Adam Rafferty – Guitar and Spirit

All about music, guitar, spirituality, personal development and being happy

Tour Diary – Dukkha in Cologne


Friends, I write almost at the end of a 20 concert tour in Germany.

I walked around Cologne all day today, in the lovely grey rainy weather. My heart was rather heavy today. Why? I got dumped. Yes, a wonderfully lovely lady decided that having a guy on the road was not right for her.

After months of saying “hang in there, I’ll be back soon”, she couldn’t stand the wait. I can’t say I blame her either. Heartbreak once again.

Tommy Emmanuel himself told me “the road is where it all breaks down”.

The temptation to suppress this pain today with either having a drink, a cigarette or to eat myself blind coarsed through my veins. Yet somehow, I just wanted to be as intelligent and semi-enlightened today as possible. I know from my Sedona Method / Release technique that a healthy thing to do is actually welcome the emotion – which allows a release to happen easily.

As I walked around the Cologne Dome I contemplated people who are REALLY suffering to start and get perspective. A good friend’s daughter was recently murdered and I cannot begin to imagine his pain. My own mom is aging and in physical discomfort. One of my best friends has no family left, and very much needs his friends. There are people suffering daily, feeling worse than me, maybe due to a political or economic situation….I think I will live through my small discomfort.

Upon arriving home, I googled the term “life is suffering” and stumbled upon on an page on what the Buddha called “Dukkha”. It was interesting to see that it is not really “suffering” as much as it is a certain type of phenomena and idea about the scope of pleasure and suffering, without so much of a negative or positive label. That’s my dummy explanation. Read for yourself:

Article on Dukkha

One type of Dukkha is impermanence. I have seen it myself…how success wanes and fades, people pets and places come and go – anything we think is a “given” is sure to change. As it is not exactly suffering – and the writer of the article urges us to grasp “Dukkha” as a new word in our vocabulary.

With no claim to anything scholarly here (I am just a dummy looking for a little inner peace) I simply watch the fading in and out of events and people in my life. The newness of creative bursts come and go, gigs come and go, friends move out of town, parents age. Places I have called home change into other places. Cats who have been my loving companions age and die. Businesses that were my lifeblood seem less interesting. Love affairs change, grow and maybe dissolve. Whether they dissolve or not, they are in constant flux…

On the other side of the coin – there’s always more, there are new friends coming, tomorrow’s a new day, bodies heal and things change for the better too. New tunes appear, new business ideas and creativity simply “appears”. People appear in one’s life as if by magic. This is not meant as a positive pep talk – it is an observation of the principle of “it never stays the same”.

For now I’ll watch, listen breathe and try to find peace in this moment and contemplate what little I understand of Dukkha.


Author: Adam Rafferty

Adam Rafferty. Fingerstyle Guitarist. Recording and Concert Artist. Meditator. Philosopher. Lover of Groove.

8 thoughts on “Tour Diary – Dukkha in Cologne

  1. Dear Adam,

    get your tree of life to be awakened first and feel the cool breeze above your head and on your palms.

    Let Kundalini be the judge.

    With Love

  2. dear adam,

    don´t be sad about to get dumped by a “senseless women “, i mean if this is her argumentation then she might be less enlighten than a dog, so don´t feel pity about a person who can´t scope with your way of live.
    Woman are not made for this kind of enlightenment , there a build for eating up our souls, for endless consumption, the whole universe you may lay down to her feet and that won´t be enough.
    Generous of you to dig into yourself for the compensation of loss, but i truly believe your are not to blame…

  3. Adam,

    As a semi-pro guitarist, I discovered your site because of your playing, and your arrangements have helped and inspired my creativity and playing, too. Thank you.

    But more importantly, from this I then discovered your blog. As I too am going through a very difficut time – serious family illnes; newly single etc. – your comments have been a great source of comfort and peace, so again, I thank you.


    P.S. @ Mattysd, re. “Woman [sic] are not made for this kind of enlightenment”. There’s no need to be quite so sexist and generalise us all in that way.

  4. Hi Adam. Happy Thanksgiving to you overseas. It’s comforting to read a blog and see we are not in our dilemmas alone (i.e. going through life transitions, etc.) I have come to learn the hard way that unfortunately much of what comes our way in life is ephemeral, be it people in our lives, things, situations … Writing serves for me a a “thing of permanence” and something to take solace in when rough times come to call, and I imagine that thing for you would be your music. I’d like to think that things balance out — for whatever misfortune befalls us, the universe gives us something positive in return at some point. I am learning to have gratitude for even the small good things that come into my life, and to look for newness in bloom. (yes, even a cynic such as I is learning to have faith …) Thanks for sharing your thoughts in your blog.


  5. Sorry Emma, don´t ment to be sexist, it was more a philosophical approach towards the I Ging ( ying and yang !)
    Since English is not my native language, it difficult to describe what i meant. But we live in a time where the so called emancipation of females rather turned to be a back draft for males then an addition and vice versa. At least in western country´s !
    And you don´t find a lot of woman who are on “the road” by free will, or by the need of discovering there way of live !
    Naturally it does not scope , or hardly scope within there existence !
    peace !

  6. Dearly Adam
    God knows when he leaves people behind our lives and put people into it. Thats my theory of meeting u. U’ve been giving sentimental support to my ears and thoughts even if I didnt know u were with someone or being dmmped by this woman (thats really NUTS!!!) – meaning u were suffering.
    But believe… believe that u are someone blessed cause u do beautifull things and give back (at least to my heart) love and comfort ..
    Consider yourself hugged and loved by me…

  7. Adam,
    Hang in there , you have a gift that the world needs to hear.I’m also a guitarist that has lost people in life that have caused me great pain, but like you said nothing stays the same,so you wont feel like this for ever. The Universe has plans for your happiness just have faith. Thank you for your guitar arrangements , they are changing my life and are giving me much direction.
    Take care brother

  8. Hi Adam,
    This is Kayla former owner of The Patisserie Cafe in Lexington.
    I’m so sorry to learn about your recent breakup. I know you are following your dream and your passion, and for some, that is a difficult path to accompany someone on.

    You are so gifted, and your music heals and uplifts in so many ways.

    Hey, if you need a cabin to retreat to, you are familiar with mine. I’m here in NJ/PA/NYC seeing clients, so the cabin is free for you to use anytime.
    shoot me an email when you can.

    Sending love and appreciation for you and your music,

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