Thursday, September 12, 2013

Macklemore, Ryan Lewis on Buddhism (video)

Seven and Boo, Wisdom Quarterly; Macklemore featuring Ryan Lewis;
Fans of Macklemore show the artists love (

Macklemore strikes a meditation pose in his Batman PJs (

Neo-hippies (
Vipassana is a Buddhist term. It means "insight" and implies insight meditation. It has been further popularized by S.N. Goenka, an Indian-American teacher from Burma. He and his Burmese teacher, U Ba Khin, conceived of free 10-day retreats to teach Westerners and others a powerful Buddhist practice -- available to all regardless of faith, tradition, or belief system. People are so moved by the experience that they often begin to quote the Buddha, Theravada texts, and Goenka talks (all taped for students) as they suddenly experience more calm and life-transformations than they ever imagined. 

Mrs. and Mr. S.N. Goenka (
Curt Cobain was so interested in Buddhism and "the end of all suffering," translated from Sanskrit as nirvana, that he named his band after the goal. The path to enlightenment often strikes artists. Apparently, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis were similarly moved by their experience of the first blush of insight that ultimately leads to nirvana. In 2009 they released the song Vipassana or "Insight." They would later become famous for such hits as "Thrift Shop," "Same Love," and their second-best song ever, "Can't Hold Us," their very best song being:

Macklemore, Ryan Lewis
[Tape recording of Goenka:] "Vipassana is science of mind and matter: how the mind is influencing the body and later how the body is influencing the mind, the mind, the mind..."

Business insight? (
Yesterday? Forget it. Tomorrow is? Nada. The present is? Right here, through the breath. Watch it. Atheist Jesus peace, hangin' on a cross. We sit and discuss God on lawn chairs about how we got here: What it is, what it isn't, sh-t. Fate versus faith, scrimmaging with coincidence. Leave out the marketing; hold up on the business end. Focus on the genuine. With everything else, you can shed the skin. I was a couple moves away from being dead -- in that ER overdosing, eyes bleeding red. I fell in love, made an album, got a buzz, lost it all, sobered up, and guess what?

Macklemore surfs the crowd as Ryan Lewis works the stage (flickr com)
Now we meet again. And I'm back, finally just laughing. Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. Studying the Dharma, karma of vipassana [meditation] practice, Bah'u'llah, Buddha, God, to the mountaintop, and I'm traveling, learning, yes, reflecting on what matters: People, impermanence, lack of attachments. It's space and time, a couple man-made distractions, the measure of a spirit that no human can ever capture. Church, ha, this booth is my Vatican. I don't control life, but I can control how I react to it. Student of the breath, break beats, and balancing. Desire versus Truth until I finally find happiness [the ultimate, the highest happiness, being nirvana].

Prof. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
CHORUS: I'm going, I'm going, I'm going. Passing through space and time, passing through space and time, oh, passing through space and time, space and time, space and time...

I was put here to do something before I'm lying in that casket. I'd be lying on the beat if I said I didn't know what that is. The world's a stage, and we play a character. I found him. It took me 20 something years and a bunch of sh-tty sound checks. I'm not going to be content until I find gratitude regardless of my sales or the record deals that they're handing you. If the next generation takes our legacy and samples you, we'll have a bunch of MP3s and misled kids to pass them to.
I use my veins to create the color I paint from. Delve into something till my heart becomes my paint brush. I told my mama, "I'm not stopping till my name's up." Thinking those comments on that blog is gonna save us. Searching for everything but Gods and validation. Get insecure and then we start blaming the haters. Used to look to women to fill a part of me that was vacant. Truth, the only thing that I ever used in moderation. 
So I stare into this paper instead of sitting at a cubicle. Take all ugly sh-t inside and try to make it beautiful. Use the cement from rock bottom and make it musical so the people can relate to where I've been, where I'm going, what I've seen, what I've heard. From the guts, f-ck the glory, just a person on a porch putting it all into recording. Many in my past and many that came before me. I just keep walking my path and blessed to share my story.
More on insight (vipassana) in the Art of Living (

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