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The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village | Chanting as a River

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World: Chants Spiritual: Inspirational Moods: Type: Vocal
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Chanting as a River

by The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village

Chants to nourish the heart of compassion, courage, awakening and liberation.
Genre: World: Chants
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Listening to the Bell
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
5:13 $0.99
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2. The Insight That Brings Us to the Other Shore (Heart Sutra)
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
6:08 $0.99
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3. Chant du bonheur
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
6:55 $0.99
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4. Ho Canh Buoi Sang (Morning Chant) [feat. Sr. Mot Phuong]
The Sisters And Brothers Of Plum Village
5:40 $0.99
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5. Praising the Three Jewels
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
4:01 $0.99
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6. El Canto de la Manana (Morning Chant) [feat. Br. Duc Tri, Br. Bao Tang & Shane Jewell]
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
4:03 $0.99
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7. La sagesse qui nous mene a l'autre rive (Soutra du coeur)
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
7:55 $0.99
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8. May the Day Be Well
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
3:12 $0.99
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9. Happiness in the Present Moment (feat. Br. Phap Linh & Shane Jewell)
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
7:54 $0.99
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10. Praising the Buddha
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
4:45 $0.99
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11. El Canto de la Tarde (Evening Chant) [feat. Br. Duc Tri]
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
5:25 $0.99
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12. De la vision profonde
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
2:42 $0.99
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13. Ho Canh Buoi Toi (Evening Chant) [feat. Sr. Mot Phuong]
The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
5:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
These chants were recorded during the Autumn of 2018, by the monastic sisters and brothers of Plum Village, France, during our annual three month “rains retreat.” The rains retreat is a time during which we commit to staying within the boundaries of the monastery, to nourish ourselves with the practice of meditation and to go deeper in our journey of healing and transformation. This is a tradition which has been maintained by monastic communities all over the world since the time of the Buddha.

The recordings were made in our small meditation halls, which are converted stone barns — part of the traditional French farm buildings that make up the three hamlets of Plum Village. Coming together to chant and record was for us primarily a practice of joy — a way to celebrate the simple miracle of being able to produce sound and to experience our deep interconnection through harmony.

Based on this foundation of joy, we had the aspiration to continue to build and enrich a project that was begun by our Teacher, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, more than thirty years ago: to create a Buddhist liturgy in English, French, Spanish, and other modern languages, and so create a tradition of chanting that we can understand directly, without having to learn Sanskrit, Pali, Classical Chinese, and so on. Being able to chant the sutras in our own mother tongues gives us a way to allow their deep wisdom to sink into our bones, and become a part of our lives, so it can awaken the seeds of insight, understanding and enlightenment that lie dormant within us. Thay always guided us to “use local materials,” in creating this new liturgy — namely, to make use of the best of our own musical traditions in order to create a kind of music that connects naturally with our hearts.

At the same time as continuing to build a tradition of chanting in some of our own native languages, relying on our own musical traditions, we also wanted to stay connected to the beautiful tradition of Vietnamese chanting that Thay fell in love with when he first became a novice in Hue, at the age of 16. In order to help new leaves flourish on the ancient tree of Buddhism, we must stay connected to and deepen all our roots, both East and West. Thay described to us the first time he heard the monks chanting, saying that some of the chants rose into the air like incense smoke, some were deep like rolling thunder and some were solemn and profound, full of ancient majesty. We learned from Thay that traditionally, every chanting ceremony should contain four different types of music: the sound of compassion, the sound of the lion’s roar, the sound of the rising tide, and the sound of liberation. We have done our best to create music that expresses these four qualities and we look forward to deepening and improving this new tradition of chanting in the years to come, as a community, flowing as a river.

We are so grateful to have had the spiritual and musical company of Shane Jewell and Emily Pruiksma throughout this project. When we first asked them, “Would you come to Plum Village and help us make some music, and maybe record a CD?” they said yes! right away, courageously cancelling all their plans for the Fall. We were very aware of the magnitude and the amazing freedom of that decision and felt so lucky to have such good and generous friends on the path. This has been a true Sangha production, and many people have invested their time and creativity to capture the spiritual energy and atmosphere of Plum Village in these recordings. It has been our great joy to travel this road together, cultivating seeds of awakening through the practice of chanting, and it is our deep wish to be able to share some of the joy and energy generated by this project with the wider world through these recordings.

Towards the completion of the project, when perhaps a certain amount of pressure was making itself felt, my elder brother, Thay Minh Hy, reassured me, saying, “Don’t worry, everything is already done. There is nothing more that needs to be done.” He continued, very much in the spirit of Emptiness, Aimlessness and Signlessness as taught by Thay: "At first, I was not sure if we could realise this project, but then I had an insight: I saw that we are the notes, and the music is brotherhood and sisterhood. Now, when I see the energy of joy and the love that has been generated in our group of brothers and sisters, I know that the song of brotherhood and sisterhood has already been sung, and so I know that what we needed to accomplish has already been accomplished.”

–Br. Phap Linh

Main Vocals: Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village
Guest Vocals: Françoise Cornu and Marc Meyer (Track 3 & 7), Benoît Meyer (Track 7), Shane Jewell (Track 2, 6 & 8)
Violin, Viola: Sr. Trai Nghiêm
Cello, Piano: Br. Pháp Linh
Penny Whistle: Shane Jewell
Shruti Box: Emily Pruiksma
Fish Drum: Sr. Tin Yêu (Track 2), Shane Jewell (Track 7)
Djembe: Br. Đạo Sinh (Track 1) Br. Đức Trí (Track 5)

Words by Thích Nhất Hạnh, based on traditional Buddhist texts
Composers: Br. Pháp Linh (Track 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 & 12), Shane Jewell (Track 6, 11 & flute solo on Track 10), Michael Ciborski (Track 8, with harmonies by Br. Pháp Linh), and Thích Nhất Hạnh (Track 4 & 13)
Recorded, Produced, Edited and Mastered by Shane Jewell and Emily Pruiksma

The Sisters and Brothers of Plum Village wish to thank the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation for their generous support, as well as to express their deep gratitude to Shane Jewell, Emily Pruiksma, Françoise Cornu, and Marc Meyer for their loving musical and creative mentorship, without which this project would not have been possible.



Some words from Thay on the practice of chanting in the Plum Village Tradition:

When we chant, we chant from the heart. We are not “performing,” either for a deity or for anyone else. We are not just carrying out a ritual, our mouths going through the motions while our minds are elsewhere. These words and music have been composed to serve as Dharma instruments –– to help us come back to the deepest place in ourselves, the place where we are most awake and alive. Chanting is often the most direct and immediate way to reconnect us with this place in our hearts.

Let us surrender ourselves to the awakened nature inside of us, not holding anything back. Let us release all notions of ourselves and others, our projects and agendas, and listen with our entire being, chant with our entire being, and practice with our entire being. Every time we do this, we taste a joy as sweet and clear as the purest spring water, and as boundless as the great blue sky.

In Plum Village, chants and recitations are part of everyday life and are also important for special occasions and ceremonies. They help to strengthen our practice of mindfulness, nourishing the wholesome seeds of love and understanding within us and renewing our determination to be aware and awake to the present moment. We offer these chants with the wish that they may be of benefit to you, your family, your community, and all beings.

–Thich Nhat Hanh


Contemplations before Chanting:

We are invited to come back to our breathing,
so that the collective energy of mindfulness
can bring us together as an organism,
flowing as a river, with no more separation.
Let the whole Community breathe as one body,
listen as one body, chant as one body,
transcending the boundaries of a delusive self
––liberating us from the superiority complex,
the inferiority complex and the equality complex.




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