1. UNIVERSAL LOVE reprise (A J Williams) May all sentient beings be happy May they live in safety & joy All sentient beings, whether weak or strong Great or small, short or tall Seen or unseen, near or distant Born or to be born, may they all be happy
2. DEAL OF GOLD (A J Williams) (Student) Teacher, what are those people singing? (Teacher) The Buddha's words on Universal Love (Student) What does it mean? Please explain. Please teach us where, when & why it was taught (Teacher) Very well my young friends, first I will teach you about the place where it was spoken It was known as Jetavana Monastery Near the city of Savatthi Now, Anathapindika was a very rich man Known for his generosity Also known as the friend of the poor Who was respected & loved by all When the Buddha accepted his invitation To come to teach in Savatthi He set out in search of a suitable location To offer to the Buddha He soon discovered a beautiful place Known as Prince Jeta's Grove So he approached the Prince To seek permission to buy his land, he said “Your Royal Highness I would like to buy this land from you To offer to the Lord Buddha Please advise, what is your price?” At first the Prince had no intention Of selling his land to the rich man But testing his devotion & honesty He responded jokingly, he said “Not even if you can cover this whole place with all of your gold, will I sell it to you” Anathapindika replied “Ok, I will buy it at that price With all the gold it takes to cover the land” Now the Prince was impressed By his pure motivation He said, “Due to your pure intentions & your generous attitude I now agree to sell it to you” So the friend of the poor began to cover the grove with his gold
3. GOLDEN GENEROSITY (A J Williams & R J McLachlan) Now with most of the Grove covered with gold Inspired by generosity, the Prince asked “May I be allowed to donate the rest of the land, along with all of the trees?” Anathapindika agreed & all were happy Then the Prince had the gateway built Using all the gold he'd received & the rich man built the Monastery Along with all of the facilities & this my friends is how The place where the Buddha gave the teaching on Universal Love, came to be. Therefore, we should develop & practice generosity
4. PROMISE (A J Williams) And so my young friends the next time we meet I promise to teach you when & why The Lord Buddha gave the teaching On Universal Love & now I would like to invite All living beings to sing his words
5. UNIVERSAL LOVE reprise (A J Williams) May all sentient beings be happy. May they live in safety & joy. All sentient beings, whether weak or strong, Great or small, short or tall, Seen or unseen, near or distant, Born or to be born, may they all be happy.
6. ONE PEOPLE (A J Williams) Different color, one people Different language, one people Different country, one people Living in a world with so much love to give Though we are different, we are the same Though we are many, we really are one So let's live in peace, live in harmony Live with hope, that all the people be free Peace is harmony Hoping that the people of the world be free Different religion, one people Different tradition, one people Different culture, one people Living in a world with so much love to give Though we are different, we are the same Though we are many, we really are one So let's live in peace, live in harmony Live with hope, that all the people be free Peace is harmony Hoping that the people of the world be free Different faith, one people Different belief, one people Different way, one people
7. PERFECT PLACE (A J Williams) Now my young friends, I will tell you when & why The Buddha’s teaching on Universal Love came to be In those days, just before the rains retreat Disciples would come to see the Buddha To receive instruction on particular techniques of meditation Suitable to their individual temperaments & needs Then they would go to a suitable location For meditation, in the hope of liberation It is said, that a certain 500 monks Came to the Supreme Master, at Jetavana Monastery And after they had received their instructions Went in search of a place to practice diligently They soon found a perfect place At the foothills of the Himalayas By its beauty, they were captivated It appeared like a glistening blue quartz crystal With a cool, dense, green forest grove & a stretch of ground strewn with sand Like a pearl net or a silver sheet With a clean spring of cool water & villages and market town nearby, a Perfect Place
8. REVERENCE (A J Williams) So they spent the night & in the morning Went to the town for alms The people of the villages, were overjoyed to see them As it was rare to see monks in these parts So filled with devotion, they fed the monks & requested them to, “stay here as our guests" They said “We promise to take care of all of your needs So you can meditate in the shade of the ancient trees” The monks agreed, settling down contently Each selected a tree, to practice by day & night Now it is said, that these great trees Were inhabited by deities Who had built a celestial mansion, using the trees as its base & as virtue is revered by all, even more so by deities Out of reverence, they did not want to remain above the monks & came down from their homes & stood aside with their families
9. CELESTIAL BALLET (A J Williams) From a distance, the deities remained, watching & waiting Growing anxious to return to their homes They had thought the monks would only stay for a while But day after day passed, with no sign of them leaving So the deities decided to scare the monks away With terrifying visions, noises & smells
10. OBSTACLES & FEARS (A J Williams & R J McLachlan) And so the deities created these terrifying conditions & soon the monks grew pale & could no longer meditate Terrifying objects, dreadful noises, Sickening smells, distracted minds The monks all shared their experiences with their elder Who said ”Let us go to the blessed one & place our problem before him” So they set out at once to seek advice from the Buddha
11.THE SOLUTION (A J Williams) After the monks had related their experiences to the Lord Buddha He advised them to return to the same location As it was the perfect place for them to purify their minds For meditation & to achieve liberation He said “Fear-not! To be free from the harassment Caused by the deities, learn this teaching It will be a theme for your meditation As well as a formula for protection & healing” & so the Buddha gave the teaching Which they all memorized & reverently took their leave & journeyed back to that perfect place Constantly reciting & meditating on the Buddha’s words on Universal Love
