Monday, August 2, 2010

Playing for Buddhists

Recently I started playing music at Buddhist Temples and Sanghas. This picture was taken two weeks ago at Lien Hoa (leen-wah) Temple in Garden Grove, CA. It is a Vietnamese Temple, and according to Rev. Kusala (the monk with the ukulele standing next to me), it is very unusual for Americans to teach the Dharma or play music for this community.  The woman who is working to get more American born adults to teach and sing in English to the kids is a visionary named Michelle. The community was so open and inviting. The head monk gave me a yellow mala for my wrist. (A mala is like a rosary. It is also used for prayer and meditation)

The children were so well behaved and engaged. They are so smart and kind. It was a lot of fun. I went with Kusala to another temple in Long Beach yesterday. This community was very different. Busy and more laid back at the same time. Some of the kids had spiky hair and ripped jeans. Very Rock and Roll. You could say I felt right at home! 

After Kusala and I performed, the monks and nuns made us sit down in the dining room and fed us way too much tasty vegetarian food. A monk named Nin (I have no idea how to actually spell it...) taught me a song in sanskrit that I have promised to practice and play next month. The words are : "No Mo Avalo Kitesh Varas"  The song is a praise to Kwan Yin, the great Bodhisattva of Compassion. 

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