The name of
this album is Paramita: American Buddhist Folk Songs. Paramita means
：crossing over.； When we move from here to there, from suffering
to suffering・s end, from confusion to awakening, it is ：paramita；--
we cross over. One of the primary means of crossing over in the
Buddhist world, from the earliest times, was music. Buddhist music
surrounds our ears in Asia: in Thailand we hear monks・ voices chanting
scriptures; in Chinese monasteries the sound of ：wooden fish； drums
send praises of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha into the air; in Tibet,
lamas intone deep mantra sounds while turning mala beads and prayer
wheels and sounding brass horns. And in every Buddhist culture,
since the Buddha・s time 2500 years ago, Buddhist songs have brought
peace and insight to people・s hearts.
Left to Right: Brian
Godchaux, Josh Michaell, Rev. Heng Sure,
Paul Hostetter, Robin Petrie, Alan Senauke, Henry Kaiser
Now in the West, the
chanting of scriptures, Buddhas・ names, and
mantras is finding a new home and new musical expressions. Folk
songs have always provided us a conveyance for sharing human experience;
it is especially gratifying to share the timeless wisdom of Buddhist
principles in a traditional Western musical setting. Their topics
are both timeless and contemporary, and their treatment is distinctly
rooted in the Western folk idiom.
We offer these fifteen
songs to the Triple Jewel and to listeners East and West.
May all beings gain liberation from suffering and bring forth the
Great Resolve for Awakening.