A letter from Christopher Bono


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Dear Thay,

My name is Christopher Bono, I am a composer whom you have met before! Four years ago, I asked you a question about living the life of an artist when feeling that much of your secluded efforts are not shared with the world, and the perception that your actions are done from a place of selfishness.

You began your beautiful response with, “Music is the poetry of the Heart….” and then continued with a remarkable transmission about how the energy of awakening can change the hearts and minds of the world when art is infused with and created from a place of compassion, understanding, mindfulness, and concentration.

I already knew this answer in my heart, but hearing if from you helped to solidify a new, deeper connection to sound, music and the world.

The music has drastically shifted since then, and I am surprised, elated and humbled by the power it has had to bring others wonder, healing, joy, and inspiration.

I am about to finish my next full length album this month. It is entitled, “Bardo” and is a prayer and story narrating the spiritual journey of my friend, who committed suicide when we were both 25.

It was greatly because of his death that I discovered the path to positivity, happiness and mindfulness. A year after his death I was in a very dark space of despair. This was a mind state I had been in for most of my life, but at this moment I was close to the energy of suicide as well. Suddenly, in a very special moment, a thought manifested in my mind saying, “There must be another way to perceive this world than the way I have experienced it for 25 years.” It was in this miraculous moment I went to my bookshelf and found your book, “No Death, No Fear.” I cannot recall how I ever received this book, I think I may have purchased it 4-5 years before that time because of my first music teacher, a remarkable being, who had a deep interest in meditation, but I had never heard your name before that moment.

As I began reading that book, my life shifted, my practice was ignited and I have continued eight years since. Your teaching breathed new life into me and I am forever grateful to you for being the messenger of the path to peace and love.

I would love to one day share “Bardo” with you, but it will not be released until the spring of 2014. In the meantime I pray you enjoy these two choral works. The first is a setting of the Heart Sutra’s, Unexcelled Mantra. It is an unconventional way of hearing this mantra and I hope you enjoy it’s novelty.

The second piece is a setting of the text from Plato’s Republic. I am very interested in seeing the interbeing of truth across various cultures, and I gound this passage particularly interesting, it goes:

“What is Absolute Unity? This is the way in which the study of one has the power of drawing and converting the mind to the contemplation of True Being.”

In “The Republic”, Plato wrote these thoughts when discussing Mathematics, however it can easily be seen as a passage about achieving a state of Samadhi.

I hope you enjoy these works. I want to thank you for the joy and awakening you have brought to my life.

I am dedicated to continue the effort of bringing the mindful energy I have learned and experienced from the gift of your teachings to the world; through every step, every note, every sound, every breath, with all my being throughout this life.

Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher. I am forever grateful, humbled, and inspired by the strength of your compassion and mindfulness.

With True Love in heart resonance.

Just a simple monk!

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It is not necessary to throw away your tradition or family. Keep everything and introduce mindfulness, peace, joy into it. Your friends will see the value of mindfulness through you–not through what you say, but through your being. — Thich Nhat Hanh

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