1 MANAM ZHIKOR 2:07
Refuge to the Four Kayas
2 UGYEN DAKED 9:06
Self-visualization of Guru Padmasambhava
3 GONGDUE TSECHU 12:35
Ritual Service of the Assemblage of Realization
4 ZHENGZHIG PEMA 8:46
Evoking the Lotus Born
5 LHAMOI CHENDREN 8:22
Invocation of Mahakali
6 TSECHU SOELDEP 7:25
Supplication of the Assemblage of Realization
7 GONPOI SERKEM 5:58
Making Offerings to the Mahakalas
8 GAYNGYEN TOEDPA 10:14
Praise to the Great Gayngyen
9 TSHERINGMAI YANGKHUG 7:03
Invocation of Tsheringma for Fortune & Prosperity
10 TASHI MONLAM 0:53
Aspiration and Concluding Prayers
11 CHODPAI JALING 1:39
Total playing time 74:25
PRODUCED, RECORDED and MIXED by MARTIN HESS
RECORDED at GABRIEL STUDIOS, STALDEN, SWITZERLAND
ENGINEER THOMAS GABRIEL
MASTERING by DOMINIQUE BLANC-FRANCARD, LABOMATIC STUDIO, PARIS
COVER ART by TRIX WETTER, ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND
PHOTOS by MARIANNE MUELLER, NIKLAUS SPOERRI & MARTIN HESS
COVER PICTURE by MARIANNE MUELLER
Buddha Shakyamuni at the Tashicho Dzong in Thimphu
TEXT by GEMBO DORJI
CHENCHO DUBA Ritual Chief
SANGAY TSHERING Silngyen
MIGMA TSHERING Rolmo
TSHERING PENJOR Nga
SONAM TSHERIG Dung
KENCHO DORJI Dung
SONAM DORJO Jailing
KINLEY DORJI Kangdung/Kardung
Lopen Gembo Dorji the heart and soul of this recordings
Lyonpo Tshering Tobgay without whom this record whould never have happened
Verein Volkskulturfest Obwald for there trust in my vision
Marianne Mueller, Peter Regli, Kuenzang Tobgay, Charles Eric Huber, Fabian Christen, Madeleine Scheuber, Martin Jaeggi, Trix Wetter, Hermann Burch, Bettina Meister, Regula Curti, Marianne Frei to all of you, amitié toujours
Special thanks to:
Stiftung Seeschau, Erlenbach
Society Switzerland Bhutan for their generous support
Martin Hess Röntgenstrasse 74 CH 8005 Zürich Switzerland
CD RITUALS © 2012 Electric Mermaid Music Production/
Monastic Body of Bhutan
Usually when we talk of Bhutanese Culture, it is broadly divided into two, the external and the internal culture. The external or the physical culture refers to the clothing etc. and the written and spoken language. The inner or the mental culture refers to the Buddha Dharma.
In the Dharmapada, Shakyamuni Buddha summed his 84,000 different teachings into the following lines -
Why we need to do virtuous deeds and avoid committing unwholesome actions? We dont want suffering of any type. So does other sentient beings. We want peace and happiness. In the same way all others want too. The cause of suffering is accumulation of bad Karma (negative thought and action). Similarly, the cause of peace and happiness is accumulation of good Karma (positive thought and action). Therefore, if we want happiness and avoid suffering, we must accumulate good merit and discard any kind of unwholesome thought and action.
In order to control our mind, we have to free our mind from all kinds of thoughts. Just be aware of what we are doing at that moment. We could concentrate on our breathing, gaze at an object such as a wall, mountain, valley, river etc. or a pivot such as a dot, pebble, ball etc. We can also visualize the object of refuge that we venerate the most such as the Buddha, Guru Rinpoche, Tara etc. We have to clear or free our mind from thoughts and emotions and watch these objects. We have to be very alert and conscious from moment to moment. Few minutes in the morning and few minutes just before we go to bed will do wonders in controlling our mind and generation of the wisdom, the key to enlightenment or the state of our own consciousness.
