Warning Sign #29: You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If –

You know precisely when his ring disappeared during concerts

See Leonard Cohen’s Now You See It, Now You Don’t Unified Heart Ring Trick

Since the publication of the official criteria for the prototypical Leonard Cohen Fan Diagnosis, 301.LC Cohenphilic Personality Disorder, the Cohencentric Leonard Cohen Fan Disorders Asylum and Sanitarium has received numerous messages asking if one or another behavior is a symptom characteristic of a Leonard Cohen fan. Consequently, Cohencentric is publishing, as a public service, signs which indicate that one is at high risk of being a full-fledged Leonard Cohen fan.

All published You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If … entries can be found at the You May Be A Leonard Cohen Fan If … Page

Credit Due Department: Photos taken at Oct 7, 2012 Leonard Cohen Lisbon concert by Mandy MacLeod. Originally posted Nov 18, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Lessons From Leonard Cohen: Good Things Happen When You “Stop Thinking About Yourself”

A Manual For Living With Defeat

Lessons From Leonard Cohen – A Manual For Living With Defeat is a collection of Leonard Cohen’s observations that offer insight into living in this imperfect world. (For information about how this series differs from other collections of so-called lessons from Leonard Cohen, see Lessons From Leonard Cohen – Introduction.)

Lesson #5: Good Things Happen When You Stop Thinking About Yourself

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. [emphasis mine]1

[Roshi] became someone who really cared about-or deeply didn’t care about who I was. Therefore, who I was began to wither. And the less I was of who I was, the better I felt. [emphasis mine]2

We all want to dissolve. We all need that experience of forgetting who we are. I think that’s what love is — you forget who you are. Forgetting who you are is such a delicious experience and so frightening that we’re in this conflicted predicament. You want it but you really can’t support it. So I think that really what our training, what our culture, our religious institutions, our educational and cultural institutions should be about is preparing the heart for that journey outside of the cage of the ribs. [emphasis mine]3

[Interviewer: You’ve said having sexual intercourse is the greatest peace. Is that zero?] The sexual embrace is beyond self. You don’t exist as you. Your partner doesn’t exist as your partner. That is the place we all come from. Then we come back to life. That zero or emptiness or absolute is when we don’t have any questions. The self we have is just the result of a question. The question is who am I? So we invent a self, a personality. We sustain it, we create rules for it. When you stop asking those questions in those moments of grace, as soon as the question is not asked and the dilemma is dissolved or abandoned, then the true self or absolute self rushes in. That’s our real nourishment. A real religious education makes that experience available to people. The kinds of religious education available today are mostly concerned with a very specific definition of what God is. Just to define God specifically is a great mistake. It’s better to have a kind of education that doesn’t even mention God, that allows people to experience that absolute or the dissolution of the particular self. [emphasis mine]4

More Lessons From Leonard Cohen

All posts in this series can be found at

Cohencentric Lessons From Leonard Cohen
A Manual For Living With Defeat


  1. 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. []
  2. Being True Love- Sasaki Roshi, a founding father of American Zen, turns one hundred by Sean Murphy (Tricycle, Fall 2007). _ []
  3. Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Anjelica Huston. Interview magazine: November, 1995. Accessed at Remembering Leonard Cohen by Anjelica Huston (Interview: Nov 11, 2016). []
  4. Interview / Leonard Cohen by Alan Twigg. Essay Date: 1979, 1984, 1985. ABC Bookworld. []

Photos: November 13, 2013 Leonard Cohen Perth Concert

November 13, 2013 Leonard Cohen Perth Concert

These evocative photos were taken by Adrian Thomson. More photos from this show can be viewed at Outstanding Photos: 2013 Leonard Cohen Perth Concert.

Note: Originally posted Nov 26, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“That’s one of the reasons I don’t like speaking about myself, because you forget what you really think.” Leonard Cohen On Being Interviewed

That’s one of the reasons I don’t like speaking about myself, because you forget what you really think. You begin to mistake the description for the feelings. But though I dislike talking, I’m still talking. It takes a tremendous effort of will not to. Information is one thing and the application is another. Also it’s a matter of putting yourself into an environment where you are aided in doing the things you want to do and not tempted by the things you do not want to do. That’s why cloistered societies are established, not because the cloister is in itself an end. But just because in a period of training you want to give yourself a chance. If I want to give myself a chance to develop certain strengths I don’t put myself on a tour, or maybe I do to get the full negative imprint so that I don’t have to do it again. Like this tour is the last time I will do this sort of thing. And this is the last time I’d do this sort of an interview. I mean this doesn’t work for me as a viable way of self-improvement. It is forbidden … it is forbidden to talk about ways of getting high because we know that it is contrary to the goal. There is a Sufi story about a young man going on a journey to see a famous wise man and on his return his fellow student asked him: ‘And what did he say about transmigration of the soul?’ and his friend answered: ‘I don’t know. I didn’t hear what he said.’ ‘And what did he say about transubstantiation of matter?’ ‘I don’t know,’ his friend answered. And his fellow student asked slightly annoyed, ‘Well then why did you go?’ and his friend answered: ‘To see how he ties his shoelace.’ Now that is like a real guide to good journalism. The essence of the man never comes out of this kind of conversation. Just because the density of the printed page does not transmit these essences.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


From Famous last words from Leonard Cohen by Paul Saltzman (Macleans: June 10, 1972)