprised that among all all our composers’ talk, we so rarely mention the more spiritual aspects of composing. After all, if there are no wordly rewards to the exercise of a musical gift, there is an inherent reward in a practice based on pure and unselfish musical thought and possibly some healing as well.

The new age is over by now, and spirituality is no longer among the ‘in’ subjects, as we are more concerned about the practical aspects of the technologies that will enable the communication of music in the future than the spiritual purpose of music. It would be nice to remember it once in a while, though.

*The Great Eastern Sun, by Chögyam Trungpa

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