Music in the Dharma, Dharma in the Music
Friday, April 7, 2006 7:30 PM 9:30 PM
Berkeley Buddhist Monastery • 2304 McKinley Ave
Berkeley, CA USA
This evening of song brings together three Western practitioners of Buddhism and of music. Betsy Rose, Hozan Alan Senauke, & Rev. Heng Sure's folk-rooted acoustic music combines tradition and innovation much as our practice here in California does the same. But the bottom line is that we can share and enjoy this music together.
The joys and teachings of Dharma flow through every human activity. The creation of sound and rhythm in the midst of space and silence has always helped people wake up to life. Music flourishes in specific ways in every culture around the world, and it has the ability to cut through our perceived differences.
Rev. Heng Sure is creatively engaged in bringing a 1300 year-old sacred musical tradition from China to the West. Heng Sure was ordained a Buddhist monk in the Mahayana lineage of Master Hsuan Hua in 1976. He is a pilgrim, an author and recently a Ph.D. in Buddhism from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He speaks, Mandarin Chinese, French, and Japanese and serves as pastor to a Chinese/Vietnamese Buddhist community.
Betsy Rose is a singer and writer who for years has been a clear voice within progressive and spiritual movements. She was introduced to Dharma by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1987. Thich Nhat Hanh, Matthew Fox, and Joanna Macy have included her music in their work. After Sept 11, Betsy created “Singing For Peace,” with non-professional singers gathering to sing songs of healing and peace. She is a long time leader in the family practice program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Betsy writes: “Thich Nhat Hanh encouraged western artists to find a western voice for the Dharma. This invitation opened up a floodgate of music. The Dharma can be very simple, direct, and accessible, and the folksong idiom is a perfect vehicle for simple wisdom about life’s journey.”
Hozan Alan Senauke has been a student of American traditional musics for forty years, with a long performing and recording history. Since the Dharma pervades every being and place, it rears its head in many surprising musical settings. Alan is a Soto Zen priest in the tradition of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, ordained by Sojun Mel Weitsman. He is head of practice at Berkeley Zen Center in California, where he lives with his wife, Laurie, and their two children. Alan serves as Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s Senior Advisor.
This event, like all offerings at Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, is on a dana basis. Donations are gratefully received at the door.