I went to my monthly Buddhist discussion meeting on Tuesday night and we watched, listened to, and sang along with an incredible, amazing, soulful, and wonderfully unique music video from a movement called Playing For Change. There are numerous performances available to watch on the website, but we saw the One Love video featuring musicians from around the world playing and singing Bob Marley’s classic hit, One Love. The video features performances from over 15 musicians and musical groups representing countries such as Spain, Italy, Congo, South Africa, India, Zimbabwe, Israel, Nepal, and the United States. The Playing For Change website also has videos of performances from many more countries around the world. The creators of this musical movement believe that music has the power to bring people together. With so much driving us apart these days, music has the ability to unite people from different countries, different religions, and different races. I believe as Playing For Change believes: that music has the universal power to transcend and unite us as one human race.
I received an email last week from a Canadian film director who is making a documentary about the life of a Canadian hip hop artist who suffers from schizophrenia. The director Jonathan Balazs, explores both the life and music of Khari “Conspiracy” Stewart. ‘A decade ago, rapper Khari “Conspiracy” Stewart was diagnosed with a psychological disorder, but he has rejected the label and is pursuing a spiritual path.’ The movie website is called Mars Project. I find Stewart’s approach fascinating, perhaps even similar to my own, although I have never rejected my diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder. I do feel that I am using my illness to deepen my own Buddhist faith, and discovering a deeper meaning in my experiences by looking at them from a Buddhist perspective. I do not see my illness as nothing more than a diagnosis, but rather something that I experience and learn from, as well as share with others on the road to recovery. I have also described the Mars Project movie on my latest CureTalk blog post, Are the Mentally Ill Dangerous?