davidtangka1

Buddhism glorifies the path to spiritual enlightenment itself (the Dharma), which is attained in part through meditation. Meditation is really nothing more or less than a training, or a practice, designed to develop an awareness and use of the wisdom mind as opposed to the more common human inclination (particularly in the West) of relying on the thinking mind. Buddhism presupposes that the thinking mind is quite limited compared to the wisdom mind, which is in many ways analogous to the godly state described in every major world religion, whether it is articulated as being at one with Christ, the Holy Spirit, or with the source of all things. It takes the individual, the ego, out of the equation and allows a freer, broader, deeper, and more compassionate perspective of existence.

David’s acknowledgment that the source of his potency as an artist is “not him” suggests his awareness of the fact that it is beyond his own individuation, that his ability to allow the wisdom mind–what he might call God or Christ or the Holy Spirit–to drive his performance is what gives him his power to touch hearts. This connection is not the exclusive domain of any one religion or practice but a universal truth that anyone can experience. David offers to those who are open to it an opportunity to feel that connection through him. It is not a connection with David. It is a connection with our own wisdom of the infinite by way of David’s remarkable and beautiful example.

There is a great deal of lovely symbolism in the imagery of Buddhism, evidenced here in R4D’s stunning use of Buddhist thangka elements. Here is a great resource for more about these symbols, but I’d like to at least make mention of the lotus flower, the petals within which our meditating David sits, and which blossom around him. The lotus (padma) is an important symbol in India and of Buddhism. It refers to the complete purification of body, speech and mind, and the blossoming of wholesome deeds in liberation. The red lotus, seen here, signifies the original nature and purity of the heart. It is the lotus of love, compassion, and all other qualities of the heart.

I don’t know if Rabid selected the red lotus on purpose, but given David’s ability to create heart connections with his music, it could not have been a more appropriate choice. Special thanks to Rabid for allowing me to premiere this magnificent composite.