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[tourismindonesia] David Bowie's lifetime interest in Buddhism to culminate in Bali scattering of his ashes [1 Attachment]

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David Bowie's lifetime interest in Buddhism to culminate in Bali scattering of his ashes

David Bowie's £70 million will, published in Manhattan, reveals his abiding interest in Buddhism and his devotion to the PA who saved his life

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Rock star left estate valued at $100 million
David Bowie wanted ashes scattered in Bali according to will Photo: Rex
Patrick Sawer
By , and Bernadette McNulty
4:00PM GMT 30 Jan 2016
As a teenager David Bowie developed an abiding interest in Buddhism and later even flirted with the idea of becoming a Buddhist monk in, of all places, Scotland.
But now it can be revealed that while the rock star never went through with the plan, in death at least he re-affirmed his lifelong fascination with the eastern religion.
Bowie's will, published in New York on Friday, reveals that he wanted his ashes to be scattered on the island of Bali, "in accordance with the Buddhist rituals".
It also reveals that he left $2 million to his long-time personal assistant Corinne 'Coco' Schwab – no doubt in recognition of her longstanding friendship and loyalty.
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The singer's body was cremated in New Jersey on January 12, following his death from cancer two days earlier.
Bowie said in his will, prepared in 2004, that he wanted to be cremated on the Indonesian island, but that if this was "not practical" then he wanted his remains cremated and his ashes scattered there according to Buddhist rites.
Bowie was as far removed from the ascetic Buddhist monks of Tibet as is possible to imagine.
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The 20-page will, filed under his legal name David Robert Jones, reveals that by the time of his death his estate was worth about $100 million (£70m).
The singer left the home in SoHo, Manhattan, which he shared with his wife Iman to her, along half of the rest of his worth.
His son Duncan Jones from a previous marriage received 25 percent and his daughter Alexandra received 25 percent as well as his Ulster County mountain home. He also left $1 million (£700,000) to Marion Skene, Alexandra's nanny.
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But though Bowie's accumulation of wealth – derived from his bestselling singles, albums and film interests, along with decades of touring – may not have chimed with Buddhism's emphasis on spiritual enlightenment and a life of simplicity, there is no denying his sincere interest in the religion.
He first encountered it as a South London teenager, through his step-brother Terry's interesting the US West Coast 'Beatniks' and the writings of Jack Kerouac.
Bowie then got hold of a copy of a classic paperback exploration of Buddhism, Heinrich Harrer's 1952 Seven Years in Tibet.
Year later he said: "When I was about 19 I became a Buddhist overnight. Herrer was one of the very first Westerners actually to go into Tibet and discover for himself this extraordinary existence and this incredibly sublime philosophy."
In another interview Bowie said: "I was young, fancy free, and Tibetan Buddhism appealed to me at that time. I thought, 'There's salvation.'"
Indeed in 1967 he released a song, Silly Boy Blue, inspired by Herrer's description of Lhasa and the Dalai Lama's winter palace of Potala.
Bowie added: "It didn't really work. Then I went through Nietzsche, Satanism, Christianity… pottery, and ended up singing. It's been a long road."
But along that road he regularly returned to Buddhism. In 1969, along with fellow musician Leonard Cohen, he studied Buddhism at Samye Ling Monastery near Langholm, in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, and almost went as far as becoming a monk.
"I was a terribly earnest Buddhist at the time," he told one of his biographers decades later. "I had stayed in their monastery and was going through all their exams, and yet I had this feeling that it wasn't right for me. I suddenly realised how close it all was: another month and my head would have been shaved."
Buddhism - and its belief that nothing is permanent, that change is always possible and that the path to Nirvana comes through the attainment of a deep insight into the true nature of life - appears to have influenced Bowie's art and his development of numerous stage personalities – from Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane to the Thin White Duke.
His former landlady and lover Mary Finnigan, now 77, said: "I think that he actually understood something at the contemplative level and that inspired a lot of what was happening later, his continuous shape shifting, because he had that meditation experience where you lose the separate identity and become more holistic and the idea of the separate self vanishes."
The news that Bowie such a large sum to his PA will makes him sound like a very generous boss, but Schwab, now in her late sixties, was so much more than just the pop star's secretary.
Schwab started working for Bowie in London in 1973 when she answered an advert in the London Evening Standard from Bowie's management company MainMan, asking for a "girl Friday for a busy office."
After working in the office for 6 months, Bowie invited Schwab to become his personal assistant as he toured around America. She appears with Bowie in Alan Yentob's 1974 documentary, Cracked Actor, showing the singer on tour in LA.
Schwab moved to Berlin with Bowie in 1976 to try and help him kick his cocaine addiction. She found a seven-room apartment for them in the Schoneberg district, and would apparently bring him an orange juice and light his cigarette every morning.
Bowie later on said of Schwab, "she became the most important person in my life in the mid Seventies. My whole lifestyle at that time made me quite bonkers, and I had a complete breakdown. Coco was the one person who told me what a fool I was becoming and she made me snap out of it."



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