That’s meditation?! – La Roux, In For The Kill
In for the kill
by Elly Jackson (La Roux)
This song doesn’t sound like meditation, it certainly does not. But it is; at least if you get rid of the idea that meditation means sitting quietly still. Instead think of meditation as “choiceless awareness of life”. Then, this is a song with a certain kind of quality of meditation to it.
In any case, this is definitely a “pop song with truth.” That’s simply because the protagonist isn’t singing about needing or getting or losing the other person; she’s singing about herself. She’s celebrating herself even in getting rejected by the other person. That fact in itself makes this different from 99% of pop songs.
Here’s Elly Jackson explaining what the song means:
“It’s about telling someone how you feel regardless of what you get back, and not waiting to find out if they want you or not.” She added that when she wrote this, “I was quite in to someone in quite a deep and intense way and I went overseas (Paris) and told them I like them. It all fired back in my face but that’s not the point you do it for yourself.”
That’s meditation? Sure, that’s got a quality that belongs with meditation. Any action which you enjoy in the doing of it, for the sake of doing it, independent of the future result, is meditation in action. It is “choiceless awareness” – you are entirely in the present, doing the action for the sake of it. Your mind is not in the future. You are not doing the action to manipulate the world to give you a particular future. You are here, you are now. Meditation is not “stop action”; meditation is to be in action, in the here and now.
Uuhhh … I guess that’s not totally clear! I confess I’m finding a difficulty as I write this post. I realise that to explain it properly, I first need to write another post or three to explain some other things first. I don’t have time to do that, so I’m just going to say what I can, briefly, and if it’s not too clear, OK.
Think of the more conventional pop song that Elly Jackson didn’t write. She didn’t write that the moment had bad future consequences, and so the moment hurt: “I really loved someone and I didn’t fight my desires, I went to Paris and told the person, but they rejected me so we won’t be together and now I am very sad.” No, she wrote “I really loved someone and I didn’t fight my desires, I went to Paris and told the person, and they rejected me, but it was OK because I lived the truth of how I felt and I enjoyed the living of it.”
Relaxed, living the moment, a friendly welcome to the experience of desire, a friendly welcome to the urge to open her heart. Then, finding a way to be at peace with the feelings from the rejection, making friends with that feeling, too. A whole sequence of feelings and emotions come, Elly Jackson lives them all and she’s joyful to have lived them. She hasn’t lost the present moment to the future. And her songwriter’s mind is stepped back, consciously aware of the whole scenario, writing a song; that songwriting mind is mindfulness. That’s choiceless awareness, that’s meditation.
This doesn’t look like meditation. But that’s only because there’s so much publicity for the idea that meditation equals sitting silently. No, meditation is a relaxation in the relationship we have with our experiences. Sitting silently has many roles in the story, but it is not synonymously identical to meditation.
Westernised “skilful mindfulness” gives the idea that mindfulness involves that you sit still and disconnect from your emotions. Sure, that has a role. But then what do you do when you get the hots for a friend? Do what Buddha’s monks had to do, and sit and sit and disconnect and disconnect?
No, if you are the singer of this song, then you live the life energy, with genuine mindfulness. That does not mean “with reduced involvement.” It means with choiceless awareness. You accept the energy of desire, and you don’t make choices around it. You don’t choose to hide, condemn, run away, suppress. That means you have to live the energy, because if you don’t live it, you’ve hidden from it, suppressed, run away etc. So if you are this singer, you live it, you ride the wave of the energy, without choice or preference as to where the wave should take you. Your friend welcomes what you say – good. Rejects – also good. You don’t choose. That is mindfulness in action: being conscious of your life energy, and moving with it choicelessly.
Please note, this post is not meant to be a DIY manual for how to deal with relationships. I’m just using a song to illustrate the definition of mindfulness. I am not saying to randomly act on random impulses, for example. The storyteller here is Elly Jackson, and this was right for her in that moment. For you …? – that’s up to you in your moment! Choiceless unconsciousness, drunken sleepwalking through life, is the normal state of most human beings. If someone is kind of random in their sexual relating, then bringing consciousness to the situation might have a different result, and they might stay home instead of going to Paris. Or maybe someone initially can’t tell what their true conscious need is without outside help. There are no fixed rules, that’s the point: your meditative consciousness guides you moment to moment. If in doubt, please see my Provisos, disclaimer and reassurances plus index page for meditation posts.