12. LIBERATION (A J Williams) Nearing the forest, the hearts of the deities Were now filled with friendship & good will So they materialized themselves in human form Welcoming the monks with great respect & hospitality Causing water & food to be supplied They reverently made offerings Then resuming their normal form, extend an invitation To stay & meditate, without fear or hesitation Throughout the rains retreat, the deities protected them & caused the place to be free from all noise & distraction In perfect silence, they practised their meditations & for the good of all, attained liberation Such is the power of Universal Love Infinite are the blessings for those who live this way So my friends, I encourage you & all living beings To sing the Buddha’s words on Universal Love
13. UNIVERSAL LOVE (A J Williams) This is the work for those who are skilled & peaceful, who seek the good May they be able & upright, honest, of gentle speech & not proud May they be content & easily supported Unburdened with their senses calmed May they be wise, not arrogant & without desire for the possessions of others May they do nothing mean, or that the wise would reprove May all sentient beings be happy May they live in safety & joy All sentient beings, whether weak or strong Great or small, short or tall Seen or unseen, near or distant Born or to be born, may they all be happy Let no-one deceive or despise another being in any state Let none by anger or hatred wish harm upon another Just as a mother would protect Her only child with her life Even so, let one cultivate a boundless love Toward all sentient beings Let one radiate that boundless love Towards the entire world Above, below & in all directions Without hindrance, without ill will, without enmity Standing or walking, sitting or lying down During all one’s waking hours May one remain mindful of this heart & this way of living that is the best in the world Unattached to speculations, views & sense desires With clear vision, such a person Will never be reborn in the cycles of suffering Forever free & happy
14. MERIT DEDICATION (A J Williams) May the merit made by me Now or at some other time Be shared by all sentient beings here By rejoicing in this cause This gift of merits given by me May all sentient beings live a happy life Be free from hatred & may they find the path secure & their good wishes all succeed
Within a tree, there is a flower
Within a rock, there is a flame
Dedication for Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien
on the ceremonial event of his 70th birthday, and 40 year-milestone for Vien Giac Temple to be established in Germany
Bhikhhu Thích Nguyên Tạng
Translated into English by: Dr Tâm Tịnh, Hoa Chí & Hoa Nghiêm
“Within a tree, there’s a flower, within a rock, there’s a flame” is the dharma taught by Zen Master Dao, recalled by Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien during his dharmic teachings to which I had good fortune to attend in his dharma-propagating journey to the United States of America in 2006 when I acted as an assistant to him.
Smartphone Overuse, Youth Suicide and Buddhism as a Healing Source,
Youth suicide is disturbingly rising. Ashley Welch, in her article “What’s behind the rise in youth suicides?” (2017), gave some insights into the trend. The author mentioned potential causes for this trauma and notably pointed to “the correlation between the rising popularity of smartphones and increased rates of suicide and depression among young people” (para. 17). Although Welch did not offer a clear reason for the correlation, this point raises an awareness of an irony. We, as readers, may wonder, “How can such a wonderful entertaining device cause that terrible thing?” In this paper, I will discuss the roots of this pain, and then suggest Buddhism as a healing source.
Why Aren't We Teaching You Mindfulness?
AnneMarie Rossi, Founder and CEO of BeMindful
Harvard conducted a research study and they tracked more than 1,000 people from birth until age 32 looking for what made someone successful. What common characteristic or trait was seen in a successful individual? It wasn't their race, what language they spoke, what neighborhood they grow up in, or how much money their parents had. It wasn't how well they did on standardized tests or even their IQ. It was self-control; those who were successful, who had good careers, financial stability, loving relationships, and physical health. Those who were successful, were the ones who could focus, pay attention, and regulate their emotions.
The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, in a display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) entitled the 'Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcisse Couché, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton'. It can also be seen at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/131149/
Although this display has been in place for some months, we have only just been made aware of its' existence. We are not usually outspoken, but this display desecrates the image of Buddha by placing images of these mythical images on him and in doing so, showing no apparent regard or respect for Him.
Prior to sharing some thoughts on the question, 'According to 2010 statistics, the number of Buddhists around the world is consistently increasing by approximately 5% to 10% per annum. What do you think are the main causes for this increase?', I should mention that I'm often 'open-mindedly skeptical' about such surveys, and the statistics gathered during such surveys. For where does the information come from and how is the information gathered, and for what purpose, and so on and so forth.
To give the briefest conclusion that I can think of to the question- 'Do you think that sectarian diversity affects the stability of Buddhism as a whole?', I would have to say, 'Yes' and 'No'.
My intention here is not to give a definitive answer, but to give readers 'food for thought', to enable each of us to be responsible and maintain pure intentions, to think for ourselves and develop genuine wisdom and compassion.
In the spirit of the Dharma, rather than dwelling on any possible problems, we should mainly focus on solutions to any such problems. With the hope of maintaining the integrity and purity of Buddhism in this world.
Come and join us for this multicultural celebration of the
Buddha’s Birth Enlightenment and Passing
Its a Free Event - All Welcome
Vesak Procession & Commemoration in the City of Melbourne.
10am - 3.30pm, Saturday 27 May
Come along to celebrate one of the most important days in the Buddhist Calendar and together commemorate the Buddha’s universal peace message for the world.
ENLIGHTENMENT OF THE BUDDHA
Written by Andrew. J. Williams
Produced and performed by Andrew. J. Williams and Roger. J. McLachlan
Recorded by Roger. J. McLachlan
01 Enlightenment (Buddha)
02 The Senses (Williams/McLachlan)
03 What is the Meaning of Life? (Williams/McLachlan)
04 The Four Signs (Williams)
05 What is the Meaning of Life? Reprise (Williams/McLachlan)
06 Farewell (Williams)
07 The Middle Path (Williams)
08 Sujata’s Song (Williams)
09 The Struggle (Williams)
10 The Enlightenment/The Teaching (Williams)
11 The Senses Reprise (Williams/McLachlan)