This is from a series of posts about songs from my album, Broken Open.
The third track on Broken Open is Gone.
This song is the last one I wrote for the album, so it’s a little out of order here, chronologically speaking. During the course of recording this album, I sat for a total of about eleven months in silent meditation retreats. This song was inspired by experiences I had in my first long retreat which lasted three months. Some of my experiences on that retreat were very profound and others were quite psychedelic.
I’m trying to relate a little bit of my journey in consciousness while trying to experience and connect with the highest reality – or deepest truth – about who (or what) I am. My concept of reality began with the Western dualistic point of view I was raised with, and over time, has evolved towards a more Eastern non-dual understanding.
Looking up into the sky
I thought I’d find you there but I don’t know why
At times the nights would be so long
I’d be just biding time up until the dawn
You know that I always wanted to find it
I couldn’t see what was hiding it
The second verse is an attempt to express some of the experiences of a long retreat: the dissolving of self-identity where fixed ideas about who you are begin to fall away as you start to dis-identify with the roles you play in life; the suffering that comes from attachments and desires (even the smallest ones) which can become very pronounced.
Strewn in pieces on the floor
I could have had it all but I’d still want more
Getting out of my disguise
You know it took some time before realized
The thing that I’ve always wanted to free me
Is just this thing that’s been dreaming me
I’m gone. How about you?
In this last verse, I’m wondering how I can integrate the deeper understandings or insights that came from my intensive meditation practices into my life and my interactions in the world.
I’m wide awake inside a dream
How will I find my way back from in between?
All the lead guitar in this song was recorded backwards. It was a fun process putting it all together because I could never be sure exactly how a guitar phrase would sound when flipped in reverse and how it would flow with chord changes.
Sometimes I would have an idea of what note I wanted to start with and where I wanted to end up, but other times I would just play and then grab the best parts and see if I could fit them together in a way that made musical sense. Although the guitar solo is a patchwork of edits, I was really happy with the end result in that I somehow managed, in some small way, to express through my guitar, the euphoria and joy that I experience when sitting in silence for extended periods of time.