YogaTuning: Wherein the genius of passionate songwriting meets the sanctum of our yoga mats. So what cha what cha what cha want? Let it go. Because you can’t, you won’t and you don’t stop.
Dedicated to Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, aka MCA, who passed away today from complications with cancer. He was 47.
’cause what you see you might not get
And we can bet so don’t you get souped yet
You’re scheming on a thing that’s a mirage
I’m trying to tell you now it’s sabotage
One of our favorite songs and undoubtedly one of the awesomest videos ever played on MTV when they played music videos. These guys rocked our angsty teenage world.
A little background…
Co-founder of the Milarepa Fund (named after the 11th century Tibetan singer-yogi Milarepa), Adam practiced meditation regularly and dabbled in Buddhism, becoming a supporter of Tibetan independance. Beastie Boys album Ill Communication is famous for having an eastern influence of Tibetan music, a touch of Buddhist philosophy and samples from Tibetan monks on songs “Shambala” and “Bodhisattva Vow.”
The Mialrepa Fund soon evolved into the Tibetan Freedom Concert, a series of rock festivals held in North America, Europe and Asia from 1996 to 2001.
Here’s “Shambala” Live at Brixton Academy in London, UK, in 2007.
And here’s a snippit of Adam talking with Shambhala Sun about his meditation practice and eastern influence:
Adam Yauch: I guess what I do is visualize the way that the music should feel or what it should represent. In meditation or whatever, just hanging out and listening, I work on visualizations of what that music represents or feels like to me and then when it comes time, it just pretty much comes out, somehow. It just comes through.
So that’s the main way that I compose. There’s no set way of starting with music and then working on lyrics, or starting with lyrics and then working with music. It is kind of random when it comes together and just playin’ around to see what works. But the main part of it is that visualization. Just knowing what the music feels like. Not necessarily what it sounds like.
Amy Green: Do you practice any formal meditation practice?
Adam Yauch: Yeah. I spend a little time in the morning and at night, just bringing stuff into perspective from the day or setting up what’s going to happen the next day. And doing visualizations. Things like that.
Amy Green: Practices that you have received from teachers?
Adam Yauch: My main teacher is not Buddhist. The guy who mostly taught me pretty much picked up whatever he has just through meditation. He lived by himself off in a log cabin somewhere for years and gained a lot of understanding about the nature of reality. He’s been my main teacher. So he’s not coming from any specific religious background; he’s just coming from his own understanding.
To me Buddhism was kind of like an afterthought. I still think it’s amazing, but I learned most of what I’ve been learning, kind of getting me going in a direction, from this friend of mine-his name is Quentin. And then I started reading some Buddhist books and just kind of went, “Oh yeah, this makes sense.” It’s slightly different wording and different context, but it’s real similar to the stuff I’ve been working with.
So even the bodhisattva vow is something that I had taken to my self, a bunch of years before I had read about it in Buddhism. And then when I started learning about it in Buddhism, I thought, [says in thick New York accent, like a '30's gangster] “Yeah…that makes sense. Look, they got that all figured out there.”
A butterfly floats on the breeze of a sun lit day
As I feel this reality gently fade away
Riding on a thought to see where it’s from
Gliding through a memory of a time yet to come
Smoke paints the air
Swirling images through my mind
Like a whirlpool spin beginning to unwind
And I stand at the edge cautiously awaiting
As time slips by
Carefully navigating by the stars in the sky
And I sit
And I think to myself
And on the horizon the sun light begins to climb
And it seems like it’s been so long since he shined
But I’m sure it was only yesterday
A cold chill of fear cut through me
I felt my heart contract
To my mind I brought the image of light
And I expanded out of it
My fear was just a shadow
And then I voice spoke in my head
And she said dark is not the opposite of light
It’s the absence of light
And I thought to myself
She knows what she’s talking about
And for a moment I know
What it was all about.