David Radin | Love Songs of a Zen Monk

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Love Songs of a Zen Monk

by David Radin

Love songs of a seeker of the light and the light.
Genre: Spiritual: Inspirational
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. I Asked My Master (Poem) [feat. Billy White; Harmonium]
3:49 album only
clip
2. Can You Hear My Applause (feat. Morley Shanti Kamen; Vocals, Travis Knapp; Guitar, Organ, Backing Vocals & Billy White; Spanish Guitar, Bass, Percussion)
5:05 album only
clip
3. How Sweet the Journey (feat. Billy White; Vocals, Guitar & Morley Shanti Kamen; Vocals)
3:49 album only
clip
4. The Gospel (feat. Morley Shanti Kamen; Vocals, Max Buckholtz; Violin, Billy White; Guitar, Percussion, Bass, Backing Vocals, Travis Knapp; Backing Vocals & Jordan Michel; Backing Vocals)
4:51 album only
clip
5. Gentle Enough (feat. Travis Knapp; Vocals, Guitar, Morley Shanti Kamen; Backing Vocals & Billy White; Slide Guitars, Organ)
4:48 album only
clip
6. Be Still (feat. Morley Shanti Kamen; Vocals, Billy White; Guitar, Oud & Desmond Bratton; String Bass)
3:44 album only
clip
7. Know the One (feat. Morley Shanti Kamen; Vocals, Jordan Michel; Backing Vocals, Roberto Paolo Riggio; Violin & Billy While; Guitar, Bass, Percussion)
4:45 album only
clip
8. A Night Song (Poem)
2:58 album only
clip
9. Holy, Holy, Holy (feat. Morley Shanti Kamen; Vocals & Billy White; Percussion, Harmonium, Guitar)
4:30 album only
clip
10. Practice How to Lose (feat. Morley Shanti Kamen; Vocals, Billy While; Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Travis Knapp; Piano, Backing Vocals, Roberto Paolo Riggio; Violin & Dylan Jones; String Bass)
4:10 album only
clip
11. Runaway Blues (feat. Jordan Michel; Vocals, Morley Shanti Kamen; Vocals, Billy White; Percussion, Guitar, Travis Knapp; Piano & Dylan Jones; String Bass)
6:18 album only
clip
12. No One Can Love Me (feat. Billy White; Vocals, Guitar)
4:29 album only
clip
13. Relax (Poem)
3:24 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"now and then someone arises
thank you, bro"
- Leonard Cohen; poet and songwriter

"I am overjoyed to see the completion of this collection of songs and poems combining the fragrance of Zen and Rumi - a truly deep and moving offering."
- Khadija Marcia Radin; Sheikha in the Mevlevi and Sufi Ruhaniat lineages



When the true light pierces through the self veil of the mind, that is the great moment. It is the moment of spiritual awakening. The accumulated burdens of trying to make sense of, and find lasting happiness in, a personal life that inevitably ends, simply dissolve. The great freedom from self, the great love for all things as not separate from oneself, manifests in this human world.

The songs and poems in this album attempt to express the love between a seeker of the light and the light itself. They are imaginary dialogues between the ego searching and the truth shining.

However inaccurate they may be, the songs are offered with the sincere aspiration that they may be of some benefit or comfort. My teacher may be rolling his eyes about his monk wasting time and energy describing that which is beyond words. But his kindness brings forth this gesture anyway, and I accept his blows before they are even given.

Billy White is a masterful musician and Morley Kamen, a stunning vocalist. One summer they were at Body Mind Restoration Retreats and Ithaca Zen Center in upstate New York. The monk who taught at the center missed the beautiful rhythm of Billy's blues (Billy was absorbed in Flamenco at the time) and asked Billy if he might play the blues if the monk wrote a blues song. Billy laughed and said why don't I just play you one? No, said the monk, I'll write one, and that night wrote the words to Runaway Blues. Billy and Morley created the melody and a song was born. There slowly followed enough others to make this album, all helped along by the kindness, efforts and humor of many musicians, vocalists and friends.

Profound thanks and deep bows to my teacher Joshu Sasaki Roshi whose teachings and training dragged a frequently unwilling novice along the path. This album is dedicated to him as he walks his 107th year in this human world.
Thanks to Billy for his brilliant guitar and for engineering the entire album. He put together the whole project and never wavered. And to Morley whose miraculous voice was able to capture the spirit of so many songs and who pushed to have this album completed.

