“If music be the food of love, play on. So Shakespeare gloriously states in Twelfth Night.” Music can also play an important role in religious expression, allowing devotees to have an immediate emotional and connection and response to the teachings and events marking significant moments in the religion’s development and daily life. It can be as simple as the beating of drums to accompany a dance and song invoking the spirits, natural forces, or the gods. It can be as complex as an oratorio or requiem composed by Bach, Beethoven, or Verdi. It can be as contemplative and sublime as Gregorian chanting.
Om Mani Padme Hum
What are you going to do if your dreams fall through?
Are you going to hide inside your shell?
What are you going to say if your dreams fly away?
Are you going to be kind to yourself?
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
Truth and Zen Buddhism it is difficult to imagine a pair of more abstruse. yet fascinating, topics, Rather than discuss either one of the two, I will consider them both simultaneously in hopes that, like some schoolboy magician in a chemistry laboratory, I might mix together two murky, colored concoctions and thereby effect-abracadabra-a transparent, clear solution.
It was eight years ago, amid the material comforts of city living and the demanding pressures of academic pursuits, that I first encountered the gentle and profound teachings of the Buddha. At that time a natural curiosity about the nature of the mind, and encounters with the concepts of biology and theoretical physics, had awakened in me a healthy appetite for intellectual nourishment.
In general terms, Right Concentration means establishing the mind rightly. On one level, this can apply to all the factors of the path. You have to start out by setting the mind on Right View. In other words, you use your discernment to gather together all the Dhamma you've heard. Then when you set the mind on Right Resolve, that's also a way of establishing it rightly. Then you set it on Right Speech, speaking only things that are right.
For the beginning meditator I believe it would be helpful to establish an order in the various steps taken in meditation. First, then, it would be wise to establish a place of quiet to which one may retire daily and not be interrupted in his endeavors. Then wash carefully face, hands and feet. Better yet, if time permits, take a cleansing shower and put on loose, comfortable clothes. It is wise to meditate at the same time daily to establish a habit.
In this chapter we will look at the steps of the Noble Eightfold Path that fall into the group known as mental development. We have already noted the interdependent nature of the steps of the path, and in this context it is particularly important to understand the position of mental development. Placed as it is between good conduct and wisdom, mental development is relevant and important to both. You may ask why this should be so. Indeed, people sometimes think simply following the precepts of morality is sufficient for leading a good life.
Nguyện đem công đức này, trang nghiêm Phật Tịnh Độ, trên đền bốn ơn nặng, dưới cứu khổ ba đường, nếu có người thấy nghe, đều phát lòng Bồ Đề, hết một báo thân này, sinh qua cõi Cực Lạc.
May the Merit and virtue,accrued from this work, adorn the Buddhas pureland, Repay the four great kindnesses above, andrelieve the suffering of those on the three paths below, may those who see or hear of these efforts generates Bodhi Mind, spend their lives devoted to the Buddha Dharma, the Land of Ultimate Bliss.