Music of the Past- This Week’s Playlist and a Dharma Talk from the Universe

So I’m buying a yoga studio, as my local peeps know. It’s awesome, but keeping me completely busy. I’m also subbing a ton of classes recently. Which means that for the last month-ish, I haven’t had the time I like to do the things I like to do. Detailed class planning, themes to discuss, playlist creation, etc… it’s been a practice in itself being okay with my constant flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants state.

So here’s what happened. I finally got to put together a playlist last week, and I just basically threw together some silly songs that I liked and thought, “let’s see if this works.” But then I chickened out about using it for a week. Too weird, I thought, too disjointed. Diana Ross, Cake, and Ella Fitzgerald are going to make their heads spin. 

At the same time, this quote showed up in my Inbox:

You can’t hear a piece of music in advance. When you listen to music, you are hearing the present music at that time. You also can’t undo the past, the music that you’ve heard already. You can’t do that; you hear the music of the moment. Now is a vast thing. Past and future can’t exist without now.  -Chögyam Trungpa*

I printed it and took it with me to class on Monday, and on a whim I started up my weird new playlist. As the songs ticked off one by one, and I saw that the class was enjoying them, I was struck again by the “divine” lesson plans that we are given. I realized that almost each song on this unusually self-centered playlist had a particular memory for me- many associated with a romance that didn’t last.  I couldn’t “undo the music of the past”, but I could listen to the music in that moment as it was and observe my mind’s reaction, both to the memory brought by the music, and the fear in my heart (trying to “hear the music in advance”) that the students wouldn’t like the music, or that it wouldn’t “work.”

A few students asked me for the playlist after class. Here it is- and I’m also including a few personal notes about what “music of the past” is playing when I hear the song. Enjoy!

  1. Stillness (no voice-over) – Gabrielle Roth
  2. I Just Can’t Get You Out of my Head- Helena (how many times in my life I could have said this about someone I swore I’d never get over)
  3. Don’t Wait Too Long- Madeleine Peyroux (I dedicate this song to a certain ex…*sigh* I was the one who couldn’t wait.)
  4. Biscuits- Fink
  5. Upside Down- Diana Ross (I purchased this song for a special event yoga class that was a total flop. Every time I hear one of these tracks, I remember what it’s like to live through the humiliation and come out smiling. It also reminds me of driving in the car with my mom)
  6. Shake It Down- Dennis Rollins
  7. On the Way- DJ Phantom (a track from a fellow yoga teacher soul-sister who shares my neuroticism about class planning)
  8. What I Got- Sublime (takes me back to my college years in San Antonio- driving in this beat-up Ford Escort with my adorable Costa Rican co-dependent boyfriend. Sweet times)
  9. Leave The Biker- Fountains of Wayne (a song my ex husband loved, and I do too. Silly poetry- why do beautiful women settle for crumb-bearded bikers? Why did I settle for so many jerks?)
  10. Bang Bang- Dizzie Gillespie (this is a gift from a friend- I dare you not to love it)
  11. Sunshine- Matisyahu (makes my heart sing)
  12. Hooked On A Feeling (Ooga Chacka)- Blue Swede (another reminder of my ex husband, who is very much on my mind this week as he has decided not to be friends with me anymore. I found this song online after he described it to me, “Have you heard that song that’s like “Ooga Chacka”? )**
  13. Chandini Chowk- MIDIval PunditZ
  14. Linger- Cranberries (when I was in college in PA, before I met the Costa Rican on the Internet and moved to TX, and before I had my 6th car accident, I had this tape in my car. After I wrecked the car the final time by rolling it into a corn field, the tape was ruined, covered with Pennsylvania farm dirt. I also included it because one of my students is a big burly tattooed biker and he suggested this song. He’s pretty awesome).
  15. Short Skirt, Long Jacket- Cake (I want to be this woman)
  16. Collarbone- Fujiya & Miyagi (a suggestion from a newer friend who immediately understood my love of esoteric yoga music)
  17. Missin You- Atu (found it on Aurgasm. Weird, but I love it)
  18. Deny- Yasmine Hamdan (again, Aurgasm. Great mood music)
  19. I Will Follow You Into the Dark- Death Cab for Cutie (Because, dammit, I want someone to feel this way about me, Buddhist beliefs or not. I want someone to be freaking crazy about me)
  20. Black Coffee- Ella Fitzgerald (Back in PA at college, I used to eat at a vegetarian restaurant. One of the waiters was named Ivan. His long hair and general unwashed Patchouli scent appealed to me, so I left my number on a napkin. Romance ensued, and we listened to lots of female blues/jazz music together. I remember standing in his tall front window naked, looking out at Main Street, feeling vaguely tragic and beautiful. Sorry Mom, if you’re reading this. I dumped Ivan after I got bored, and later ran into him while buying clove cigarettes downtown. He had shaved his head in grief. Youth!).
  21. Tangled Up In Blue- Bob Dylan (reminded me of another person I loved- a woman- whose heart I attempted to break again and again. I kept thinking I’d meet her again and we’d get together, someday, somehow. Lucky for her, she moved on).
  22. Into Dust- Mazzy Star (I’m not giving it all away… do you have your own memory of this one?)

*WordPress spellcheck keeps trying to make this name “Turnip!”

**Actually, he made the dog, Sumi, ask me about it. We spoke to each other largely through the dogs, using special voices. It was dysfunctional but a lot of fun. The dogs were often hilarious.

8 thoughts on “Music of the Past- This Week’s Playlist and a Dharma Talk from the Universe

  1. I love it!!! What fun reading the playlist along with your notes 🙂 I especially love #20, reminds me of my younger self. Looking forward to hearing your playlists soon as I will make a yoga field to YOGAFISH! Miss you, Namaste my friend, Jann

  2. Loved the playlist. When I heard UPSIDE DOWN I remembered being in a year of aerobic classes trying to loose weight and shape-up after the birth of our youngest, who is near 30 years old.

    See you tomorrow…Chris

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Love, love love 🙂 a few I didn’t know and looked up and Into Dust is amazing and I feel like I have memories connected to it, but I never heard it before. Such a strange feeling (not bad, just strange).

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