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The Buddha Freestyles: Jay-Z and Overcoming Fear
Submitted by Lodro Rinzler on Thu, 4/26/2012, 1:38am
The Buddha Freestyles is a new weekly column where I will take a quote from hip-hop and occasionally other forms of music and interpret how it can relate to living a life of mindfulness and compassion. Have a suggested lyric? Send it over.
“I move forward, the only direction/can’t be scared to fail/Search and perfection” – Jay Z, from On to the Next One (thanks to Liza K. for this week’s suggested lyric)
Jay-Z stresses the importance of the present moment, overcoming fear, and discipline in this week’s concise verse. The meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche once said, “Everything is pre-determined, until now.” Jay-Z clearly agrees with this statement, noting that you cannot look to your past as a set marker for your future success. In fact, the only thing you can do in terms of living your life is connect with this very moment, now, and move forward. It is the only direction that you can take, as our sage guide points out.
As you embark upon realizing the potency of this very moment, Jay-Z warns us of one common obstacle to happiness: fear. Be it a new business venture, a romantic possibility, or releasing a new single, you cannot let fear rule your life. This could be fear of what could happen, or it could be based on what has happened in the past, but within the Shambhala tradition a set of teachings have been developed specifically for working with these scenarios: fearlessness.
The word “fearlessness” might immediately make you think that these teachings are based in getting rid of fear. Quite the opposite. They are based in the idea that in order to truly deal with your fear you need to confront it with an open heart and mind and, eventually, by applying the discipline of looking deeply at it with the tool of meditation, work through it.
In order to overcome the hold that fear has on us we need to confront it, fully. This is a path of great discipline. As Jay-Z points out, we need to search within ourselves to see our fear fully, so that we end up overcoming it and realizing the true happiness that can be found in this very moment. When we can do that, as our rap mogul teacher points out, we have searched appropriately and will find perfection.
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