And:
To my wife, Marcia who had to listen to and critique this whole project way too many times and always told her truth; to Travis for his beautiful voice and presence; to Jordan, Desmond, Max and others for their music and vocals. And to my children for just being.

Yoshin David Radin



Lyrics for the album


I Asked My Master

I asked my master:
What is the point
Of this walk from womb to grave?
What did the wise ones see
When they sat inside their caves?
It is all so pointless
If my body turns to dust
And who has ever found the place
Not destroyed by time or rust
So tell me master, please,
Where does the mind find its rest
When the vanity of life and death
Penetrates my breast?
And the master said:
I cannot save you
But I can put your mind to rest
You must let time dissolve you
And accept you’re just a guest
You can see into non-being
And the undivided space
You can rest in blessed sweetness
When you’ve given up the chase
You can linger long in flowers
Simple joys can make you cry
Your past will be forgiven
And you never will know why
You can feel the purest joy
In the softness of your hand
And you can be the master
Of where you make your stand
And even though you appear to exist
Even though you appear to be
You will know from the beginning
There never was a you — there was only me
I asked my master:
Your words contain a mystery
I do not understand
I must find out the meaning
Before I lie in sand
If you are living here with me
Where is the boundary line?
What if anything is yours
And what can I call mine?
Where shall I find you
When things move all about?
And when senses and mind decay
Where can I hide out?
And the master said:
Let go of thinking we are two
You’re really on the verge
When thinking rests in silence
That’s when you and I will merge
When space returns to oneness
And self returns to naught
There is nothing more to know
There is nothing to be taught
From the beginning of this dream
In a manner so discreet
I’ve been dancing in your corpse
My love is that complete
vocal: Yoshin David Radin
harmonium: Billy White



Can You Hear My Applause

O my child
It is easier than you think
I am always, always with you
I carry the whole universe
In my hand
Why don’t you please
Release your burden
You look for meaning
And I show you
The sun and the moon
You struggle with your fate
When a thousand angels
Dance before you
Why can’t you see?
Why can’t you escape
This self imposed suffering
The whole universe
Is beseeching you
For an embrace.
Can you hear my applause
Can you hear my applause
Can you hear my applause, for you
(repeat)
How is it that
You still turn away
Is the sun too bright?
And the flowers too fragrant?
Is the rain too wet?
I will please you in every way
Only you have to recognize me
Can’t you hear me crying out to you
Can’t you find me?
Is it because I have no body
Don’t let that confuse you
I’m beyond that sort of thing
I’m the great audience
Can you hear my applause
Can you hear my applause
Can you hear my applause, for you
(repeat)
My child
It pains me to see you this way
I would love for you to stop in more often
You forget so easily
There is infinite patience
In the great, great scheme of things
Please slow down
It’s not that I can’t keep up with you
It’s just what’s the point?
Let’s meet behind the breath
Next time in meditation
Let’s meet on the other shore
Can you hear my applause
Can you hear my applause,
Can you hear my applause, for you
(repeat)
(repeat)
vocals: Morley Shanti Kamen
guitar, organ, backing vocals: Travis Knapp
spanish guitar, bass, percussion: Billy White



How Sweet The Journey Was

Oh master
I’m beginning to feel old
The skin is getting wrinkles
The body feels the cold
I stumble
Every now and then
My vision starts to fade
The song birds go unnoticed
My lotus is unmade
But I took refuge in you long ago
These things cause no despair
You said there was no warranty
Some parts can’t be repaired
And when I feel you shine on me
There is no time or space
It all becomes the good old days
It all becomes your grace
Have I told you how sweet the journey was
Have I thanked you for the wind in the trees
Have I offered you my self, my mind
Well then thank you for letting me be
Thank you for letting me be
The gifts have been exquisite
The dawn, the leaves, the moon
They changed but never hurried
They were never out of tune
And thank you for my teachers
Who gifted you to me
How sweet when we all met together
How beautifully you served tea
I’m just sitting inside my little room
The one that is breaking apart
I just wanted to let you know
What was passing through my heart
Have I told you how sweet the journey was
Have I thanked you for the wind in the trees
Have I offered you my self, my mind
Well then thank you for letting me be
Have I told you how sweet the journey was
Have I thanked you for the wind in the trees
Have I offered you my self, my mind
Well then thank you for letting me be
Thank you for letting me be
Thank you for letting me be
vocals: Billy White and Morley Shanti Kamen
guitar: Billy White



The Gospel

All things that are born
Have no solid core
This is what the masters taught
How they opened the door
And they sent forth the gospel
To awaken the deathless view
Die before you die
Awaken beyond the old you
O invisible source
Of all that appears
O creator of that which sees
And that which hears
Whose love and sacrifice
Give rise to us all
May mercy be on those
Who call it a fall
May mercy be on those
Who call it a fall
O beautiful bones
O beautiful blood
How thinking arose
Out of water and mud
How senses and objects
Appeared in thin air
And not a trace of yourself
Was left out there
O invisible source
Of all that appears
O creator of that
Which sees and that which hears
Whose love and sacrifice
Give rise to us all
May mercy be on those
Who call it a fall
May mercy be on those
Who call it a fall
You left angels with swords
To cut off the heads
Of those who approached
Not prepared to be dead
And those whose selves
Had dissolved on the path
Dissolved both the angels
And also their wrath
And they came before you
So noble, so broken
Empty of dreams
And not a word spoken
O invisible source
Of all that appears
O creator of that
Which sees and that which hears
Whose love and sacrifice
Give rise to us all
May mercy be on those
Who call it a fall
May mercy be on those
Who call it a fall
May mercy be on those
Who call it a fall
vocals: Morley Shanti Kamen and Yoshin David Radin
backing vocals: Travis Knapp, Jordan Michel and
Billy White
violin: Max Buckholtz
guitar, percussion, bass: Billy White



Gentle Enough

You can never go low enough
You can never be gentle enough
You can never heal your broken heart
You can never be grateful enough
You can never love enough
You can never find the missing part
I am the one who sees dust turn to light
And I am the one who sees life turn to dust
When you are born into this human world
Please, my child, don’t break the trust
Please, my child, don’t break the trust
See everything as one great self
See the universe undivided
Weep and smile at this mystery
How all forms arise and dissolve
Arise and dissolve, arise and dissolve
On the great highway of non-duality
I am the one who sees dust turn to light
And I am the one who sees life turn to dust
When you are born into this human world
Please, my child, don’t break the trust
Please, my child, don’t break the trust
You can never go low enough
You can never be gentle enough
You can never heal your broken heart
You can never be grateful enough
You can never love enough
You can never find the missing part
You can never heal your broken heart
vocals and guitar: Travis Knapp
background vocals: Morley Shanti Kamen
slide guitars, organ drone: Billy White



Be Still

All the secrets, they are hidden
Hidden deep within the mind
Busy shallows hide the depths
Slow down, be still, unwind
After the silence
The blessed wonder
After the dissolution
The soft broken heart
After the emptiness
The behind-the-scene
After the chaos
The unbroken part
All the secrets, they are hidden
Hidden deep within the mind
Busy shallows hide the depths
Slow down, be still, unwind
After the defeat
The noble freedom
After the loss
The gentle laughter
After the fear
The profound relief
After the death
The no-before-or-after
All the secrets, they are hidden
Hidden deep within the mind
Busy shallows hide the depths
Slow down, be still, unwind
Slow down, be still, unwind
vocal: Morley Shanti Kamen
bass: Desmond Bratton
guitar, oud: Billy White



Know The One

If you want to know
You’ve got to bow your head low
You’ve got to melt into the ground
Like an early spring snow
If you want to see
The Source being born
Your life may need to be
Shredded and torn
This is the truth
Beyond right and wrong
And the worship of every little thing
Will be your heart’s song
And you’ll know the one
Who sees with your eyes
And you will have the vision of God
And you’ll know the one
Who hears with your ears
And you will hear the voice of God
So when caught in this world
Of speed and commotion
And you’re blinded by darkness
And you’ve lost all devotion
The one in your heart
Cries I am still here
And you stop and you breathe
And lo it is near
And you are gathered in
With the wounded and the wrong
And the worship of every little thing
Will be your heart’s song
And you’ll know the one
Who lives in your heart
And you will feel the love of God
You’ll know the one
Who dwells beyond mind
And you will find the glory, the glory, the glory
So do not be bothered
By loss and by gain
You’ll be richer by far
With the crumbs that remain
The sweetness is reserved
For those who are lost
Who have been through the fire
Who have been through the frost
Wherever you drop
You will rise and be saved
Your sins forgiven
Your punishment waived
And speechless
Knowing it all belonged
And the worship of every little thing
Will be your heart’s song
And you’ll know the one
Who sees with your eyes
And you will have the vision of God
You’ll know the one
Who hears with your ears
And you will hear the voice of God
You’ll know the one
Who lives in your heart
And you will feel the love of God
You’ll know the one
Who dwells beyond mind
And you will find the glory, the glory, the glory
vocals: Morley Shanti Kamen
backing vocals: Jordan Michel
violin: Roberto Paolo Riggio
guitar, bass, percussion: Billy White



