great openness
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the Rastayana Buddhist version of the Heart Sutra....
Peak: #141   (74,916 songs currently in World)
Peak in sub-genre: #31   (14,424 songs currently in Reggae)
Upload date
June 25, 2010
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MP3 9.3 MB, bitrate 128 kbps.
10:09 minutes
Martin Holsinger and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal © Amoghasiddhi Music, BMI
Story behind the song
This was inspired by remarks by my teacher, Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, about how "gate gate paragate..." really means "open, open, beyond all closing down. I used that as a chorus of sorts and adapted the Heart Sutra to a reggae beat. So, he gets a cowrite on the song, and all proceeds from its sale on this website will go to his retreat center, Padma Samye Ling. The picture in the thumbnail is his brother and fellow lama, Khenpo Palden Sherab, who passed into the bardo in late June of 2010, which is, as of this writing, last Saturday. May his influence continue to spread and benefit beings. I originally recorded this as a classical piece several years ago, but then started hearing it as reggae. My own musical skills are limited enough that I found it difficult to do this by myself, which is my usual m.o. , so I enlisted Deacon Daniel to play bass and guitars, giving the arrangement a solid reggae foundation. Would have liked to get the I-threes to sing backup, but they're a little beyond my budget, so my friend Susan Shann provided the extraordinary backup vocals. I would have liked to have Peter Tosh sing it, but he, unfortunately, is no longer available, and even though I did my best Peter Tosh imitation people told me I sounded more like Boris from Rocky and Bullwinkle than Peter Tosh (hey, my ancestry is Eastern European, not East African!) (as far as I know! could be some surprises back there!), so I just sang it in my natural voice--but would love to hear a real reggae baritone do it....get in touch if you're interested.....
Inconceivable, inexpressible Great Openness Unborn, unceasing, by nature like the sky Experienced by self-reflexive awarenessa019 discerning, pristine cognition Mother of the victorious ones of the three times I pay homage to you Bhagavati Prajnaparamita Hrirdaya Chomden Dewa Sherab Chipa Roltu Chinpe Nyingpo Homage to the Great Openness, Mother of us all (note: the above, which serves as an intro, had to be edited out due to Soundclick space can hear it on the Brother Martin Dmusic site.) Once I came to a mountain top With you, our Lord, and the rest and while we sat so still with him in bliss on that high crest he opened he opened so completely opened so far beyond closing down he opened he opened so far beyond open he could never close down again and I could see that you could see just what it was he saw and I begged you to tell me true so I could see it too you told me ?"form is emptiness and emptiness is form they are not separate in any way their union is the norm all feeling, too is emptiness and empty is perception mentality is empty, too and empty is consciousness no thing is born and no thing dies no purity, no impurity no thing shrinks and no thing grows and yet, things seem to be there are no forms in emptiness, no feelings, perceptions, or thoughts no consciousness, no eye, no ear no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind no appearance, no sound, no smell no taste, no touch, no laws of form no ignorance, no end of it no death, no end of death there is no pain, and yet there's pain, without beginning, without end there is no way away from pain nor wisdom to impart there's not a thing that we can do and yet, we've done it all since there is nothing you can do be open to your life do not cling to or fear what comes to you be it bliss or be it strife and that is what our Master's done that's made him Lord of all he's given us a simple prayer to open up our hearts it's always been true it's true right now it'll be true forever more a019May I be open so open so completely open may I never close down again May I be open so open so far beyond open May I never close down againa019a01D and then our Lord arose from bliss and smiled at one and all "good, good," he said, "for thus it is exactly as you spoke open your heart to all that is and the whole world will rejoice" and when he smiled and spoke to us it made our hearts so glad inspired us all to open wide and give the best we had May I be open so open so completely open May I never close down again may I be so open so far beyond open may I never close down again (repeat chorus 7x)