Coming Home: Track by Track

Yungchen explores the songs on her second album

From Tibet's most exquisite voice in exile, this is a set of stunning contemporary songs of freedom and beauty in dedication to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

1. Happiness Is…

Often, the things that we think are making us happy in reality only give the slightest, most transient happiness; ultimately they have no essence and no meaning at all. There is a way of thinking, a way of living that has meaning, and it is the happiness found on this path that we really should be searching for. Om Mani Padme Hum, the mantra of loving compassion. Find your path and follow it.

 

2. Sky

“I can fly
Fly high in the sky
On the wings of a breath, that calls out
your name.
Jetsun Drolma
Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Soha
Here are the jewels of every Queen.
The sun, the moon and the stars,
Offered on clouds of gold.
As a woman, how can you say I can’t fulfill life’s greatest accomplishments, when Jetsun Drolma attained perfect enlightenment in female form? I feel I could fly, like a bird, fly high in the sky.”

Based on teachings from Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche

 

3. Heart

When a culture is in crisis, parents can become separated from their children and that is so sad. I am forced to live away from my son for most of the year and as a child I was separated from my family. This is a sadness so many Tibetans know. This song is about loss and yearning; feeling like a part of you is missing, praying to be reunited and to become whole again.

 

4. Per Rig Chog Sum

In 1959 many Tibetans from Kham and Amdo rode into Lhasa to join with the people there, to form a protective barricade around the Dalai Lama in the Norbulingka, fearful that he was about to be captured by the Chinese. The people’s solidarity gave His Holiness the chance to ride to freedom and set out on his long trek to India. One day, Tibetans will come from all over to ride into Lhasa, to once more see His Holiness take up his rightful place in the Norbulingka. Our horses stand ready, we wait for the hour to ride.

5. Khyab Sangye

The amazing Guru Chenrezig, gloriously composed of all the Buddha’s refuge, please stay permanently in the crown ornament and please bestow the feat of Dharma. Since the beginning of time, we have wandered countless times through the six realms, not capable of thinking about Dharma. This life also falls under the influence of distraction. How easily this human life is exhausted just performing meaningless tasks. How sad… Oh so sad…

 

6. Ngak Pai Metog

This song is a celebration of His Holiness, winner of the Nobel Prize, who has travelled the world teaching of peace. His fame has spread far and wide; his teachings are pure and true, and have been nurtured by Tibetan culture for hundreds of years. There is great meaning to be found in the heart of Tibet and we are proud to be who we are and to have His Holiness as our guide. This is a song of pride.

 

7. Dream

One night, while living in Sydney, I had a dream that my son and I sang a song together – a song of love about the sadness of separation and the joy of being together. When I awoke, the monks in the house said they had heard me singing in the night and found on our tape recorder a recording of this song. I don’t remember waking up, nor going to record it —I think that frightened the monks a little!

 

8. Defiance

My closest and dearest childhood friend died in Tibet not long after I first reached Australia. He wasn’t shot or tortured to death like so many Tibetans; there is no one person to blame for his death —just a cruelness in the society we found ourselves. As children, hungry and poor, we played and searched for food together; we shared a closeness only children know. This is the sound of my heart breaking but refusing to be broken. Cruelty and suffering will not defeat me.

 

9. Coming Home

This is a road song, the sound of travelling the road home —a home I hope one day to reach.

Om Mani Padme Hum is the mantra of compassion, the mantra of Chenrezig. In Tibetan Buddhism, we fill prayer wheels with this mantra and spin them around as a way to generate the energy of loving compassion. The mantra is written on this disc, so in your CD player it spins just like your own prayer wheel. I hope it creates some merit.

By Oran Mullan

Published on Sun, 22 April 12

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