Gītassara Sutta: A Brief Commentary

Rod, from The Worst Horse and Shambhala SunSpace, posted this the other day on Facebook. It got my mind buzzing again, as it does from time to time, about the relevancy of music to Dharma practice.

The Gītassara Sutta

Bhikkhus, there are five dangers of reciting the Dhamma with a musical intonation. What five?

Oneself gets attached to the sound others get attached to the sound, householders are annoyed, saying, “Just as we sing, these sons of the Sakyan sing”, the concentration of those who do not like the sound is destroyed, and later generations copy it.

These, monks, are the five dangers of reciting the Dhamma with a musical intonation.

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Tibetan Buddhist/ supporter Yauch of Beastie Boys wins battle against cancer

From Palyul

A longtime supporter of Tibet and member of Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch, has won his eighteen month long battle against cancer. The singer, also known as MCA, was diagnosed with cancer in July 2009 after which the band’s album “Hot Sauce Committee, Part 1” was delayed indefinitely.

Yauch underwent a surgery in July 2009 to remove a cancerous tumor from his left parotid gland. In September 2009, he visited Dharamsala, the headquarters of the exile Tibetan government and the home to the Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama. During his visit, Yauch consulted Tibetan doctors of traditional Tibetan medicine. In an email update to the Beastie Boys’ official fan list in 2009, Yauch said, “I’m taking Tibetan medicine and at the recommendation of the Tibetan doctors I’ve been eating a vegan/organic diet.” He was spotted at a teaching of His Holiness the Dalai Lama during the same trip.

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Imagine: The “Dharma” of John Lennon

As we all know, John Lennon would have been 70 today had he not been taken away early. In celebration of his birthday, and in recognition to him as a musician and peace activist, I am posting the lyrics and video to “Imagine”.

I had intended to break down the lyrics, and relate them to certain “Dharmic” qualities, but after re-reading them (for the millionth time in this life) I realized I didn’t need to break them down at all. John wrote the song perfectly, and the words speak for themselves.

The thing I will say is, with each lyrical paragraph, note there is always a middle way. “Imagine” we could all truly live in John’s world, I believe would all be at least a little bit better off!

Click to read lyrics and watch the video

Interview with metal band, Rest In Disgrace

I recently stumbled on a new metal band with Buddhist influences, Rest In Disgrace. I was able to e-mail them some questions and promptly, they replied with some answers. I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about the band as I did. So here we go…

PM: Rest In Disgrace has various influences from Carcass, In Flames to Akercocke. The sounds of the influences are very evident in your music. Was it the intention to make the sound so evident or is this just what happened when you got together? I also hear quite a bit of Amorphis’ sound, are you guys fans?

Márcio Quirino (Bass): Well, we can say both things are true: we wanted to sound just the way we do, having some clear mentions to the names you quoted above, but in the other hand, I believe this would end up happening anyway, naturally, since that’s what we usually listen to, which means it is how we understand and express our music as well.

João Pachá (Guitars): Hails Nathan. How are Yah!??! Hummm, well, I agree that, some sounds are evident, but maybe not that much. I believe that it’s the result (are you also a clairvoyant? Ehehe) of both personalities that share some similarities, and the unshared ones left, complete each other most of the time. Just like Yin & Yang?!!

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Rest In Disgrace, Buddhist inspired Metal

I was turned onto these guys by an old reader, Wolfbane (aka D. Ingham, thanks again man). Rest In Disgrace play some doomy, darker metal, not typical of today’s metal at all. Very reminiscent of At The Gates, early Amorphis with some decent progressive sound as well.

I e-mailed the band hoping they’ll agree to be featured here, and to see what their story is… till then… here’s two videos I found on YouTube, songs are titled “Ascendance” and “Descension”… enjoy… I did!

Insignificant, Am I

Lately, while driving around in my work van, I’ve been listening to one of my favorite bands, Nevermore. Nevermore is of course, a metal band, but not necessarily death metal. They’d be considered more of a progressive/ melodic sounding style of metal. Anyway… I REALLY love their music.

Until recently, I didn’t realize how meaningful some of the bands lyrics could be. I was listening to the song “Insignificant, Am I” and it made me think how truly insignificant life can be at times, although it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

A snippet of the lyrics go something like this (full song lyrics posted after the video below)… “And then one day you’ll realize, Just a speck in the spectrum, Insignificant, am I?”

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Deadly Light “Six Walls” review/ interview

I recently had the opportunity to hear a great new band. Max from Deadly Light sent me a message via Facebook filling me in on who they are and what they do.

From their website:

Deadly Light writes loud, metal-infused, cinematic songs dealing with the nature of consciousness and the search for meaning.

Being a huge fan of metal I was really looking forward to checking them out. Max sent me a digital copy of their EP “Six Walls” and I’ve been listening to it ever since. Yes, it’s not death metal, don’t be shocked here… I like ALL forms of metal.

There are elements of many different bands here, from the layered sound of bands like Paradise Lost, dirge like riffs of Sunno))), the quirkiness of Voivod and more. There’s a bit here for every metal fan.

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Tibetan Refugee, Buddhist and Death Metal artist??

Courtesy of Rod at The Worst Horse via Konchog Norbu, we are made aware of a documentary film, right up my alley.

“Journey Of A Dream is a feature length documentary, a film by Shenpenn Khymsar that will take audiences on an epic, global journey into heavy metal music, exile, Buddhism and Tibetan roots.”

You can check out some of Shepenn and his band Avatara at their MySpace page HERE!

Connect and find out more about the film on Facebook HERE!!!

Also check out the trailer for the documentary below…. can’t wait to see this and hear what the future has in store for Avatara!