Michael Ciborski | Reverence

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Spiritual: Scriptures Spiritual: Mantras Moods: Spiritual
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by Michael Ciborski

Melodic and beautiful solo chanting, accompanied with subtle harmonies and the bell, of Buddhist texts used in Plum Village Ceremonies.
Genre: Spiritual: Scriptures
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Incense Offering
2:32 album only
2. Touching the Earth
10:07 album only
3. Opening Verses
2:46 album only
4. The Heart of Perfect Understanding
5:03 album only
5. The Four Recollections
5:57 album only
6. Closing Verses
1:34 album only
7. The Insight That Brings Us to the Other Shore
6:29 album only
8. Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone
3:06 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Fundamental Buddhist Chants from Plum Village Ceremonies

When I was a young monk, my teacher Thay Thich Nhat Hanh said to me “Write chants in English. Let them express the sounds of Western spiritual traditions. Listen to Western religious music. Let it permeate your consciousness so that when you write, that’s what comes out!” As I smiled at the invitation, he added “I have some Gregorian Chant CDs, would you like to borrow them?”

1 - Incense Offering (2:31)
2 - Touching the Earth (10:06)
3 - Opening Verses (2:46)
4 - The Heart of Perfect Understanding (5:02) (Heart Sutra translation and chant from 1998)
5 - The Four Recollections (5:57)
6 - Closing Verses (1:34)
7 - The Insight That Brings Us to the Other Shore (6:29) (Heart Sutra translation from 2014, music by Brother Phap Linh)
8 - Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone (3:07)

The first six tracks on this CD are a compilation of chants that can form the base for many Plum Village ceremonies. Although I wrote the music, their words were written by Thich Nhat Hanh and many brothers and sisters in the Plum Village community, who translated and updated traditional Vietnamese chants, except for the invocation of the Buddha in the Opening Verses which is in Pali.

It is a great happiness for me to include track seven. It is Thay’s 2014 rewrite of the Heart Sutra, with music composed by Brother Phap Linh, a monk (and dear friend) living in Plum Village.
Track eight is a song made from the Bhaddekaratta Sutta, with words inspired from a translation by Sister Chan Duc in 1996 (an elder sister in Plum Village).
Years ago, Thay would often ask me to sing this song at public talks saying, “words by the Buddha, music by Brother Michael.”

Chanting can help to create a collective energy of peace and clarity that supports us to hold a ceremony. When we practice Offering Incense and Touching the Earth we connect with the essence of our Spiritual Ancestors within us, we produce our true presence and a clear aspiration to walk the Path. Chanting the Opening Verses, we settle deeply into our gratitude and love for the Awakened One and the Teachings. Our hearts and minds are then clear and open, ready to practice the mantra of Perfect Understanding. At this point, the content of a particular ceremony would unfold (such as Transmission of Mindfulness Trainings or Supporting the Sick). Then the Four Recollections, full of reverence, bring us home to the fundamental pillars that support our practice, the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha and the Mindfulness Trainings. We conclude by sharing the merit of our practice with the Closing Verses.

This recording comes with an offering of sincere and deep gratitude to Thay, to all my Brothers and Sisters clothed in brown, to so many kalyanamitra (sangha friends) who support me, and of course to Fern, my children, my Mom, and my Dad.



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