Tuesday, February 07, 2012

madonna and buddhism

This morning I woke up and browsed through the tweets of the previous night to see if anything interesting or important happened. A yoga journal tweeted about Madonna's Super Bowl show and how she is still amazing at the age of 53. I watched the video and there she was; once again in a very extravagant stage show. Songs were Madonna, but remixed. Her dance was Madonna but adapted. Her face was Madonna but obviously lifted. She was a chameleon and that was one of the main factors that kept her as the star for over 3 decades. 

Some people are stuck to a certain period of their lives. Careless college years, honeymoon months of a new relationship, or the peak years of the career. They fail to notice that with every passing moment, life changes. And that change requires adaptation. The minute we try to hang on the "good old days", we begin to suffer. We desire something that we don't have and we will never have again. The more we desire, the more time we spend fantasizing about that time. The more time we spend thinking what we had in the past, or how great it would be to have it again in the future the less we become aware of the present. Then maybe 25 years from now, we will look back in surprise and realize what made us such bitter and resentful old people...

Alternatively we can choose to go with the flow and live what present moment brings. Adapting to every new stage of life will always come with its own rewards. If Madonna was stuck in her "Material Girl" tunes and look, she would have disappeared as fast as Cyndi Lauper. If she stopped reinventing herself after Vogue, her name wouldn't be recited more often than Spice Girls. If she didn't take the bold risk of creating religious controversy (just after an album that sold 25 million), she wouldn't have been who she is right now. I see Madonna as a good example of Buddhism, at least in the way she works; continuously accepting that nothing is permanent and everything changes.

For those who might be interested in the three marks of existence in Buddhism and how change fits into that scheme, I created a little something:

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