Be Pure and Tell the Truth: Our 5 Favorite Musical Buddhists
Today His Holiness the Dalai Lama turns 77. Although he didn't officially become the temporal head of Tibet until he was 15, he's made the most of 62 years in the position. He's won a Nobel Peace Prize, advocated for his country and countrymen, and amassed more than 4 million Twitter followers.
Screengrab via https://twitter.com/#!/DalaiLama/ When His Holiness is reincarnated, does the new Lama get to keep this one's Twitter followers?
He's also the most famous Buddhist in the world, and perhaps the most famous Buddhist of all time. Although he's not solely responsible for the rising number of Buddhists here the U.S., he's certainly helped.
With its focus on wisdom, virtue and meditation, it isn't much of a surprise that many a famous musician has found comfort in Buddhist teachings. After some meditation and taking a deep look inside ourselves, we've come up with a list of our favorite musical Buddhists.
5. Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
Give their early albums a listen and it's hard to imagine anyone in Metallica as peaceful. Even in a post-Some Kind of Monster world, it's still a little weird to think about the softer side of Metallica even though we know it's there. The idea that Kirk Hammett is a Buddhist makes a lot more sense when you look at the big picture: you'd have to really know inner peace to deal with the other personalities in the group.
So while James may be the face on the band onstage and Lars the outspoken one offstage, Kirk is content to be laid back and just go along for the ride. What else can you do when you're the lead guitarist in band and the rest of the guys say they don't want any guitar solos on the album?
4. Alanis Morissette
When we first met Alanis, it was as the jilted lover and the potential new face of female rock. Jagged Little Pill sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and a new star was born. Anticipation was high for her second record, but when "Thank U" dropped it alienated some of her fans. India might have been good for her spirit but not necessarily her album sales.
With a cover referencing the Eight Precepts of Buddhism and significantly less anger, it was clear that she was finding at least some sense of inner peace. She'd later meet the Dalai Lama and play a series of shows for Tibetan freedom. While we may secretly want another "You Outta Know" we can't fault her for seeking enlightenment.