Cyprian Consiglio and
Rev. Heng Sure
Dedication of Merit/Compassionate
and Wise by
Rev. Heng Sure
are two monastic communities, Mahayana Buddhist and Benedictine
Catholic, who have used a piece of Loreena McKennitt's
music for our worship. We have recorded a song called (alternately) "Dedication
of Merit," and "Compassionate and Wise."
of Merit/Rev. Heng Sure - Free
Download - MP3(3MB)
May every living being,
Our minds as one and radiant with light,
Share the fruits of peace
With hearts of goodness, luminous and bright.
people hear and see,
How hands and hearts can find
in giving, unity,
May their minds awake,
To Great Compassion, wisdom and to joy.
May kindness find reward,
May all who sorrow leave their grief and pain;
May this boundless light,
Break the darkness of their endless night.
Because our hearts are one,
This world of pain turns into Paradise,
May all become compassionate and wise,
May all become compassionate and wise.
song "Dedication of Merit" (See Video Performance) was
born as an antidote to the grief and helplessness following
9/11 and the fall of the two towers. 250 Buddhists and
Catholics had gathered at a Benedictine Convent in Indiana
to investigate the Rule of St. Benedict from a Buddhist perspective.
Sister Mary Margaret Funk invited the Buddhists to provide
a dedication of merit, a practice of sharing with the world all
the goodness created by any wholesome action. Using the mind
to broadcast goodness is an effective form of spiritual activism.
Abbot of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and I accepted the
challenge and the night before the conference concluded, we
managed to translate into English the 1300 year-old Chinese
Buddhist verse. Needing a tune, my thoughts spontaneously recalled
Ms McKennitt's "Dark Night of the Soul." I
matched our translation and her melody and they joined like
body and soul.
next day the participants, holding candles, processed out
to the driveway of the convent, around the white marble image
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who resembles in so many ways
Guan Yin Bodhisattva, the Awakened Being of Great Compassion.
I introduced the new song, saying, "After meritorious
deeds of any sort, a Bodhisattva, an Awakened Being, can share
the goodness with the world by making a wish and dedicating
the merit. The scope of your mind and the sincerity of your
heart determines the efficacy of your vows. When, as today,
so many hearts dedicate together, the effect can change the
world in profound ways."
On that September day, one week after the attack in New York,
our hearts that sought relief and healing carried our wishes
aloft, borne by the new song. Ms McKennitt's melody delivered
healing - - we could almost see the thoughts of the assembly
take form and rise on the wings of sacred music. Dozens of people
came forward afterwards and thanked me for the unexpected healing
delivered by a Buddhist-Catholic liturgy, a song that sounded
to them as familiar as a hymn and as powerful as prayer. This
experience demonstrated to me the ability of music to move the
heart and benefit the world, beyond religious boundaries.
another Buddhist-Christian meeting, after I heard Cyprian
a Christian monk and fellow guitar player, lead the singing
of intercessory prayers, I said to him, "We Buddhists
have the same kind of practice," and told him about the
song. After hearing it sung by my Buddhist congregation, he asked
if he might sing it.
and his collaborator, John Pennington, adapted it a bit from
my version, adding percussion, and a Sanskrit chant, the metta
bhavana mantra. Since that day, Cyprian has performed the song
to conclude liturgies and concerts around the globe, from India
to Italy, from New Jersey to New Mexico. He calls it "Compassionate
and Wise" and he reports the same response: people feel
healed by the tune.
Cyprian introduces it this way:
is an intercessory prayer taught to me by my Buddhist brother
monk, Rev. Heng Sure. The lyric is translated from Chinese
and its melodic setting was written by a gifted Canadian composer,
Loreena McKennitt. She wrote the melody for a verse by a Catholic
Mystic, St. John of the Cross. I'm a Roman Catholic hermit and
I've added a Sanskrit peace mantra to bring it full circle. I'm
on this bridge to world peace and I'm staying on it!" (Fr.
Cyprian's new CD "Compassionate and Wise" is available on iTunes.)
and Wise - Fr. Cyprian Consiglio - Free
Download - MP3(5.3MB)
Fr. Cyprian and John Pennington have recorded the song but not
released it; now the three of us are thrilled to learn that Ms
McKennitt has most graciously given permission for us to circulate
the song, and continue its healing ministry. Our respective Buddhist,
Catholic and Interfaith congregations will be grateful, and living
beings can benefit.
Loreena McKennitt - Web
hope that our versions will result in heightened interest in
Ms McKennitt's the "Dark Night of the Soul" tune
and her on-going ministry of setting of transcendent lyrics into
transcendent melodies. "Loreena’s full
catalogue is now available to music lovers on iTunes."
___ ___ ___
Pilgrimage - Three Steps, One Bow for Peace
eBook - 352 Pages - Text and Photos - (1.6 MB) - Free
From True Cultivators Heng Sure & Heng Ch'au.
letters of Heng Sure and Heng Ch'au...
Three steps and a bow. That's how they walked it. Two monks
on a pilgrimage of peace that took them through a series of
wide-ranging encounters and extraordinary experiences -- within
and without. These letters and photos are a record of their
Buddhist monks on a journey of a lifetime, from downtown
Los Angeles to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talamage,
journey of more than 800 miles that took two years and nine
months to complete. They bowed in peace, and for peace. Touching
their foreheads to the ground, opening their hearts with
one wish for the world. Peace. For everyone, everyday, everywhere.