Life, Love & Awakening
with Ben Lee
Much loved singer-songwriter, multiple ARIA Award winner and humanitarian Ben Lee returns to Adelaide in November for a diverse series of events from workshops to lectures and live shows at the WHOLE LIFE EXPO on the 25-27th November 2016. We catch up with him about his life journey, his awakenings and the spiritual dimensions of song writing and creativity.
Innerself Newspaper: You have been on amazing journey over the last 25 years, from teenage pop star, through to punk rebel, through to spiritual seeker … leading into awakening and transformation. Where are you today and what is your life’s focus right now?
BL: Today I am trying to awaken myself. All of these stories from the past, victories and failures, bear little relation to the task at hand today. So I am trying to look at myself honestly. I have some strengths. I have many flaws. I am trying to pay attention and create enough friction to further dismantle my psyche and see the love that is at its root.
IS: Your new album “Freedom, Love & the Recuperation of the Human Mind” is a fresh and inspiring collection of heart felt songs exploring consciousness and awakening, each song an invitation into our own depths … what does being a song writer means to you and what is your song writing process?
BL: It’s a very mysterious process. I enjoy it, and enjoy its limitations. I have always liked the archetype of the craftsperson, one who slowly but surely gets better at something of the course of their life. I think that’s what I am trying to do with song writing. Be a true craftsperson.
IS: You seem to be happy to be open and willing to reveal just who you are through your music, is this how you also are in life?
BL: I hope I reveal the best sides of myself through my music. I try to write at a level I aspire to live at. It’s a work in process. I would say I generally have a happy temperament and can be reasonably transparent. But like most people, I also have an intensely private side that I save for my more intimate relationships.
IS: You have had a guru, is a teacher necessary?
BL: I had a guru for a period of time in my twenties. I have no gurus now, no special teachers, or religion. I admire all religions and find many people who I can learn from. But the idea that someone special outside myself can offer some type of meaningful relief in this process of coming to know my inner being … I no longer ascribe to that possibility.
IS: How did taking Ayahuasca affect you? What spiritual and creative doors did it open up for you?
BL: I have used many different tools in my process – meditation, breathing, prayer, mantra, concentration, plant medicine. But these are tools. For me, it’s important to remember that it isn’t the tool that is giving you the experience; it is the Great Spirit Itself.
IS: You will be in Adelaide presenting and performing at the Whole Life Expo in workshops and talks and also headlining the Saturday evening conscious music concert, Life, Love & Awakening in November. What will you be sharing with everyone there?
BL: I have been invited to speak on a few different subjects that I am passionate about: Concepts about resisting conformity, learning how to die from moment to moment, being an artist, inner work and song writing towards virtue. For the music I will sing my songs :)