A Buddhist monk for 30+ years, Rev. Heng Sure is most known for his remarkable 3-steps and a bow pilgrimage in California. His many talents include playing the guitar! This week's chant by him is one that inspires us to land deeply into the present moment with contentment.
Click below to listen (you can also download here):
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Beginning in the summer of 1977, two American monks in the Chinese Mahayana Buddhist tradition committed to taking three steps and one bow for 800 miles along California’s Highway 1. A pilgrimage to bring peace within and without, their journey took them through some of the most beautiful and also some of the most dangerous parts of California. Two and a half years later, they completed their pilgrimage at the steps of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, in Ukiah, California.
One of these monks was bestowed the name Rev. Heng Sure, or “Constantly Real.” Born into a Christian family in the midwestern city of Toledo, Ohio, and previously known as Christopher Clowery, taking refuge and becoming a Chinese Buddhist monk is not something that Rev. Heng Sure had planned. But as he himself later reflected, “Becoming a monk is a symptom of something deeper, a symptom of deep past conditions.”
Among his many talents involved music. While the traditional world often take a second look at a monk playing music, Rev. Heng Sure's teacher -- Chan Master Hsuan Hua -- told him, "When you speak Dharma, you have to accord with peoples’ potentials. This is America, not China. Here you must use whatever skills you have to explain true principles. Don’t just imitate me or you’ll be out of touch with your own culture and time. Use your own wisdom and do whatever works to inspire people to make the resolve for Bodhi! Playing guitar could be a useful skill for a monk in America if you use it to help people bring forth faith in their potential for wisdom and awakening. Try your best!"
And so he started using music as an instrument of dharma, over the last several decades has touched many people from prisoners to monastics. Few years back, he also come out with a compilation album (available freely when you do an act of kindness).
The chant is quite simple, with simple lyrics. It was written for the founders of VegSource.com, Jeff and Sabrina Nelson, and inspired by the author and visionary John Robbins, in his prayer: “May all be fed, may all be healed, may all be loved.” Hallelujah means “Praise!” in Hebrew; “Bodhi Svaha!” means “Awakened -- How Wonderful!” in Sanskrit.
I have enough,
I am grateful,
Share the blessings,
May all be fed,
May all things flourish,
May all awaken!