Celebrities

k.d. lang Mingles Music, Meditation at UCLA

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“An Evening With Pema Chodron and k.d. lang” gets underway at UCLA’s Royce Hall at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 20. The event will benefit the Pema Chödrön Foundation and Tools for Peace, an educational non-­profit for which lang has been a longtime supporter. Presented by independent multimedia publisher Sounds True, the evening will include a dialogue about “life’s big questions” with lang and Pema Chödrön, a renowned Western meditation teacher and bestselling author. Lang’s performance will follow.

Lang spoke previously with Goweho.com Managing Editor Laurie Schenden about the role of her Buddhist faith in her life.

LKS: You’ve been a Buddhist for years, how has that affected you as an artist?
k.d.: I think what Buddhism does is show you the fragility and the weaknesses of being human. In a way it’s really kind of a relief to see all the cracks in you and just to acknowledge the fact that you’re a human being. To me, it’s a spiritual journey inward and downward….

LS: So Buddhist teachings have influenced your life as well as your music?
k.d.: I think my understanding of myself, yeah, it’s inseparable [from] my understanding of my philosophy in my music, my basic nature.

LKS: Is happiness the ultimate goal of being Buddhist?
k.d.: It’s not a matter of not being happy, it’s a matter of not being satisfied with knowing that my life isn’t permanent, that what is the sense of life and what contributions have I made.
I live in a free society and I’m talented … What am I taking and what am I giving back? I think rather that’s the motivating factor, rather than being unhappy. It’s not a matter of being unhappy, it’s a matter of being, um, I guess unsatisfied with the debt I have for having such a fortunate life.

LKS: So Buddhism helps put things in perspective?
k.d.: Yeah, I think clarifying or reshape my motivation, to solidify my motivation. I think that’s what faith is for, is to help you with your own moral fabric.

Sounds True founder Tami Simon will moderate “An Evening With Pema Chodron and k.d. lang.” Tickets are $95-$295. For more info see: www.soundstrue.com/store/pemakdlang

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and is currently producing a documentary for her own company, Saving Grace Films.

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