Sunday evening, November 5, 1972
On Composing Buddhist Music and Articles
Ven. Master Hsuan Hua
Today I learned that Guo Jin has composed some Buddhist songs with wonderful lyrics. In the future, I hope all of you will compose more Buddhist songs and praises. This year on the Buddhaís Birthday, Guo Yi also wrote a song. I listened to it more carefully today and found it is also well-written. Those who can compose music can write more songs and we can publish the scores and lyrics in our monthly journal. There are many Buddhist songs in Chinese but few Buddhist songs in English. You are now innovators in this field, and so you should write a few more songs and show them to me. If they are acceptable, we will print them in our journal.
Also, from now on people should practice writing articles in both Chinese and English. With practice, you will be able to write good articles in both languages. Write about the principles you have heard, so more people in the world will come to understand the Buddhadharma. There is boundless merit and virtue involved in this. You should understand my intent. Donít retreat. Buddhists should always courageously advance and not retreat. Everyone should pay attention to this.
Write an article every week. Decide on the topic yourself. You can either write an essay, or compose a song or a poem to help propagate Buddhism, so that a bodhi tree will quickly grow in the West. [ed note: Editor Zhouís periodical was called Bodhitree.] The bodhi tree we planted here at the monastery is now about three feet high. This tree should grow tall very quickly; itís not permitted togrow slowly. Once the bodhi tree has matured, someone will realize Buddhahood beneath it.
Timely Teachings, page 375 - 376.