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  body of light   Body Of Light
Songs Of Practice, Study and Pilgrimage

It’s a great pleasure to introduce Body Of Light. This album is a compilation of three types of songs. There are songs of study, which are about specific topics and contemplations. There are pilgrimage songs that come from the inspiration of staying in sacred places. Finally, there are numerous practice songs on the CD. These last songs are more atmospheric than academic. They are like improvisations on themes within the Buddhist teachings.

Body Of Light                      

Up Toward The Sun             

When Life Is Real                

If This Life Were A Dream    

As with my first album, Highland Eyes, all the music is based on study and practice within the Buddhist tradition, particularly within the Kagyu, Nyingma and Shambhala vajrayana lineages. I’ve done my best to present things well. Any errors in wording are a reflection of what I haven’t understood. I am very grateful to the kindness of my teachers, particularly Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. May their wishes be fulfilled quickly and easily. May all beings attain great joy in the circle of wisdom.

One third of the profits from this album will go to support dharma activities in the west, beginning with the Scorpion Seal retreat cabin construction at Karme Choling in Vermont

MP3 Purchases

iTunes  /   Rhapsody

CD Purchases   

USA: www.samadhicushions.com     Canada: www.shambhalashop.com     Europe: www.garudatrading.com

Notes to the Songs

When Life Is Real

This song was written at Pullahari monastery in Kathmandu during a two-month course on Asanga’s Distinguishing the Middle From The Extremes that was by Drupön Khenpo Lodrö Namgyal. Asanga’s extraordinary text was first presented in the 4th century CE. by the Indian teacher Asanga, author of Buddha Nature, the text that inspired two songs on Highland Eyes. This song presents what I understood to be the implications of mind being the originator of experience, one of the main points in the text.

If This Life Were A Dream

I wrote this song in retreat while doing a lot of contemplation on the dream-like nature of mind and experience.

The World We Know Can Be Awake

In the Shambhala tradition, the Great Eastern Sun is presented as the indestructible, wakeful nature inherent in our mind. It is what we wake to when we encounter our genuine heart and it is also the path to awakening. Recognizing the Great Eastern Sun and stabilizing that recognition will bring about enlightened society—the sort of world and experience everyone wishes to encounter when it comes right down to it. The teachings on Great Eastern Sun present how to become a fearless warrior in this life. This song is based on the explanation of that found in the book titled The Great Eastern Sun by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Song Of The Eight Places

In summer of 2003 Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche asked me to make a pilgrimage to some important vajrayana Buddhist sites in Asia. First, I went to Dharamsala to meet His Holiness the Karmapa, the head of the Kagyu lineage, and afterwards I went to the eight places mentioned in this song. During the pilgrimage I was asked to wear white robes as a connection to Milarepa, the great yogi of Tibet. As I travelled two friends who also dressed in white for the pilgrimage joined me and together we experienced many of the events in this song.

Up Towards The Sun

In Buddhism there is a long tradition of making aspirations—prayers for peace and harmony among all beings in the world. I wrote this song to make a connection with that kind of aspiration. The image of the sun in one’s heart, the sun of compassion, is well known in the Tibetan tradition. A central theme in this song is the interconnectedness of all beings.

Tso Pema

Tso Pema is a small, beautiful lake nestled in a tight arc of ridges in the Himalayan foothills of North India. It is a sacred place to Sikhs, Hindus and Tibetan Buddhists. Lotus Lake, Tso Pema in Tibetan, is surrounded by three small Buddhist monasteries, Sikh and Hindu temples, and a quiet village. It is a peaceful and refreshing place. In the ridges above the lake are a few dozen caves, some of them quiet large, where yogis and yoginis stay in retreat.

Padmasambhava, the India saint who firmly established Buddhism in Tibet, stayed in this region at some point before he went to Tibet. The daughter of a local king became his student and consort, but the king became enraged and built a great fire to burn the two of them alive. Instead of being burned, Padmasambhava and his consort manifested on a lotus in the middle of a miraculous lake, thus changing the king’s view of the Padmasambhava and his daughter. Tso Pema is said to be that lake.

This Song Of Joy

This song is an aspiration for peace combined with a praise of a meditation center called Dechen Choling in Limoges, France. People from all over Europe and the rest of the world travel to this lovely chateau to study and meditate. The land has a feeling of freshness and a gentle, feminine nurturing quality. Four Catholic saints have come from the same area, one of whom was renowned for curing mental illness.

Amaterasu Omi Kami

Kami is a word from the Shinto tradition. It is sometimes described as god with a small ‘g’. Anything that can inspire a sense of awe and wonder can be kami. Thus, kami are found in trees, rocks, animals, and sometimes people. This is why kami is strongly associated with the natural world.

Amaterasu Omi Kami is the kami of the sun. According to tradition she is a goddess. This song is addressed to her, incorporating the elements of the story of her origin. This song was written through the inspiration of tending the shrine of Amaterasu Omi Kami at Shambhala Mountain Center in the Colorado Rockies. This hillside shrine sits in a pine forest and is one of the largest Shinto shrines outside of Japan.

Body Of Light

This song is about the interplay between masculine and feminine, between wisdom and compassion, and between the outer world of the elements and our own being.

Five Wisdoms

The five wisdoms are the five basic energies in our experience. This song presents the five wisdoms in connection with their corresponding symbolism, elements, colors, qualities and neuroses. Trungpa Rinpoche and Suzuki Roshi presented the maitri space awareness practices to help people differentiate these energies in both their neurotic and sane aspects. The five wisdoms are a major theme in vajrayana Buddhism.

Supreme Delight

This song is a retreat style song, pure and simple. I wrote it out of inspiration from reading texts on prajnaparamita and dzogchen.

Here And Now

I wanted to put this song on the Highland Eyes album but it was not ready. It seemed that a second explanation of the karma of cause and effect was needed alongside The Twelve Links to sharpen things up.

Perfect Clarity

This song is a contemplation of the connections between the Kagyu, Nyingma and Shambhala teachings on mind and meditation.

Wisdom's Dance

I wrote this song while traveling to a retreat in the British Columbian woodlands. It is a description of sacred world from a non-theistic point of view.

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All songs © 2008 Walker Blaine. All rights reserved. Body Of Light painting © 2008 Eva Van Dam