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Tina Turner started chanting "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" for hours every day. Here's why she started and why she never stopped.
For Christmas my dad got me a book called Happiness Becomes You: A Guide To Changing Your Life by Tina Turner. I was excited because I've always wanted to know more about Tina Turner's life and I figured the book was a semi-memoir focusing on all the lessons she has learned over time.
I was right, but when I flipped through the pages I did a double take when I saw the phrase "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" written in the text. When I was younger, my dad would always chant that phrase! My parents have always been spiritual and have taken elements from Buddhism and have incorporated them into their lives.
I had never heard anyone else say "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" before! I was shocked that this book just happened to have it in it. I told my dad and he was explaining to me that Tina Turner used Buddhism and chanting to change her life after experiencing a lot of hardships. I thought that was amazing and I was excited to learn more about her story.
Tina Turner is an iconic singer, dancer, and entertainer that rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s. She has several hit songs, including Proud Mary and What's Love Got to Do with It? In 1973, she turned to Buddhism to improve her life and has never looked back.
Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939. She passed away on May 24, 2023 at age 83.
Tina Turner rose to fame due to the popularity of her music as well as her role as lead singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. She married fellow entertainer Ike Turner in 1962, which was an extremely volatile and violent relationship.
She left the relationship in 1976 after a physical altercation caused her to seek protection in a Ramada Inn across from the hotel where she and Ike were staying at the time.
Tina was introduced to the concept of chanting in 1973 and read books on Buddhist principles. She was was consistently under pressure while coping with personal and professional issues but describes feeling a "spark of hope" at the time. After establishing her spiritual practice, she noticed her life started to improve.
In the 80s, Tina Turner successfully revived her music career after her divorce from Ike and further cemented her status as a Rock and Roll legend.
Tina Turner wrote a book centered on her spiritual journey in 2020. It's a really good book if you're interested in knowing more about how Tina Turner's life has been affected by Buddhist principles or if you are interested in learning more about spirituality.
"Happiness Becomes You has become the paper I go to when I need to ask questions, questions that I didn't even know that could be asked. By reading this book I've been asked as well. Sometimes it has also given me the answer, but what I really like the most is having the opportunity to be asked, it gives me the strength to go look inside, get inside me and listen. Listen to my own heart, my soul, myself."
Tina Turner describes in her book experiencing a tumultuous childhood and feeling like there was something more to life for her to discover. When she ended up in her toxic relationship with Ike, there were many mentions from the people around her about the transformative nature of chanting. She ignored it until she couldn't anymore and decided to give it a try.
She read books on Buddhism and Buddhist ideas and realized as she started chanting more, the universe started to work more and more in her favor. She gradually built up her practice to the point where she was chanting for hours a day. In Buddhist belief, "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" contains the essence of the Lotus Sutra, which is the foundation for Buddhist teachings.
The idea is that they more you chant, the more aligned you become with the Buddha and the concept of happiness on Earth.
Tina found that the more she chanted, the more she felt hope coming through in her life. She was in a really dark place and was able to keep going partially due to chanting and her spiritual practice.
Anyone can start chanting at any time or in any place. You also don't have to be Buddhist to chant. In the book, Tina talks about how lots of Buddhists principles are shared among many other faiths. Simply chant to yourself "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo" for as long as you feel like doing so.
If you've ever been interested in Buddhism, spirituality, presence, or Tina Turner, I think this book was an amazing read! It's super quick and easy, plus it contains a bunch of amazing little quotes from spiritual teachers. I can definitely see myself going back and reading it again when I want a refresher.