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What Would the Dalai Lama Do?

Contemplating creativity, compassion, mindfulness, and body image with singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer

Since entering public awareness as the leader of the alternative rock act The Dresden Dolls, singer/pianist/songwriter Amanda Palmer has become one of the most unique and compelling solo artists in modern music. Her new book The Art of Asking is an extension of her 2013 TED talk on learning to accept help from other people. You practice yoga and meditation regularly. Do you have any concern that by stilling your mind, you might disrupt the flow of ideas that you need as an artist? No. I think there’s a common misconception and fear that a mindfulness practice or a yoga practice is dangerous for an artist or musician because it can turn you into a willowy, flaky, uninteresting person. Nothing could be further from the truth. It exercises your mind so that you can become more intense, so that you can dig deeper into an emotion. Honestly, it’s about control. All you need to do is look at martial arts experts, and they understand this deeply: you need to be very focused and very still to [defeat your opponent]. It’s the same thing in art.In your book, you mention that when someone writes or says something u …

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