"In Love" CD Image

Open to Grace -
Music by Peter Makena

This CD of Peter Makena contains enchanted melodious songs of the heart. They express celebration, beauty, longing, joy and deep insight into human existence.

1. Into Your Hands

The first few lines are from poetry by Hafiz, (a Persian mystic who lived in the eleventh century). This poetry inspired me to move deeper into the gratitude and reverence for life and I found myself embraced by a surrender and Awe toward what does not change - The Beloved

I bow to God in gratitude and I find the moon is busy doing the same.

I bow to God in great happiness and I learn from where the suns all borrow their light.

I bow to the friend in deep reverence and discover a marvelous secret carried in the air:
That this whole Universe is just as blessed and loved as I,
just as wildly lost in this Wonderful Holy Dance
at every step gladly singing Hallelujah!

I hear the voice of every creature and plant -- singing the Beloved's name
Every star and sun and galaxy-- singing the Beloved's name
All of Gods creatures in the bosom of love -- singing the Beloved's name

Thy will be done

Thy kingdom come

Into your hands I lay my spirit
into your hands I lay my life!

2. Just As It Is

The idea of paradise has captured man's imagination over so many centuries. It is usually conceived of as a place outside ourselves, and most often far away from our life as we live it day to day. But in all times, there have been men and women who have discovered paradise within, giving us hints of its flavor and perfume. These rare beings direct our attention within and indicate how to enter this paradise, which in Truth is nothing other than our nature. This is a song of gratitude to all those who point the way to... our true home.

Our time is so rich with encouragement. Thank you all!

Tread softly, all earth is holy ground,
from the core to the skies.
Imagine you could look with seeing eyes.

This spot we stand on is paradise;
where lost has been found
and truth has become alive.
Tread softly as you enter the glorious Lotus Paradise.

There is a sun rising in my heart,
melting the age old ice that kept me apart.
There is a moon rising in this awesome glory,
that shines on gratitude , a "bow-down" gratitude,
a deep appreciation of This! Just as it is

You and I have spoken all these words,
but; for the way we have to face,
words are no preparation.
There's no getting ready, other than grace

There is a sun rising in my heart,
melting the age old ice that kept me apart.
There is a moon rising in this awesome glory
that shines on gratitude, a "bow-down" gratitude,
a deep appreciation of This! Just as it is.

3. The Invitation

This writing had come into my life from a few different sources at the same time. I put these words that touched me deeply to song and started to sing it at various occasions. I notice that these words of "wanting to know what truly matters" have a profound impact on my audience and on me too each time I sing it. This song is a reminder to clarify what holds importance to our true being as we are brought to our knees in gratitude the challenges of our life.

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts desire.

I doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure
of being alive.

IT doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals; or if you have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain--- mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, --mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal, and not betray your own soul.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where, or what, or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from within when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself; and if you truly love the company
you keep in the empty moments.

ORIAH, Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder

4.Children Of Chance

I love this poem as a letter from a father to a son, as a sharing of how vulnerable we are and that our compassion and ability to give is a true strength.

Remember to be gentle with yourself.
Be gentle with others.
We are all children of chance.
And, no one can say why some fields will blossom,
while others lay brown in the August sun.
We are all children of chance.
Care for those around you. Look past your differences.
Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices no more easily made.
And Give.
Give in any way you can, of whatever you possess.
To give is to love.
To withhold is to wither.
Care less for the harvest than for how it is shared,
and your life will have meaning,
and your heart will have peace.

Kent Nerburn, Letters to my Son

5. Soaring

These words stem partially from a saying of Lama Dilgo Sogyal Rinpoche. This Sutra was asking to be a song as it so perfectly expresses the connection between non-clinging and freedom-- simply and with so few words.

When you live in love you are a flute through whose heart
the whispering of the hours turn into music.
And what is it to live in love? It is to weave the cloth
with threads drawn from your heart.
Remaining in the recognition of the gift of love,
you fly through this life like an eagle.

and you are soaring up into the sky
without sadness or regret,
without any residue of clinging.

Even if death were to fall upon you like lightening,
you must be ready to die.
without sadness and regret,
without any residue of clinging for what is left behind.
Remaining in the recognition of the absolute view
you leave this life like an eagle

and you are soaring up into the sky

Let the beauty that we love, be revealed by who we are!

6. Free And Easy

I received this marvelous Sutra in the mail one day, sent by a friend. I feel such simple truth, clarity, joy and courage coming from it that just a few hours after receiving it, I started to sing it. This happened at a time when change and uncertainty all of a sudden had entered my until then very steady life. The support for what is true and unchanging and confirmation of this "dharma-talk" continue to be a guiding light to me!

Happiness cannot be found through great effort and willpower;
but is already present, in open relaxation and letting go.
Don't strain yourself, there is nothing to do or undo.
Whatever arises in the body mind has no real importance at all.
Why identify with it and become attached to it?
Why pass judgment upon it and ourselves?

Far better to simply let the entire game happen on it's own,
springing up and falling back like waves,
without changing or manipulating anything,
and notice how everything vanishes and reappears,
magically again and again, time without end.

Don't believe in the reality of good and bad experiences;
they are like the weather, like rainbows in the sky.
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax, ( this tight fist of grasping)
infinite space is there - open and inviting.
Make use of this spaciousness, this freedom and natural ease.
Don't search any further. Don't go into the tangled jungle,
looking for the the great awakened elephant,
who is already resting at home, in front of your own hearth

Nothing to do or undo.
Nothing to force, nothing to want, and nothing missing

Everything happens by itself---- Free and easy!

A spontaneous Vajra Song by Ven. Lama Gendun Rinpoche

7. Namaste

To reach through the center of this moment into truth and the inherent glory and preciousness of our wondrous existence has always been the force behind the attempt to express the inexpressible in a song.

Absorbed in the wondrous and timeless compassion somehow
lies the simple truth of this instance, the magic of now.

In the silence of this moment
beyond the thunder and lightening of the mind,
is a precious pearl to be discovered,
that I pray we all will find.

Here in the bright light of this moment, a reminder simple and clear:
that all that truly matters is already here.

I am blessed before I have a reason.
I am full of love, even before the sky can greet the sun and raise the moon.
My dear friends, we've been in love with God for very long.
We have always been blessed!

In the silence of this moment,
beyond the thunder and lightening of the mind,
is a precious pearl to be discovered
that I pray we all will find.

Here in the bright light of this moment, a reminder simple and clear,
that all that truly matters is already here!

8. Jaws Of The Tiger

In meetings when "the tribe" comes together and the blessing of being alive is revealed, I have gotten in touch with the rapture that is a byproduct of the knowing that nothing needs to be done! The "Jaws of the Tiger" is a metaphor for the inescapable force of truth, that is so much larger than us and does not always work in accordance with our will and thus teaches us the art of surrender.

We've come to a place where nothing needs to be done.
We are waiting here my friend only to see that we never left home;
that we've been gathered here always, together forever, even if our dreams have taken us far from this place.

How many times have we parted you and I? ----- the stars and the sky?
Searching like a child who leaves home, looking for love.

How many times have we tried to sail to the horizon of a dream
when we are the sea itself? Always in rapture!

The story of running comes to an end
in the silence of a shimmering star.
You can run, but you cannot escape.
Wherever you go, there you are.

You've got your head in the jaws of the tiger
when you enter the stillness of your heart.
You've got your head in the jaws of the tiger
when you let yourself love you exactly as you are,
and you hear a voice within say: "Welcome home!"

9. Wild Geese

This powerful and compelling poem of Mary Oliver captures the essential qualities of those moments of transition when our whole world falls apart and the "good advice" from within and without no longer serves us, except if we are able to use its gift as a challenge to listen to the "still small voice within." Being touched by this poem of self compassion, acceptance, reassurance, and encouragement, I could not resist the pull to put it into song and to share it further and further...

You don't have to be good.
You don't have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile, the world goes on.
Meanwhile, the sun and the clear pebbles of rain
are moving across the landscapes
over (the parries and deep trees) mountain and rivers.

Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clear blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely;
the world offers itself to your imagination----
Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting,
over and over again----
Announcing your place in the family of things.

10. In Every Heart

The first few words of this song are shaped out of a saying from Thich Nhat Han. I felt in it such reverence and appreciation for life and for this planet that I could not help but put it into song. It then slowly leads to the Bhodisatva Vow and a deep surrender and knowing that truth and peace live in every heart.

The present moment is my true home.
The present moment is where I belong.
And the miracle is not to walk on water,
but to walk on this green earth.
The greatest of all miracles is just to be alive, now.

Peace is available now. Peace is available here.
You learn to taste it; and it gives you back your Self.
Peace is available now. Peace is available here.
You learn to touch it; and it fills you with love.

May all beings be free from danger.
may all beings be free from fear.
may all beings be happy.
may all beings be in peace.

Om Shanti, Shanti Om

May the fire of love ignite us.
May your golden song delight us.
May the spirit of your grace live in every heart

Acknowledgments :
I express my gratitude to all who helped make this album a reality: Especially my beloved partner and dearest friend Aneeta. Thank you again and again! Your unwavering, loving support enriches my world in in a thousand ways. I cherish your presence and the ever growing intimacy between us.

My deep appreciation also goes out to Anugama whose technical and musical expertise come from a place of simple clarity and love.thank you!

Thank you also dear friends whose presence in my life enriches my song beyond your knowing : Lauren, Amitabh, Mradula, Jeru, Jeff, Ted and Marie, Padma, Sidhena, Niddhi, Sangeet, Maitri, Padipada, Maggie, Ron, Chaitanya, Gayla, Hugh and many others.

I also want to thank all those who, from the sidelines, behind the stage, in audiences or even invisibly and unknowingly participated in the creation of this album.

My deep gratitude to all the poets, mystics, singers, prophets, Zen masters, and Tibetan Lamas who inquire deeply into the mystery of human existence and share their discovery of our true nature and help us all to navigate the uncharted waters of inner truth, especially these who have particularly blessed my life:
Especially Ramana Maharshi, Dilgo Kyentse, Osho, Ram Das, Rumi, Lama Gendun, Andrea Bocelli, Papaji, John O'Donahue, Mary Oliver, Satyam Nadeen, Lennon/McCartney, The Dalai Lama, Hafiz, David White, Byron Katie, Susuki Roshi, Goethe, Hazrat Inyat Khan, Pir Vilyat, Herr Höll, Gangaji, Luciano Pavaroti, Francis Lucille and Thich Nhat Han.

My special appreciation and gratitude goes out to those whose poetry or writings I used for the songs:
Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Gendun Rinpoche, Mary Oliver, Hafiz, Kent Nerburn

I use these writings in the spirit of making them available to an even wider audience and I sincerely hope that I am not infringing on any rights that might be connected with these writings!

All music written, played, recorded, mixed and mastered by Peter Makena.

Lyrics by Peter Makena with the exception of:
INVITATION by Oriah Mountain Dreamer/Indian Elder
SOARING by Lama Dilgo Sogyal Rinpoche
WILD GEESE by Mary Oliver
FREE AND EASY by Lama Genden Rinpoche
And short excerpts from poetry of Rumi, Hafiz and Thich Nhat Han.

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