Four-time Grammy winner k.d. lang talks to OSM about her meditation practice, and why she launched a new meditation app
She’s dueted with Roy Orbison and Tony Bennett, who calls her “the best singer of her generation.” She’s topped the charts in pop and country. And native Canadian k.d. lang brought down the global house when she opened the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics with the Leonard Cohen hit, “Hallelujah.” Recently, lang made her Broadway debut as a special guest vocalist in After Midnight.
Here she speaks with OSM about Stop, Breathe & Think, a guided meditation app created with the nonprofit, Tools for Peace, and how meditation helps her through it all.
Are you a meditator?
k.d. lang: Yes, I try.
For how long?
k.d.: 13 years.
How often do you practice?
k.d.: Every day. Travel days are a little harder. Meditating in the airport is an especially difficult, yet more rewarding experience.
Top five things that meditation and mindfulness do for you?
k.d.: It certainly makes a difference with performing. I am able to be more present and calm after meditating, which allows me to get into “the zone” more readily.
My relationships benefit as well, with myself and others. I find the sharp emotional changes are tamed. Things become more manageable, and I can engage with others in a more available fashion.
Why does our culture need more of it?
k.d.: I just know that life can become kind of overwhelming. There is such an onslaught of information and stimulation in society. We also have so much pressure to perform nowadays—to be perfectly in shape, with highly demanding jobs, a busy family, picking the brussels sprouts that we grew in our garden (joke!). All these things have us running around so hard, we find it hard to just be still. And stillness is when the dust settles, when you can start to sort out your feelings and generate a little compassion for yourself and others.
You collaborated on the meditation app, Stop, Breathe & Think (stopbreathethink.org). Why now?
k.d.: Our smartphones and tablets are almost like another appendage, so the Stop, Breathe & Think app is a perfect companion for everyday use—on the train, plane or in the lunch room. It’s there to guide you through a few minutes of “reset.”
You made your Broadway debut in After Midnight earlier this year (congratulations!). Was the idea of performing on Broadway stressful?
k.d.: Oh my god yes. I was nervous because it’s out of my comfort zone. But that’s why it’s a life-shifting experience.
What is the most important benefit you’d like to share about meditation?
k.d.: The most important benefit of meditating with this app is that it’s accessible, easy and fun. And I truly believe it is a stress antidote that’s there right in your hands.