The first three takes the cause as path. It is called the Sutrayana. The fourth takes the result as path. This is called the Tantrayana or Vajrayana. The Bhutanese Buddhism whether it is Palden Drukpa Kargyud, the state religion or other traditions such as Pedling, Dorling, Woogling, Nyingthik are Mahayana in nature with Vajrayana quality. The Sutra approach looks at the source of enlightenment which is accumulation of merit and wisdom. The Tantra deals with the means and methods directed towards realization of the natural state of ones own mind which is the ultimate attainment.
According to the Sutra approach, Right View leads to Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. These will generate Right Thought, Right Speech and Right Action. When these thought and actions are supported by Right Effort, it brings Right Livelihood. This in turn creates the condition to generate Right View again. Therefore, in Buddhism, this path is called the Eight-fold Noble Path- the undisputed path to achieve Happiness. If we want the media to be social friendly, educative and positive, we must integrate with religion simply because it is the source and the teaching kit to teach values and wisdom.
Buddha taught different techniques to achieve enlightenment or inner happiness known as Bliss, the eternal happiness. Bliss simply refers to the essence, the undiluted nature or essence of the mind. When our mind is totally free of defilements or emotions, we can uncover the natural state of our mind which is pure in nature and free of defilements. In this state we are totally free from anxiety, want, anger, attachment or any kind of thoughts and emotions. When we dont have these negative forces, happiness prevails. At the moment, we are not happy because we are listening to negative wants and emotions. But when these negative thoughts and emotions cease, we discover true happiness. In contrast, unhappiness is caused by unlimited want, ego, attachment, anger, ignorance and so on. Each of these has the potential to cause anxiety and endless suffering. We call this as Khorwa or Samsara (never ending cycle of suffering).
As we generate wisdom and move towards experiencing the bliss, we realize that generating wisdom and experiencing the bliss comes together. We cant separate the two. For example, when we step forward along a path, we become closer to the destination. Ultimately, when we experience the bliss, we also acquire the wisdom simultaneously. This union of bliss and wisdom is called the Buddhahood, the enlightenment or our ultimate goal in the Vajrayana tradition.
We also must understand the fact that as a sentient being, we need spiritual development as well not just material development. This is in line with our Gross National Happiness policy. While other development models stress material development or economic growth, the concept of GNH bring to light that true and sustainable development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side.
One of the Buddhist meditations on compassion emphasizes how we are completely dependent on the kindness of other beings. Everything that we possess with value, eat and enjoy comes from the work of others. So we are not independent in nature. We are all interconnected and dependent to each other. Therefore, we learn to live with, feel secure and always consider the existence of others too. Helping others help ourselves and harming others result in harming ourselves directly or indirectly. Thus, we become responsible person and a being with humane values that makes us special and unique among other living beings.
The mental state of a person can be changed due to various factors. At times these internal and external factors are capable of weakening the mind if not properly dealt with. Though it is up to the individual to ensure success in ones life and make positive contribution to their own life, their family, community and in the society; it is also the responsibility of the government and related organizations such as the Media.
Buddha Shakyamuni taught eighty-four thousand different techniques or means to achieve enlightenment or inner happiness which is also known as the eternal happiness. Buddhism defines happiness as the state of mind that enjoys inner peace and is contented. As we all know very well that, this philosophy is in line with our developmental policy, the Gross National Happiness.
According to Buddhism, the cause of happiness is virtuous Karma. Unwholesome thought and actions result in generation of suffering and therefore create Samsara. According to Buddhist philosophy, our entire experience of the physical world is simply a projection of our mind. Since it is a production of our Karmic mind, the experience will exist as long as we remain in the Samsara. Positive, virtuous and beneficial actions result in happiness in this life and better rebirth in our next life. Unwholesome actions or bad Karma beget suffering in this life and rebirth in the lower realms in successive lives. Therefore, happiness can be achieved through acts of virtue and selflessness in this life. Both the external world and the different beings are formed due to Karma. As a result, we can achieve individual happiness and well-being of a nation by creation of good Karma. The method is profound but very easy and can be practiced by all, young and old.