A Night Song (poem)

Ever since I met you
I’ve tried to write you a perfect love song
A perfect scripture
That would describe you so clearly
That those who read it
Would know you and awaken from their dream of
existence as other than you
But still I fail and fail again
How can the mind, which must subside
For your light to be realized
How can it describe that which appears when it is
gone?
How can it talk of love when it is that
Which obscures the very love of which it speaks?
But then who will find you if you insist on silence?
Who will find the essence that is deeper than self
existence?
I keep at it because it is all I have to offer
I am not so stupid as to think this can succeed
But it eases the pain of our separation
To whisper sweet nothings in your ear
It gives some meaning to my time here
It is just my delusion
But I take some pleasure in imagining that this
amuses you ...
Like a flower or a snowflake
Tonight there is no sleep
It seems as though we are awake watching each
other
Your tender tranquility invites me to disappear
But tonight I choose to linger
In contemplation of your transcendence
And my emptiness
Of your truth and my illusion
Yes, I know it is my fantasy
But soon the dawn will appear
And I may wander too far
To even remember the nectar of your presence
That you allow us ghosts
To masquerade through your creation
Is the quintessential proof of your grace
vocal: Yoshin David Radin



Holy, Holy, Holy

Holy Holy Holy is the silence of the Lord,
Blessed is the meditation that lays you at her throne
Wondrous is the oneness of existence all around
Sitting in the center all alone
Have faith, have faith in your true perfect nature
Have faith, have faith, one light shines on everyone
Have faith, have faith, in your true perfect nature
Have faith, have faith, there is nothing to be done
Let go, let go, let the universe embrace you
Let go, let go, dissolve in the river of joy
Let go, let go, let the universe embrace you
Let go, let go, your heart will never be destroyed
Holy Holy Holy is the silence of the Lord,
Blessed is the meditation that lays you at her throne
Wondrous is the oneness of existence all around
Sitting in the center all alone
Unfold, unfold, open like a flower
Unfold, unfold, let the light come shining through
Unfold, unfold, open like a flower
Unfold, unfold all grace is surrounding you
Holy Holy Holy is the silence of the Lord,
Blessed is the meditation that lays you at her throne
Wondrous is the oneness of existence all around
Sitting in the center all alone
vocals: Morley Shanti Kamen
tanpura, frame drum, harmonium, guitar: Billy White



Practice How To Lose

If you would like your final days
To be lived without a struggle
And you aren’t sure if you will let go
Or run in fear and be in trouble
Practice how to lose
Just practice how to lose
It doesn’t matter what you want
Or what you’d rather choose
Let the light beyond your mind
Free you from your form
Let yourself feel the smile
Of those gone beyond the storm
Practice losing lovers
Practice losing friends
Practice letting go of things
That won’t be there at the end
Practice losing money
Practice losing stuff
Practice how to bow your head
When they call your bluff
Practice how to feel your pain
With no response or answer
Practice every single day
Being at peace with cancer
Practice how to lose
Just practice how to lose
Accept what you are given
It doesn’t help to choose
Then the light beyond your mind will shine
And you’ll be gathered in
And there you’ll know the smile
Of those who have seen beyond the sin
Practice opening your heart
To things you have rejected
Practice embracing all the ones
Who have abandoned and defected
Practice losing your body
And losing everything it sees
Practice when feeling stress
Practice getting down on your knees
When the angel comes to take your life
And you’ve practiced how to do it
Show him the one above you both
Who already beat him to it
Practice how to lose
Just practice how to lose
Accept what you are given
It doesn’t help to choose
Then the light beyond your mind
Will receive you beyond form
And there you’ll know the smile
Of those gone beyond the storm
You will know the smile
Of those who’ve gone beyond the storm
vocals: Yoshin David Radin and Morley Shanti Kamen
backing vocals: Travis Knapp and Billy White
violin: Roberto Paolo Riggio
piano: Travis Knapp
upright bass: Dylan Jones
guitar, percussion: Billy White



