(Photo above by Pixabay / Pexels)
When we’re stressed out after a long day or just feel like the world is putting us in a box, music can rescue us. It makes us feel human. It reminds us there are other wonderful souls in the world whose hearts resonate with our own, and we are not alone.
Just like music, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a sound that brings out deep feelings. While our favorite music might make us feel happy, lonely or angry, the sound of our chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo inspires our courage and wisdom.
We love music. Below is a few of our favorite jams that remind us that we have Buddhability.
Song: You Can Do It
The title of the song is also its only lyric, “You can do it.” Why can you do it? Because you have Buddhability within! If Caribou’s up-tempo production doesn’t move your heart strings, just watch this video with several adorable dogs running with all their might to catch a frisbee.
Artist: Steve Lacy
Song: Thats No Fun
Guitarist Steve Lacy is one-fifth of the band “The Internet” and has given slinky riffs to artists like Kendrick Lamar and Vampire Weekend.
Here he sings:
I change, you change,
Why would one stay the same?
That’s no fun.
Buddhism inspires us to change for the better. In fact, the key to changing everything around us is to change ourselves first.
Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda, writes,
No matter what may have happened yesterday, a new day of fresh possibility has dawned. You are not the same person today as you were yesterday!
Living this way is very satisfying or “fun,” as Steve says.
Artist: Men I Trust
In Lauren, Men I Trust singer, Emmanuelle Proulx, whispers:
There’s a voice I always trust
It’s friendly helping hand tells me leave, I must
‘Cause I can’t stay forever
‘Cause I can’t stay forever
By my window
When we’re down we may think several days of binge-watching our favorite show will make us feel better, but it doesn’t. Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply pick yourself up and move forward again. Ikeda also writes,
No matter how hopeless or bleak things appear, the moment always comes when suddenly our spirit revives, and hope is reborn. That is why we must never give up.
Artist: Tierra Whack
Song: 4 WINGS
Innovative Philadelphia artist Tierra Whack raps on “4 WINGS,”
I’m not perfect
But I improvise
As Buddhists, we don’t need to sweat mistakes or worry about being perfect. Psychologist Mel Schwartz writes, “A mistake is an event, the full benefit of which we have not come to realize.” In other words, our mistakes can show us what we can challenge or change about ourselves for the better. That’s why it’s important that we never let our failures rob us of our boldness or hope.
Daisaku Ikeda writes,
Life is best lived by being bold and daring. People tend to grow fearful when they taste failure, face a daunting challenge or fall ill. Yet that is precisely the time to become even bolder.
We don’t need to be prefect, in fact it’s better to become good at improvising.
Artist: Tones and I
Song: Cloudy Day
On Cloudy Day, Tones and I singer, songwriter and producer, Toni Watson, ponders:
Am I living?
Oh, what a funny thing to say
But there’s alive, and then there’s living
Am I living for today? Hmm
There is a difference between being alive and living. And for Buddhists, living doesn’t just mean you try sky diving, it means you hold on to your ideals and live for a great dream.
But what if you feel like your dreams are so out of reach? That’s why we like these next lines in the song:
But your momma always said, “Look up into the sky
Find the sun on a cloudy day”
Sure, sometimes our skies seem cloudy. It’s easy to forget there is a sun above the clouds, which is exactly why we can’t assume the way things are now is the way they’ll be forever. Daisaku Ikeda writes: “Hope … is a decision. It is the most important decision we can make.”