What do we understand by Happiness? Happiness is not only having physical comfort and fulfilling our needs that can be brought about by application of the indicators of GNH. It is also the attainment of a deeper mental contentment brought by applying oneself to the practice of Dharma. In fact, one could put into religious practice and benefit self and others by learning to generate contentment, the source of genuine happiness and inner peace.
In Bhutan, the contribution of religion towards shaping our country, promotion and preservation of our unique culture and developing a closely knitted society is very significant. The monasteries have for centuries educated and trained the Bhutanese population long before establishment of secular schools in mid-sixties. Preservation of most forms of arts and crafts, dance, literary and traditional practices have been the handiwork of the Monk Body and religious leaders. In fact, monk scholars have been at the forefront of documenting and preserving the history and tradition of the country. The Zhung Dratshang became the base foundation for the unification of the country, codification of the laws and emergence of Bhutan as a cultured unique country.
As Buddhists, we believe that the root of happiness can be found within oneself and in order to find this contentment one must practice the dharma. Therefore, the monastic body should play a larger role in achieving GNH by playing more active role as spiritual guides to the Bhutanese people in order to shift the focus away from temporary material happiness to everlasting inner contentment. Media also as communicators of the truth must support this cause and action to benefit our country and people.
Buddhism can teach people to use music more meaningful and to benefit self and others simply by raising our unconscious mind or ignorance to consciousness or awareness, and then consciousness to supreme consciousness or wisdom. Therefore, as human being, we will choose to do positive actions and avoid committing negative actions. We use music to align our mind to generate wholesome from unwholesome thoughts and emotions. Thus we will all become good human beings and create a heaven on earth.
The Monk Body of Bhutan has always taken the responsibility of bringing about happiness and social harmony in our country. Looking back in Bhutan history, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Father of Nation created the Dual System of Governance to combine the secular and religious order to work together for the benefit of our people and the country. The laws of the land were also founded based upon the sixteen principles of moral conduct and the ten virtuous deeds derived from the teachings of the Buddha. The codified laws took into consideration the material needs and spiritual rights, various aspect of benefits and responsibilities of both individual citizen and the communities.
The Central Monk Body of Bhutan will display various religious music and chants to our esteemed participants and visitors to this festival. These are the highlights of Buddhist traditions that have been in practice for many centuries. It is not only a living culture that made Bhutan a unique place in the eyes of the world, but has made Bhutanese religious traditions different and distinctive from other Buddhist traditions.
The Dharma is a path that cleanses all defilements such as attachment, anger, ignorance and so on those are in the minds of all sentient beings. It is a method that liberates sentient beings from endless suffering of the Samsara and leads them toward enlightenment, the state of perpetual bliss. It is a path that avoids harming others and concentrates only on benefiting others.
Suffering takes so many different forms in this world. We feel there is little we can do to stop it. Apart from sickness, old age and death, we have wars, environmental disasters and poverty. Our mind or inner consciousness is also troubled constantly by the disturbing emotions. So, as a sentient being, we wish for some miracle to happened and transform all this misery into a world of happiness and peace.
According to Vajrayana tradition, this is possible through simple practices - making aspiration prayers, dedicating the merit, and rejoicing in virtue. It is beyond just a simple good-hearted or well-intended gesture. These practices are very powerful skilful means for affecting positive change. When practiced with sincerity, it leads us beyond our limited notions of self and other, and therefore, awakens our wisdom and compassion. Throughout the ceremony, the union of compassion and wisdom are never lost. This philosophy can actually work miracles. We can see the state of our own mind and the profound state of all phenomena, the emptiness including our own emotions. All these components are integrated in the chant or the ritual music.
As a result of gaining greater understanding of our emotions, we develop more profound skills to monitor and transform them. We gain ability to change the emotions that usually disturb our mind and perpetuate habitual patterns. Since emptiness is the nature of phenomena, we can make progress and realize emptiness through practice. If emptiness were not the actual true nature of phenomena, it would be an illusion and practice would bring no result. But emptiness is the state of all phenomena and therefore these ritual services lead the practitioners and all those associating with it through seeing, hearing, feeling and visualizing achieve peace, tranquillity and attain enlightenment.