The wide world of Buddhist music / What are your favorite dharma-songs?

We’re working on a fun new article about the (very!) wide and surprising world of Buddhist-inspired music, whether rock, metal, jazz, hip-hop, punk… whatever! So we want to ask: do you have a favorite dharma-song?

To get things started, our own Rod Meade Sperry nominates “Aerials,” the 2001 hit by System of a Down, which seems to him to be a fairly close read of a teaching or two — for example, this bit about waterfalls — by the famed 20th-century Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.

We asked our Facebook fans for their suggestions, and got some great responses. See them here, and add your own.Jim O. recommends “Summer in Siam,” by the Pogues and, of course, “Shambala” by the Beastie Boys. Frank Jude Boccio pointed out a bunch of songs by Akron/Family — “There’s So Many Colors,” “Gone Beyond,” and “Phenomena.” Laura I. suggests “Strangers,” by the Kinks. Our friends at the Mindfulness Bell also weighed in, suggesting the music of Brother Chi Sing, who’s a student of Thich Nhat Hanh, and the album Peace Sounds, recorded by a group of young British Buddhists.

We really like everything we’ve heard so far, but there are lots more dharma-songs out there. So what are some of your favorites? Tell us in the comments.

And for more from the world of Buddhist music, check out all our previous coverage, here.


  1. Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Vipassana by Macklemore
    Inhale Deep by Macklemore

  2. Danny Fisher
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    "Tomorrow Never Knows" by The Beatles.

  3. shauna
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Stay Human ~ Michela Franti and Spearhead
    Amazing Life ~ Jem
    Send your Love ~Sting
    The One Who Loves You the Most ~ Brett Dennen

  4. Cowboy Gil
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    How to Disappear Completely – Radiohead ("I'm not here, this isn't happening")

  5. NamasteSkaterGirl
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    This Velvet Glove – Red Hot Chili Peppers

  6. Tommy
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Anthem – Leonard Cohen
    Alive in the World – Jackson Browne
    The Age of Miracles – Mary Chapin Carpenter
    Through Your Hands – John Hiatt
    Learn to be Still – The Eagles
    So Quiet in Here – Van Morrison

  7. Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    How about these:

    [youtube 9GodaX7WLNM youtube]
    [youtube LbjgEFqeQ3g youtube]

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