Today happens to be Tina Turner’s birthday and she turns 82 years old, which is shocking when you realise how good of shape she’s in.
Sue & I watched a recent biography about her and it was still a surprise to me to hear her talk about how her Buddhist practices have shaped her life. I had mistakenly assumed she came to the practice after her breakup with Ike, the violent tormentor of a husband she had at the time.
But no, she told about how she happened to get invited to do some Nichiren Buddhist chanting of the Lotus Sutra Nam-myoho-renge-kyo and this was the start of her ability to take back her own power and to begin fully living her dream, her life and her voice.
I’ve been listening to her chant this sutra as I find it deeply mesmerizing (here’s the link) and we’ve used it our group chanting sessions as well.
But even more importantly, she continues to share her message of kindness and compassion to this day and this interview in the Buddhist magazine Tricycle is a great tribute to her ability to hold these energies inspite of anything and everything happening all around us. The title of the article is “Absolutely, Indestructibly Happy” a title I think we can all practice saying out loud and seeing how we make this true for ourselves as well.
‘However you must do it, to truly understand. When you say ‘Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo’ it will slowly remove all of the bad decisions you have ever made. The more you repeat the words the more you make your life clearer. The more you chant it the closer you get to your true nature. Your true nature is the right way of thinking and the right way of acting. The longer you go on this path, the more you avoid making wrong decisions. The Lotus Sutra helps me in my daily life. It is indeed mystical! And my life has proven this!’ Tina TurnerTina Turner
She is an inspiration on how we can all look at each other with kindness to try to understand both sides of the urgent questions we face today, especially when so many are forcing the divide instead of looking at how we can all come together.
It’s well worth checking out the article and listening in often to the chant. I play it on loop for hours, so Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.
A few more interesting links on the Lotus Sutra.