30 Apr

We’re more than a little hyperbolic when it comes to music. On average, we declare about three albums per week as the “best thing we’ve ever heard in our life.” Now, it’s time to add Girma Yifrashewa’s transcendent and beautiful album, “Love and Peace” to that long and growing list.

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This is an astounding album – mind-bending, lucid and profound. Trying to describe this album is a bit like trying to describe a sound as natural and beautiful as the birds singing. Perhaps better to just listen.

At the risk of saying nothing about “Love and Peace,” we simply don’t have the words to describe “Love and Peace,” which may be appropriate considering there are no words on “Love and Peace.” It’s simply, magnificently and eternally one guy nameed Girma from Ethiopia playing the piano, and it’s the best thing we’ve ever heard in our life.

“Love and Peace” by Girma Yifrashewa is available now from Unseen Worlds.

“Bodhisattvas walk among us. In any single breath, each of us can become an enlightening being. In the next breath, we might fall into our old habits of thoughtlessness and violence. Zazen reveals that this choice is always with us. Our deluded and hurtful actions contain seeds that can flower either as wondrous peace or terrible harm. Our vision can sustain the world, if only we dare to look deeply. Our great ancestor, Layman Vimalakirti, described the Bodhisattva path this way:

During the short aeons of swords,
They meditate on love,
Introducing to nonviolence
Hundreds of millions of living beings.

In the middle of great battles
They remain impartial to both sides;
For bodhisattvas of great strength
Delight in reconciliation of conflict.
In order to help the living beings,
They voluntarily descend into
The hells which are attached
To all the inconceivable buddha-fields.

Two thousand years later we are still living up to this challenge, falling short, and vowing again. Let us take our vows seriously and be Bodhisattvas. Respect our Zen tradition and buddha ancestors, but be truly accountable to all beings now and in the future. Bring peace and zazen mind right into the middle of our messy, grieving, wondrous world. Please watch your step and don’t waste time.”

– Hozan Alan Senauke, “Vowing Peace in an Age of War


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