EPISODE 27: MUSIC IS MY DHARMA
Guitar legend, Robben Ford, joins David for a discussion spanning high-caliber music, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Buddhism, meditation, artistry, and creativity.
Robben Ford is one of the premier electric guitarists today, particularly known for his blues playing, as well as his ability to be comfortable in a variety of musical contexts. A five-time Grammy nominee, he has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi, Keb Mo, Larry Carlton, Mavis Staples, Brad Paisley, and many others. Check out his new solo album, Pure, and visit RobbenFordGuitarDojo.com for guitar courses, tour info, and more.
“Music is my Dharma, and the relationship to Buddhism has only made that more clear. Through all these years, the way that Dharma has helped me has basically been to create emotional balance.” – Robben Ford
Welcoming guitar legend, Robben Ford, to the Creativity, Spirituality, & Making a Buck podcast, David invites his longtime friend and fellow student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche into a deeply entertaining discussion spanning from live music and inner artistry, to applying Buddhism and Eastern philosophical concepts to our everyday lives. To begin, David recollects experiencing Robben play a mind-blowing show in NYC at the Blue Note with jam wizard John Scofield.
“The last time I saw you play was with John Scofield at the Blue Note. I came backstage and I said to you, ‘Robben, you used to play music, and now you’re playing life!’ It was like not even music anymore; it was just life experience coming out of your guitar.” – David Nichtern
Pure // Music, Meditation & Trungpa Rinpoche (15:55)
Speaking to his new instrumental album, Pure, David invites Robben to uncover the process behind discovering a fresh sound for the record – his personal evolution in creating something so innovative and compelling in a modern world overflowing with musical talent. From here, Robben and David trade vulnerable questions and share on music, meditation, and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche as driving and settling forces in their lives.
“Music was always the driving force of my life. From the beginning, there’s no time when it wasn’t up front. For me, starting to practice meditation was finding a way to settle down.” – Robben Ford
Art & Non-Aggression // Big In Japan (37:37)
A friendly discourse around mastery versus well-roundedness flows succinctly into an epiphany around the connection between the artistic state and the Buddhist concept of non-aggression. To close, David and Robben fly the conversation all the way to Japan – a statement of our deep interconnectivity and how music and the Dharma bring us together.
“Being artistic requires certain characteristics. Trungpa Rinpoche would say: non-aggression – definition of art in everyday life. Non-aggression – that’s Trungpa Rinpoche’s definition of art. When a person is in an artistic state, they are non-aggressive. You can’t be aggressive and in an artistic state.” – Robben Ford
“If you take care of the music, the music will take care of you. This, I believe.” – Robben Ford