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Attachment to Music?

RMWRMW Easley, South Carolina U.S.A. New

Hello, NB members. This is my first post.

Some years ago, I contracted cancer of the tongue. The angles of the radiation treatments altered my my vocal cords, so I can't sing even close to as good as I used to. Between the ages of 18 and 31, I was a rock 'n' roll singer. Along that timeline, I sang some funk songs and moved with the times, but there were always more rock "n" roll and pop-rock songs on the band's list. I also always had a guitar and played, even though I never played in any of the bands I sang in. I feel emotionally attached to music - often to tears. I feel nostalgic for the past, and I wonder if this will hamper my development along the path of Buddhism.

Having never played guitar when I sang professionally, I was constantly working out my own songs on my guitars. My songs are of a pop-rock nature, with hard-driving beats. I'm attached to these creations. Can I write this kind of music, but substitute lyrics having to do with "the path"? If so, what do I do about my emotional attachment to the music? Would I be better off letting go of music entirely?

I welcome and thank you all for your thoughts on this matter.

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Lovingness is the way The Continent Veteran

    I think it’s particularly difficult to let go of our own achievements in fields where we make beautiful things. You feel that what you did was good, had some worth, gave pleasure to people. So you kind of want to return to that, and you feel attached to it. It defines a lot of who you were, and so you feel invested in that part of yourself.

    I have been through a similar process myself with a kind of creative endeavour I used to be part of. My solution was to give it up for a number of years, to return to stillness. I started studying Buddhism in this period, and that has been good for me.

    It seems to me that you can’t really make that choice, about what to do, without at least trying to see more deeply both forks of your path, with music and without. Would you be a different person without music, perhaps less driven, more relaxed? What would you do with your life if you weren’t into music?

    RMW
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    Attachment to music? Why yes.Often quite attached.

  • RMWRMW Easley, South Carolina U.S.A. New

    Hi, Lionduck.

    Do you consider your attachment to music to be a hindrance on your path of "awakening"?

  • RMWRMW Easley, South Carolina U.S.A. New

    Thanks for your well-reasoned reply, Kerome. I'm 71 years old, so I have little time to choose between writing music and pursuing the ultimate aim of Buddhism. The ultimate goal would be to marry the two endeavors. Of course, I'd have to lose my attachment to music while creating songs in order for that to happen.

    You gave me a few wise questions to ponder. I'll give you the answer to those questions, because I've wondered about them both for quite some time.

    You asked: "Would you be a different person without music, perhaps less driven, more relaxed?"
    I would be a different person, but not less driven and more relaxed. This would be because of my love of music and the creative process; but that seems to conflict with the goal of "awakening," to which I also feel strongly compelled.

    The second pithy question you proffered me was: "What would you do with your life if you weren’t into music?"
    If I were unattached to music, I could more easily drop other attachments. I would spend more time practicing the goal of nibbana both on and off the cushion, which would include practicing metta.

    Thanks again, Kerome.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @RMW said:
    The second pithy question you proffered me was: "What would you do with your life if you weren’t into music?"
    If I were unattached to music, I could more easily drop other attachments. I would spend more time practicing the goal of nibbana both on and off the cushion, which would include practicing metta.

    Hi @RMW - welcome!

    It sounds like you've pretty much answered your own question there.

    Dhamma practice is like any other pursuit (including music), what you put in to it you will get out of it!

    Best of luck.

  • Omar067Omar067 Veteran
    edited July 6

    I've given up music entirely. A lot of the music that is created these days are not good for you to listen to for long periods of time. Music with bad messages in them can harm the purity of your mind. Your mind must always be gaurded. Leaving your mind unguarded is like leaving the back door to your house open at night. Someone can come in and do harm to you. If you're going to make songs that are related to the Buddhist path, then I encourage you to make as many songs as you want. You will be forming good karma which will have a great effect on your life. It would be nice if you could make songs in praise of the one and only vehicle, the Lotus Sutra. Your fortune would be immeasurable.

    Bunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Would I be better off letting go of music entirely?

    Rock and Roll dhrama.
    Mantra for the masses.

    Thank you for singing. <3

    Bunks
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone..."

    We always want what we can't have, and if we had it, then it went, we want it more.
    Then attachment becomes craving and clinging, which can lead to an unhealthy mindset...
    Where the Mind goes, the Body follows.

    Acceptance is the key.
    Don't fight it, accept it. Enjoy what you can do, and remember what you did, with fondness, and acceptance. Things change, nothing stays the same.
    Remember, one day you may reach the point when even holding or playing a guitar becomes challenging...

    lobsterFosdickBunks
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Would I be better off letting go of music entirely?

    No.
    You would be better off being a musical Buddha.

    Melody dharma …

    Bunks
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