Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Meditating with Beethoven


Recent posts here on meditation music going mainstream and classical music with Buddhist tendencies have attracted gratifyingly large readerships. Now comes convincing proof of the Buddhist teaching of interconnectedness in the form of the article below published today by the online Buddhist Tricyle magazine. Titled 'Meditating with Beethoven' it describes how with the help of a live orchestra, Tibetan Buddhist teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche demonstrates how to meditate while listening to music. A video of the talk with orchestra, from which the still above is taken, can be viewed via this link. The introduction to the article explains how:
By meditating on the compositions of Sergei Rachmaninoff, Ludwig van Beethoven, and others, we can observe the wide range of emotions that these works evoke in us. As Mingyur Rinpoche explains, when we direct our awareness toward these emotions, they lose their power over us. In this way, we can learn to notice these feelings without rejecting or being beholden to them.
Before dismissing this thread as New Age nonsense it is worth dwelling on the following. The yoga market in the US is worth $27 billion annually, which compares with a market for classical albums of less than $200 million. Dumbing down classical music by reinventing it as an entertainment medium has failed to attract a new audience. Meditating Rinpoches on the concert platform may be a step too far the other way. But an awful lot of money is being spent on well-being activities by people searching for exactly the emotional uplift that classical music delivers. Is there a conductor with the courage to try replacing applause between movements with meditation between movements?


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