On Monday, June 22nd Soshima Zen Center presented “Life, Death, Bardo, Next... a Meditative Journey Cloaked in Music”, a dramatic representation of the universal human journey as reflected in Mahayana Buddhist teachings.
Attendees entered a darkened room to encounter a circle of cushions surrounded by a ring of electric candles. As they lay supine in the silent hall, the reverberation of the meditation bell signaled the beginning of the journey. Then, a dramatic narration began, accompanied by musical selections chosen to inspire the listener to imagine each stage of the process.
The narrative told the story of a person transitioning from living mundane everyday life, unmindful of death, through sudden diagnosis of serious illness, struggle with disease, gradual acceptance of death, passing away of the body, the migration of the spirit, wandering in the bardo, liberation from the wheel of samsara, and the attainment of the Bodhisattva ideal.
The conclusion of the program was met with applause.
Life, Dying, Bardo... Next... A Meditative Journey
Concept by Bob Davey
Music selected by Bob Davey
Creative development by Bob Davey, V. Myong-Ahn Sunim
Writers: Bob Davey and V. Myong-Ahn Sunim
Narration performed by V. Myong-Ahn Sunim
Audio engineering, editing: V. Myong-Ahn Sunim
Performance space design: V. Myong-Ahn Sunim
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For – U2 (The Joshua Tree)
Catacombae – Modeste Mussorgsky (from Pictures at an Exhibition)
Mars, the God of War – Gustave Holst (from The Planets)
Gymnopedia No. 1 – Erik Satie
Ascent – Brian Eno (Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks)
Hymn – Joseph Zawinul (Faces and Places)
Crystal – Miroslav Vitous (I Sing the Body Electric – Weather Report)
Venus, the Bringer of Peace – Gustave Holst (from The Planets)
Bodhisattva – Steely Dan (Countdown to Ecstasy)