Turner, 81, who was in a physically abusive relationship with her late ex-husband Ike Turner says she owes everything to the religion which helped her to gather the strength to walk away from her abuser.
“Buddhism saved my life. In the midst of my most difficult times, including domestic violence, I started chanting and learning about Buddhist principles,” she told The Times. “Who knows if it was predestined, but I can say for sure that chanting came to me at exactly the right time.”
Turner expressed how easy it would have been for her to have leaned on other vices during that dark time in her life — but spirituality won out.
“When I was going through some of my hardest times, perhaps it would have felt easier to give in to quick fixes, like smoking, alcohol, or drugs,” she explained. “Instead I chose to look inward, to tap the wellspring of my greater self. My dear friend David Bowie, who had a lifelong interest in Buddhism, used to call me a phoenix, the mythical bird who rises from the ashes.”
“If there’s one lesson my life serves to teach, it’s that encountering big problems doesn’t have to dictate your future. It’s what we make of adversity, how we use it to shape ourselves, that determines our success and happiness. I believe we all have the potential to overcome problems – and I don’t mean just survive our problems, but thrive because of them.”
She admitted: “Living with Ike was a challenging series of ordeals. I suffered years of domestic violence, both emotional and physical. At one point I thought death was my only chance at escape. But it was not in my nature to stay down for long. I’d always find a way to get up and go on.”