Leonard Cohen on his reputation as Godfather Of Gloom: “I got a lot of that over the years. Google despair and melancholy, and my name comes up”

DrHGuy Note: Mr Cohen is employing hyperbole in the service of making his point. Googling despair and melancholy doesn’t bring up his name (I checked). But, it would be way cool if it did, so …

From At 71, Leonard Cohen Finds His Voice Anew by Richard Harrington. Washington Post, July 14, 2006. Originally posted Nov 16, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On His Experience As A Zen Monk “The first and most discernible lesson is to stop whining…”

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The first and most discernible lesson is to stop whining. And I don’t really need to go much beyond that. It was sort of like boot camp. It’s a rigorous life, it’s cold and it’s above the snow line. Four-thousand feet was the snow line, and we were up around 7,500 feet. A lot of it is involved in surviving the winter. There’s a lot of shoveling of snow. There is very little private space. There’s a saying in Zen: ‘Like pebbles in bag, the monks polish one another.’ Those rough edges get smoothed out.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen reborn in the U.S.A. by Geoff Boucher (L.A. Times Pop & Hiss: February 27, 2009)

Leonard Cohen On His Songwriting Process: “I have to discard versions of myself, and versions of the songs, until I can get to a situation where I can defend every word, every line…”


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I tend to get shattered as I bring a project to completion. I have to discard versions of myself, and version of the songs, until I can get to a situation where I can defend every word, every line. But that place often involves a real shattering of equanimity, or of balance…I have to go to this naked and raw place. And it usually involves the breakdown of my personality, and I flip out … I can’t go into crowds, I don’t want to leave my house, I don’t want to leave my room, I don’t want to answer the phone, all my relationships collapse.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, speaking about his efforts on The Future album, quoted in The Loneliness of The Long-Suffering Folkie By Wayne Robins (Newsday: November 22, 1992.). Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“My teacher’s [Roshi’s] school places much emphasis on work and ordinary life, and is very structured, severe and strict. What happens is that you stop thinking about yourself. It worked for me.” Leonard Cohen


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My teacher’s school places much emphasis on work and ordinary life, and is very structured, severe and strict. What happens is that you stop thinking about yourself. It worked for me. I never really understood the Zen philosophy. What kept me coming back was my friendship with Roshi. Like all great teachers, he accommodates all students who come to him. Some seek a teacher, others discipline. I needed a friend and he gave me a great deal of affection. He did not try to give me spiritual instruction, but a solution to the pressures of my life, and it didn’t matter to me if it passed for religion, the kitchen or philosophy.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From An Intimate Conversation With…Leonard Cohen by Elena Pita. Translated by Marie Mazur (using translation software) and aided by Guadalupe Baquero. Originally posted in Spanish at Magazine, Sunday Supplement to El Mundo: September 26, 2001.

Note: Originally posted June 13, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“It is only when you have children that you’re truly forced to give up looking only at yourself and start worrying about some other lives” Leonard Cohen


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It is only when you have children that you’re truly forced to give up looking only at yourself and start worrying about some other lives. If you attempt to respond to a child, you can never think of yourself in the same way again. You stop being the center of your drama, which becomes very secondary in light of your children’s needs, of their urgency. I understood right away that the trap had slammed shut (laughs)… There are many marvelous aspects of course; the beauty is indisputable. But the destruction of your self image is inevitable. There were many things that I didn’t like about myself. I was very selfish, I was only concerned with myself. I wouldn’t admit that other beings were legitimately worth my attention.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From Comme Un Guerrier by Christian Fevret (Throat Culture magazine, 1992). Photo contributed by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric