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Chinese Religious Music >Chinese Buddhist Praise> Song of Peace

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Song of Peace

Producer¡GWang Chien-hsun

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A commemorative album for the one year anniversary of Master Sheng Yen¡¦s passing In this turbulent time, comes an extraordinary serene power

¡§Song of Peace¡¨ is an act of the most profound respect to the Venerable Master Sheng Yen, and is also a collection of works left behind by Wang Chien Hsun. The album is full of sentiments, and is dedicated in memory of the past ones with blessings and good wishes.

Wang Chien-hsun is known for the series of Buddhist music that he composed. Prior to the Master¡¦s passing, Wang began to sort through lyrics written by the great teacher. During the production of the album, Master Sheng Yen passed on, and Wang also died of an illness a few months later.

Master Sheng Yen referred to himself as the ¡§traveling monk from the wind and the snow¡¨, and his life¡¦s journeys had taken him from being a peasant boy, solider, learning monk, to becoming a legendary religious master. Selected by the Common Wealth Magazine in Taiwan as one of ¡§the top 50 most influential people in the past four centuries of Taiwan¡¨, Master Sheng Yen¡¦s religious teachings and influences have not concluded due his passing.

¡¸Master Sheng Yen¡]1930〜2009¡^- An Itinerant Monk Pressing Forward in the Wind¡¸
Master Sheng Yen was born in 1930 in Nantong of Jiangsu Province, China. At age 13, he became a novice monk at Guangjiao Monastery in the Wolf Hills. In 1949, he came to Taiwan and in 1961 went into solitary retreat for 6 years in the mountains of Kaohsiung. In 1969, Master Sheng Yen went to Japan to study at Rissho University, earning a doctorate in Buddhist literature. In 1975 he was invited to spread the Buddhadharma in the United States, in New York City

After the death of Master Dong Chu in 1977, Master Sheng Yen divided his time between Taiwan and the United States. Beginning in 1985, he established the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies, Sangha University, Dharma Drum Buddhist College, and began planning for Dharma Drum University. In 1989, he founded Dharma Drum Mountain, focusing on the development of education and Chan practice. In 2005, he inaugurated DDM World Center for Buddhist Education.

Master Sheng Yen promoted comprehensive education through the Three-fold Education: Academic Education, Public Buddhist Education and Social Care Education. He drew on his rich experience in Chan and his understanding of Buddhist doctrines and practice to offer guidance to Asian and Western practitioners. He initiated social movements such as Protecting the Spiritual Environment, the Four Kinds of Environmentalism, the Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance Campaign, and the Six Ethics of the Mind. He devoutedly wanted to share his understanding of Buddhadharma globally, speaking from a contemporary viewpoint. He held dialogues with social leaders in various fields, and collaborated with various non-Buddhist religious groups.

Master Sheng Yen was a philosopher, author, and a world-renowned Chan master. He was named as one of the fifty most influential people in Taiwan in the past four hundred years by Taiwan¡¦s CommonWealth magazine. He published over one hundred works in Chinese, English and Japanese, for which he received awards such as the Sun Yat-Sen Art and Literary Award, the Sun Yat-Sen Academic Book Award and the Presidential Cultural Award.

Master Sheng Yen valued the impact Buddhist music has on fostering spirituality. For years he wrote simple yet inspiring lyrics for songs such as the Common Endeavor of Buddhists, the Praise of Dharma Drum, Dharma Drum Mountain, Compassion, Wisdom, and others. He said, ¡§I don¡¦t think the lyrics I write are the best. I simply want to write about the visions of DDM and its missions. I do hope to praise through music the merit of the Three Jewels, and to advocate the ideal of building a pure land on earth.¡¨

The Master¡¦s lyrics are like a mother¡¦s heart-warming words, reminding us to always be compassionate, and to act with wisdom, endeavoring to better ourselves so we can benefit others.

¡¸The Buddhist Heart and the Buddhist Sound Wang Chien-hsun ¡]1962〜2009¡^¡¸
Wang devoted his entire life to the creation of Buddhist music, and published over ten touching Buddhist music albums. His music not only embodies Buddhist philosophies, it also has the ability to be widespread with easily acceptable values. His persistent creations won him many awards, and he was also awarded with the ¡§Best Religious Music Album¡¨ for the Golden Melody Award in Taiwan.

He produced for the Dharma Drum Mountain an album, ¡§My Blessings for You¡¨, consisting of Master Sheng Yen¡¦s lyrics, and also composed music for many religious groups, such as DaAi TV and Life TV. Wang was a long time collaborator with lyricist, Zhuang Nu, and together they produced many outstanding soul purifying albums. Some of his Buddhist albums have been passed on till this day and widely sung by people, including ¡§Tathaagata Heart¡¨, ¡§Song of the Burning Light¡¨, ¡§Welcome the Buddha Tooth Relic¡¨, ¡§Winter Mountain Traces of the Monk¡¨, ¡§Heart with the Buddha¡¨, ¡§Blooms With Buddha¡¨, ¡§Join in the Amitabha¡¨, ¡§Compassion Wisdom¡¨, and many more.

¡§Song of Peace¡¨ is a commemorative album Wang Chien-hsun composed for Master Sheng Yen¡¦s lyrics. Upon the near completion of the album, Wang sadly fell ill and passed away; however, his spirit has given this album a great wishing power with the aptitude of the blessings created ever more immense.

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