a simple sing-along or chant that can be used as a teaching tool or a reminder practice.
I was asked by a student to write a short mantra that she could remember to use with her children (and herself) as she saw fit, so I took a ubiquitous and popular children's song and I tweaked and reinterpreted it with deeper Buddhist meanings.
This may seem silly and frivolous, but in these challenging times, it's nice to have more fodder for positive thoughts than negative ones, and I know many people are ruminating a lot on what they see as a pretty negative future-state.
It has served them well as a succinct reminder of many of the core principles of Buddhism that I, myself, am mindful to practice and teach everyday: impermanence, emptiness, joyous effort, mindful concentration, bodhicitta, metta, and skilful action (and more if you read further into the subtext).
There's a lot packed in this short song, so I wanted to share it with others. May this bring a smile, or be of some small benefit, to someone.
To the melody of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:
(*dharma commentary/meaning in parentheses)
"Row, row, row (joyous effort) your boat (impermanent container-body) gently (mindfulness) 'cross the stream (enlightenment); merrily, happily, patiently, lovingly (compassion/bodhicitta) life is but a dream (impermanence/emptiness)."
The Sagacious Buddhist Blog
by Anagārika Pasannacitta
Michael Turner is a pre-monastic ariya-puggala and a full-time Buddhist anagārika; and he is also a deeply accomplished streamentry mentor and applied-dharma teacher. He emphasises and teaches the practical application of the Buddha's teachings in our everyday lives to overcome our human problems that stand in the way of making measurable progress toward Buddhist enlightenment and he is particularly adept at explaining them in ways that can be easily understood and practiced by Western Buddhists. He has been meditating and cultivating the views and techniques that generate indestructible resilience, inner-strength, and direct experience for almost 30 years and has helped countless numbers of students and peers enhance and course-correct their practice to make veritable progress along the path toward Nibbāna.
do good. be kind. help others. be peaceful.™