Saturday, April 19, 2008

A different music in Hill Auditorium: a conversation on Buddhism and art

Last night a different music resonated in Hill Auditorium, as Gelek Rimpoche, Richard Gere, Bobby McFerrin and Philip Glass shared thoughts on Buddhism and art with a sell out crowd.

There is no easy summarizing of their conversation, but some key points emerged.
1. That the student/teacher relationship familiar to many musicians, artists, and other vocations is related to the guru/student relationship in Buddhism.
2. Similarly, that the tradition and practice are conveyed from one person to another.
3. As an artist becomes a master by fully embodying a tradition, so too for the Buddhist who approaches enlightenment.
4. Practice in artistic disciplines is very similar to practice in the Buddhist sense -- meditation, compassion, right livelihood. It is in the repeated doing of the thing that one simply becomes it.
5. Although Tibetans in Tibet are suffering brutal repression of external expressions of Tibetan art, the spirit of the practice cannot be extinguished. It resides in people.

Those hundreds of Ann Arborites who waited happily in a block long line to pick up their tickets certainly got their money's worth at $5!