Musings on Music, Art and Dharma

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Above: Calligraphy by Master Chin Kung on the Role of the Four Great Kings.

The Middle Way is not extreme
It is similar to lute strings
Too tight and they will snap and break
Too loose and they will never play
But when tuned and tempered just right
Vivid notes can leap in delight 

The reason the Dharma protector of the Eastern Direction (The King of the East) holds a pipa (Chinese lute) is to symbolize the importance of temperance and moderation in the Dharma. The temperate heart is a keystone that holds the bridge of cultivation. I believe that Dharma and art make an excellent pair as the former lends substance to the latter while the latter adorns the former, making its principles more well known.

Thus, I would like to recommend  Tadeo Giorgio’s excellent vintage rendition of the Commendatore Scene from  Mozart’s Don Giovanni. I feel that this scene is an excellent mirror image of the following passage from Upasaka Xia’s Infinite Life Sutra:

各懷殺毒,惡氣冥冥。為妄興事,違逆天地。恣意罪極,頓奪其壽。下入惡道,無有出期。

“Because they harbor malicious intent, they tumble from darkness to deeper darkness. They indulge their caprice and defy the will of Heaven and Earth. Injustice and vice inevitably follow and will run unchecked until evil karma accumulates to the maximum. As their original lifespans have been shortened by their evil deeds, they will soon meet death and fall into the hells for eons without end”

Doesn’t this sound like the title character’s life and final retribution?

Note that Don Giovanni was offered a last chance to repent and save himself. In Buddhism, such a chance exists as well. For example, in the Contemplation Sutra, it is stated that even lifetime heavy offenders can achieve Pure Land rebirth on their deathbed if they U- turn to truly repent, and faithfully and single-mindedly seek Amitabha. Please read my free and Public Domain translation of the Last Rites of Amitabha (a supportive chanting guidebook to help those on the eve of death) for more info:

PDF version:

last-rites-of-amitabha

Scribe Version:

Moreover, I would also like to recommend this distinctly excellent rendition of Chopin’s Etude Op. 10 No.3 on the Guzheng:

Lastly, please visit my Music Recommendations page (top row menu option) which I set up to endorse brilliant artists that I admire but who do not enjoy wider renown and fame. The latest additions are tenor Robert White and soprano Alison Hagely.

All rights that belong to me (i.e. the attached texts, poem and post text) are released into the Public Domain.

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