(Photo above courtesy of Mica Plum)
Buddhability: Hey Mica! Thank you so much for taking time today to talk and share about your Buddhability journey. How did you first connect to Buddhism?
Mica Plum: Thank you for having me!
I first heard about Nam-myoho-renge-kyo from a close friend when I lived in Argentina. She brought it up when I started telling her about how insecure I had been feeling. My boyfriend at the time had just dumped me, and I had no money. I had all of these dreams for myself as an artist but no idea how to begin working toward them.
Initially, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo sounded very foreign to me. But the next day she invited me to a local Buddhist group meeting where I got to really hear chanting and instantly felt the energy. She advised me to try chanting on my own to see what it could do for me.
At first, I would chant two minutes and then increased it to five minutes every day. As I chanted, I realized I had a very dependent personality. Even though a relationship was bad, I didn’t want to be alone and always wanted to surround myself with people. But as I started chanting, I realized that it came from the fact that I didn’t love myself and that’s why I couldn’t be alone.
Day by day, I could feel myself getting stronger, and people in my life started to ask me what I was doing.
That’s a deep realization. What did you do to address that feeling?
As I was chanting, I would think about really loving myself for who I am and focus on that specific goal. Day by day, I could feel myself getting stronger, and people in my life started to ask me what I was doing. I told them about chanting and some of them even tried it out too.
The fact that people noticed the change in me showed me that chanting was really working. After that, my music started to gain attention. I produced and released a song that took off. I created a music video that MTV picked up, and it became a bit hit.
I went from being such a dependent person to, six months later, traveling the world with a dream career. I then moved to Miami five years ago to further my music career. Currently, I’m finishing up my first EP.
That’s inspiring. What was it like when you moved to my Miami? To a new city and situation?
When I came to Miami, the first thing I did was connect with my local neighborhood Buddhist group, which provided much needed support and encouragement.
I had been looking for a place to live but due the rent was too high, and my negativity was taking over. I decided to just chant regardless of how I felt in the moment. As a result, I found the perfect listing, but with one catch: About 20 people were competing for the place.
Chanting gave me so much hope that I wrote to the owners introducing myself and my situation. I promised to take care of their apartment with all my love and spoke about the type of person I am and how I wanted to contribute to the community. The next day, I learned that I got the apartment!
That’s so inspiring! How does your Buddhability inspire the music you create?
That’s a great question. The purpose of my music is to bring happiness to people and to inspire them.
Just like everyone else, I struggle. I want my music to convey the joy and power people have inside. Amazingly, when it came to producing my album, a group of investors approached me because they believed in the message of my music and in me as an artist.
I’ve been recording my EP at an amazing Miami studio with the best team of music professionals. It has five tracks that talk about love and my cause as an artist, but above all, they convey the message of how my Buddhist practice helps me in my daily life to be a humanistic and unique individual.
On top of that, I received my green card just two years ago and plan on achieving even more goals this year.
Any advice for someone who is struggling to know what steps to take to achieve their dream?
Chant. That’s everything. When I encourage my friends who are struggling, I always say, “Please chant, however long you’d like to is fine but it’s so necessary toward achieving your dreams.” Buddhism makes every day feel like a new year. You don’t have to wait until a certain moment to say, Now I’m going to start working on my dream. Every day you work toward it.