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Musicians & Addiction: research and recovery stories
"Musicians and Addiction: Research and Recovery Stories" examines the enormous vulnerability musicians have towards addiction and dependency issues and offers suggestions and practical advice. The book commences with a literature review, surveying academic research focused on the pressures faced by musicians and other contributory factors. Excerpts from published autobiographies are woven into the discussion to illuminate the points being made. The book then presents a series of personal recovery stories from musicians which have been specially written for the project. The final section presents practical advice from a range of experts, targeted at both musicians and organisations that employ musicians. The book potentially has relevance to visual artists, novelists and other creative people.
Dr Paul Saintilan is the CEO of Music Australia, the peak advocacy body for the Australian music industry. He first studied with the late Australian music composer Peter Sculthorpe and went on to work as an international Marketing Director at EMI Music and Universal Music in London in the 1990s. He has a PhD from Deakin University and has published a textbook with Routledge. In the 1990s he partied hard, and then decided to drink his way through a marriage breakup in 1999. This triggered an addiction problem that was ultimately solved through AA initially teaching him some hard lessons about addiction, and then finding Buddhism which sublimated sobriety and made it beautiful for him. In 2008 he hosted a gathering at Cannon Beach, Oregon,of Buddhist teachers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and addiction researchers, interested in using Buddhist practices to address the suffering caused by addictive behaviours. This meeting ultimately led to the creation of the Buddhist Recovery Network,a non-profit international organisation. He served as the inaugural Chairman of the organisation, during which time a website was established, www.buddhistrecovery.org and the organisation was incorporated with IRS tax deductible status in the USA. He also co-hosted the 2009 International Buddhist Recovery Network Conference at Against The Stream in Los Angeles. In 2019 he was 16 years sober.
Introduction: why do we believe there is a problem?
Section 1: Research on musicians and addiction
Section 2: Perspectives on musicians and recovery
Section 3: Implications for musicians, music organisations and the music industry
Myth of Meditation: restoring imaginal ground through embodied Buddhist practice
From his three decades of teaching Buddhist meditation, Paramananda, offers an approach that is a challenge both to the way we experience ourselves, and the way in which we see and 'be' in the world. He contends that the historical Buddha offered not a panacea for the ills of his time but rather a radical alternative way of living in the world, still as valid today as it was 2500 years ago. At the very heart of this radical vision is the art of meditation. Engaging in this art is what Paramananda outlines in The Myth of Meditation.
Enlivened by his love of both the natural world and poetry, he guides us in a threefold process: grounding meditative experience in the body, turning towards experience in a kindly and intelligent way, and seeing through to another way of understanding and being in the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paramananda came into contact with the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1983 and two years later was ordained within the Order itself. Since then he has been teaching meditation and Buddhism full-time in San Francisco and in London, where he now lives. He is author of Change Your Mind: A Practical Guide to Buddhist Meditation (2005), A Deeper Beauty (2002) and The Body (2007).
"A critical and necessary book to read, to practise and to embody. Brilliant in its depth and simplicity, Paramananda allows meditation to become poetry, to return to its 'original face.'"
—Michael Shea, PhD, meditation teacher and founder of sheaheart.com
"Paramananda beautifully examines how spiritual practice is both a deeply intimate relationship with oneself, and inextricably connected to the world we live in. He brings far-reaching Buddhist teachings down to earth and encourages us to be curious, as we simply sit with the breathing body, or open to suffering - our own and others' - in such a way that liberates the heart."
—Vajradevi, meditation teacher and author of Uncontrived Mindfulness
"Paramananda's latest book has grown out of a depth of practice and engagement. It is beautifully simple, earthy, inviting a subtle, sensitive and poetic meeting of ourselves. It is perhaps something of a cliché to say it speaks both to beginners and experienced meditators alike, I can't speak for beginners, though reading it I was reminded of another great meditation teacher - Shunryu Suzuki, and his famous book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Paramananda is able to encourage us to the openness of the beginner's mind, drawing the reader back to their own experience, giving them enough instruction and encouragement to be with the elusive, the understated, the difficult. This book will help you find your way back to your own vulnerable heart, connected to the mythic heart of the world."
—Jayaraja, Chair of Buddhafield, author of The Yellow Book of Games and Energizers
I'll Meet You There: a practical guide to empathy, mindfulness and communication
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
We get connected with each other in the space that opens up when we let go of our ideas of good and bad, right and wrong. When we feel safe and connected to ourselves, we don’t need to use these labels. When we are connected to ourselves, we are also connected to the people around us. It’s hard to find words to describe this field. In a sense it is beyond words. We are connected in such a way that it hardly makes sense to talk about us as separate beings. There’s just a sense of compassionate presence, intense closeness, and empathy. Through empathy we can find a way to stay connected to our humanity and to contribute to a more peaceful world. I’ll meet you there. – Shantigarbha, from the Introduction
‘An excellent book on empathy that teases out the centrality of this value in Buddhism as the foundation for the cultivation of compassion and loving-kindness.’ – Stephen Batchelor, Buddhist teacher and author
‘Although this book is consistent with the scientific data it is also refreshingly unconstrained by it. Instead it synthesises scientific knowledge to date with age-old wisdom from the Buddhist tradition.This approach allows for deeper exploration of empathy and compassion than science, which only scratches the surface.’ – Dr Emma J. Lawrence, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK