A special note... My friend Ven. Heng Sure is releasing his first CD of original Buddhist folks songs in August 2007 on iTunes. The attached PDF file has working links to his CD web site. On the web site you will find 30 sec. samples of each song and a PDF of liner notes with complete lyrics. With the release of this CD, Ven. Heng Sure is taking the Buddha Dharma in a new and exciting direction.
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Paramita: American Buddhist Folk Songs / Available in August 2007 on iTunes
Paramita: American Buddhist Folk Songs
The name of this album is Paramita: American Buddhist Folk Songs. Paramita means crossing over. When we move from here to there, from suffering to sufferings end, from confusion to awakening, it is paramita-- we cross over. One of the primary means of crossing over in the Buddhist world, from the earliest times, was music. Buddhist music surrounds our ears in Asia: in Thailand we hear monks voices chanting scriptures; in Chinese monasteries the sound of wooden fish drums send praises of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha into the air; in Tibet, lamas intone deep mantra sounds while turning mala beads and prayer wheels and sounding brass horns. And in every Buddhist culture, since the Buddhas time 2500 years ago, Buddhist songs have brought peace and insight to peoples hearts.
Now in the West, the chanting of scriptures, Buddhas names, and mantras is finding a new home and new musical expressions. Folk songs have always provided us a conveyance for sharing human experience; it is especially gratifying to share the timeless wisdom of Buddhist principles in a traditional Western musical setting. Their topics are both timeless and contemporary, and their treatment is distinctly rooted in the Western folk idiom.
We offer these fifteen songs to the Triple Jewel and to listeners East and West.
May all beings gain liberation from suffering and bring forth the Great Resolve for Awakening.
For your convenience, the Paramita music CD will probably be available for purchase at the following online stores around August 2007:
Please check back later for availability dates.
We offer these fifteen songs to the Triple Jewel and to listeners East and West. May all beings gain liberation from suffering and bring forth the Great Resolve for Awakening.
Ageless Wisdom, American Music
(for song lyrics, notes and 30 secs preview, please click the song links)
1. Craving Is the Builder of This House (3:10)
2. Yashodara (4:44)
3. Cause & Effect, or Here Comes Karma Now (4:11)
4. Turn, Return and Turn Again (3:06)
5. Another One Done Gone (3:11)
6. American Beef Cow (3:36)
7. Death Parade (1:34)
8. Ballad of Earth Store (5:08)
9. VegSource Mantra (I Have Enough) (1:45)
10. What Ya Gonna Do? (4:37)
11. When You Wake Up (4:03)
12. It's Called the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (3:51)
13. Weapons of Earth (3:52)
14. Samadhi Shoes (4:04)
15. Dedication of Merit (2:38
Acts of Kindness
Recipe for downloading the complete Paramita music CD at no charge:
1. Perform a priceless act of kindness.
2. Write and submit a short reflection of your experience.
3. Check your email for the link to download your Paramita music CD. (Might want to check your SPAM folder).
Sounds simple enough? We hope so. You might wonder: What's the purpose of our approach? The concept is clear if you first understand what Paramita means. Paramita means "crossing over". When one crosses from here to there, from suffering to suffering's end, from confusion to awakening, it is "paramita"-- we cross over.
Tiny drops of water can merge to form a river. Regardless of how small an act of kindness seems, when pooled together, can become a formidable amount and enable one to accomplish a great deal. It brings about a change, a crossing over to a more peaceful world, one step at a time. We shouldn't pass up on any good deed just because it seems too small to matter or make a difference. Kindness brings us hope. It inspires us to become better people.
So whether you gave a dime or a million dollars to charity, cooked for your parents or served an entire town devasted by a wild fire, we encourage to you to share your experience with us. Let us know what inspired you to make that your act of kindness. Did your act motivate others to do the same? How did it make you feel? In fact, there is no criteria for your submission. Just share what you like and we hope every one of us can learn from your experience and get inspired to make a difference in this world.
May all become compassionate and wise.
Some Acts of Kindness...
Mr. Nice Guy Strikes Again
So I work for a non-profit agency in NYC and I'm on a city bus with some of my clients. We pull up at a bus stop where a woman with a stroller waits. When the bus doors open and it's time for her to get on she isn't able to properly fold up the stroller. She has in one hand her baby child, and with the free hand she struggles to fold the stroller. I get up, exit the bus and offer to help, but I can't even operate the thing with two hands. I work with it for about five minutes and am still unable to be of any help. The bus passengers are getting impatient (this is New York after all) and my group is already late for their volunteer assignment. I tell her that I can't figure it out and get back on the bus. The bus driver is about to pull out when I realize "I can do this!". I calmly go out to her once again and pull up on a handle that had previously gone unnoticed. The stroller folds up, the lady gets on the bus with her baby, and she takes the empty seat that I once occupied. / submited on 2007-08-05 18:47:55 by Mr. Nice Guy from Jamaica Queens, United States
the little rodent
A while back I took in two gerbils who had no home. They smelled and ran on their wheel at all hours, often keeping me awake. But I grew to love the little guys. Sadly, after they reached the age of about 3 they both passed away, hopefully to a good rebirth. / submited on 2007-08-04 19:02:37 by ahamkara108 from New York, USA
My experience is about God and Christ's forgiveness. Christ's true forgiveness taught me that there isn't an effect for every cause. He helped me to travel outside of Karma. Christ had the time to talk. And He walked the walk. He touched me with his very hand and I cried when His mercy blessed my life. His love found beauty in the ugly things in my life. His love is both personal and universal. I don't know why I'm telling you about this. / submited on 2007-08-03 21:54:55 by Anonymous from Scottsdale, usa
A day trek
I am from Malaysia, but I came over to Sydney to further my studies for 2 and half years. That day, I decided to trek to the nearest supermarket instead of using the bus, because I enjoy walking, while enjoying the scenery. On the way, I stop at a traffic light, waiting to cross the road. A lady with 2 plastic bags, and one hand carry bag stop at the same traffic light. She is about 60 years old. The bags were full of groceries and really seemed heavy to me. She looked very tired carrying the bags. I offered my help to carry for her to cross the road. After crossing the road, I decided to walk her back to her home, since her home is just few meters away. On the way, we chat a lot. She is Elizabeth. She has 2 sons and a daughter. She is very kind and sweet. I felt so warmth to meet her, because I am alone here without my family. on the way, she plucked two lavenders and gave to me. I felt so touched. Although is just a small deed to help her to carry the bags, but I really felt happy, really happy. That is the experience that I will never forget. / submited on 2007-08-03 06:32:44 by -lavender- from Muar, Malaysia
The Value of A Slug
Many are the negative stories where I live of the humble little slug. Icky, slimy, and nasty are just a few of the words used to describe them. I have never felt that way about the little creatures. I have not lived here very long, so maybe I did not have an opportunity to absorb this culture of slug discrimination. Anyway, I go out of my way to avoid these slow moving inhabitants of our earth and alway hope that other people will do the same. The other day, however, I noticed that a slug had ventured onto the path that surrounds our house, which is under construction. I worried that some of the workers might not see him and he would be stepped on, so I scooped him up on a board and brought him down the street to a nearby pond. Slugs are just as important to the earth as we are...maybe more so. I believe that all creatures, large and small, are worth making all reasonable efforts to extend our kindness to. As we are taught, all creatures may have been our mother in a previous life.... / submited on 2007-08-02 23:06:49 by Expatriated Soul from Somewhere, USA
While in China this past May, our group had the opportunity to live and work at a small childrens orphanage outside of Beijing. The orphanage was American-founded, but the property was poorly maintained. While some of the group went to clean the playground equipment or care for the lawn, a friend and I went to the I.C.U. This Intensive Care Unit was where they kept the extremely sick children, and since they were so fragile they had to be kept in a very clean environment all the time. So, my friend and I tided up the whole building went up stairs to the attic to make sure everything was in order. When we got up there, we were taken back by the horrific mess that had overtaken the space. All of the ducts from the bathrooms vented into this small area and the entire room was covered, floor to ceiling, with fecal dust. The dust caused severe odors and many more problems were to come if it wasnt taken care of. We finally found a way to clean the mess without making a huge cloud, which could harm the children, and remove all of the dust and odor. It took us over 4 hours of back-bending work in the attic plus the additional 2 ½ hours we spent cleaning the rest of the house to get it all done, but to know that the kids werent at danger was the best thing and it made every aching moment worth it. Amitabha / submited on 2007-08-02 01:03:47 by Shifu from Davie, FL, USA
I have been a harmless child since I was born and believe I have brought lots of laughter and joy to everyone around me. I sincerely hope I will continue to be such a person and will grow up to be a kind and compassionate person and will contribute positively to society / submited on 2007-08-01 06:14:22 by Jia Hao from KL, Malaysia
I baked an orange poppy seed cake for my classmates to cheer up our Wednesday tutorials. Went down like a treat! / submited on 2007-07-28 09:10:17 by Lawrence from Sydney, Australia
Sound of Music for elders
I enjoying playing violin and have been playing with HP Orchestra for years, the rehearsal is once a week. Earlier this year, a neighbor comes to me that she organized a small music group in the church. The group will visit nursing homes and play music for elders. We'll play some hymn, and some other folk or easy music. The rehearsal will be in the church once a week. I had a rule trying not to be away from my family for more then one night a week. I need to decide which music group to participate between HP Orchestra and this church group. Partly because I like the small group, but largely because I think it's a much better cause to play music for elders who can't get to concerts easily then just to entertain general public, I decide to play with the church music cell. The experience of playing for elders have been very rewarding. Seeing them sing and clap hands when we play the music brings us more joy then what we bring to them I think. As a Buddhist, does it bother me to play hymn, rehearsal in the church and join the prayer before the performance ? Not at all. It's a great feeling that people with different belief work together to do good deed. / submited on 2007-07-27 02:30:47 by Jerry H. from Fremont, USA
Freeing the Rat
A rat was found in the bin by some children at the school i work at. They crowded around and the poor little rat was cowering with it's little heart racing. I took the bin (with the rat) to the school 'bush' area and recited some medicine buddha mantras and released it. Hopefully this beautiful little creature will make a connection with the Dharma in another life. / submited on 2007-07-24 18:37:32 by Ngawang Dondup from Alexandria, Australia