Dhammapada: Three Songs

for baritone and piano

Seated Buddha from Gandhara. Object 41 of 100. OA 1895.10-26.1

The Dhammapada is a collection of early Buddhist verses. This three-song cycle was premiered at a Classical Revolution PDX performance in the summer of 2012.

The text selections touch on the transience of life and the power of directed, meditative thought to release the soul from suffering. The lyrical melodies, pentatonic harmonies, and spacious piano arrangements bring out the serene and timeless text.

dhammapada-page

Sample Page


Saddle-stitched letter-sized score on acid-free 60-lb-text paper with cover. $20 plus shipping.



Text and (computer-generated) audio samples

The World

Consider the world:
a bubble, a mirage.
See the world as it is
and death shall overlook you.

Consider the world:
a painted chariot for kings,
a trap for fools.
But he who sees
goes free.

As the moon slips
from behind a cloud
and shines
so the master
emerges from his ignorance
and shines.


Thoughts

As a fletcher whittles his arrows
so the master directs his thoughts.

Fish out of water,
on the shore stranded,
trembling unsteady thoughts
quiver and thrash with desire.

With one mind the master quiets his thoughts.
Seated in the cave of the heart he finds freedom.

An untroubled mind beyond right and wrong
watches and understands.


Hurry

You are as the yellow leaf;
you will detach and drift.

What will you take with you?
Lamp lighting the way,
hurry, hurry.

When you shine
without the shadow of desire
your world has no horizon.

Your life is falling away.
Where will you rest?

What have you taken with you?
Lamp lighting the way,
hurry, hurry.

The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.

All things arise and pass away
but the awakened remain
awake, beyond.

Lamp lighting the way,
hurry, hurry.