Runaway Blues

I got the runaway blues
And you’re tracking me down
I got the runaway blues
And I know I’ve been found
I’m down on my knees
You can take me now
I will cut off my head
If you just tell me how
And you smile
Maybe shed a tear
You whisper so softly
That’s what I’ve been waiting to hear
And you pick me up
And you put me down
You pluck out my heart
And you put on my gown
When we first made contact
I ran and hid
It scared me to death
No matter what I did
I wanted a life
You could only laugh
You said you’d come
For my epitaph
You tore away my family
You left me limp
What could I do
You gave me a glimpse
It tore me to pieces
I could no longer hide
I wanted to walk
You gave me a ride
You broke my ambition
When you showed me death
You broke my resistance
And you stole my breath
You made me smile
While lying in the gutter
And though I was dumb
You gave me words to utter
Only those who know
Can forgive my sins
Only those who’ve passed away
Can let me in
You play with my ashes
And you show me the dream
You tickle my heart
And I can see through what seems
The days of running are over
And the days of peace have come
And although I am grateful
I still owe you some
Now just a slave
Of your love and what’s true
It’s been quite a journey
Coming back to you
Now just a slave
Of your love and what’s true
It’s been quite a journey
Coming back to you
Coming back to you
Forgive me for speaking
In such a casual way
If I crawled on my belly
All night, all night and all day
I would still be unable
To utter a word
That could wholly express the majesty
That you spoke and I heard
I got the runaway blues
And you’re tracking me down
I got the runaway blues
And I know I’ve been found
I’m down on my knees
You can take me now
I will cut off my head
If you just tell me how
And you just smile
Maybe shed a tear
And you whisper so softly
That’s what I was waiting to hear
And you pick me up
And you put me down
And you pluck out my heart
And you put on my gown
And you pick me up
And you put me down
And you pluck out my heart
And you put on my gown
You just smile, maybe shed a tear
And whisper so softly —
What I was waiting to hear
vocals: Morley Shanti Kamen and Jordan Michel
piano: Travis Knapp
upright bass: Dylan Jones
guitar, drums, percussion: Billy White



No One Can Love Me

No one can love me
The way that you do
No one else can see me
All the way through
No one can forgive me
No one could be as true
No one can love me
The way that you do
You float with my feet
As they walk down the road
You hug with my arms
You wear me like clothes
You can smile at your dream
With this mind, with these eyes
You found a way to be born
As me your disguise
You adore the heaven
And earth that you made
As they pass right through me
As they go on their way
No one can love me
The way that you do
No one else can see me
All the way through
No one can forgive me
No one could be as true
No one can love me
The way that you do
As the crown jewel
In your infinite play
You created a mirror
To reflect night and day
A brilliant maneuver
There was no other way
You would hide your essence
To see your display
And you called the mirror ‘I’
The one who is and is not
And you loved me so much
That you even forgot
No one can love me
The way that you do
No one else can see me
All the way through
No one can forgive me
No one could be as true
No one can love me
The way that you do
No one can love me
The way that you do
vocals and guitar: Billy White



Relax

Relax
Let the radiance of your original nature
Penetrate through your thinking
Relax
You are only a vessel
For the great light
Don’t fall into self based thinking —
Into the dark world of separate selves
In truth there is only one being
Why separate a self from the whole?
Relax
Your burdens have a cause
It is the ghost who has taken up residence within
Release all grasping and searching
Melt before the true nature of being
You will awaken
To the birthplace of the mind
There will be laughter and delight
In the new freedom
The truth is more noble
More exquisite than anything mind can imagine
Relax
You can know
When you stop calling
Yourself a body
And recognize the great open space
As one uninhabited vastness
The unmanifest is,
The manifested beings
Are empty of self
Let your eyes soften
And know the one illuminating the seer
And the seen
Return to silence
And you will find the way out
Relax
From the beginning
The mind has seduced you
Into believing it exists as an entity
What a relief
To find the source
How sweet, how astonishing
There is more joy
In a single moment fully awake to the truth
Than in a life of ceaseless activity
Relax
Relax
vocal, mokugyo: Yoshin David Radin



All lyrics by David Radin
Music by Billy White (dharmakaya music/ASCAP) and
Morley Shanti Kamen (oneism music/ASCAP)
Hear my Applause, Practice how to Lose, The Gospel by Billy White,
Morley Shanti Kamen and Travis Knapp (Travis Knapp/BMI)
Gentle Enough by Travis Knapp (Travis Knapp/BMI)
No one can Love Me by Billy White (dharmakaya music/ASCAP)
Produced, arranged and recorded by Billy White
Recorded at Ithaca Zen Center, Ithaca, NY,
La Casita, San Miguel de Allende GTO
and REP Studio- Ithaca NY
“Hear my Applause” arranged and recorded by Travis Knapp
Mixed by David Boyle at Church House Studios- Austin TX
Mastered by Dave McNair
Cover art by Jim Hardesty

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