Mirror of Zen Blog

“Ashes to Ashes” — The Remix Video I

One of the songs from “The Formless Track” is now being visualized as a music-video.

Dōgen Zenji famously said, “The realization of impermanence is the beginning of practice.” In our Christian tradition, there is the attitude of Memento mori — “remember death”, keep in mind that you will die, that Death is real.

Arman Ray (Chris Taylor), in his deep genius, captured the essence from a long Dharma talk I gave over the last few years that was released on YouTube. He applied his considerable polyglot intuitions and skills to it, and we arrived at the song “Ashes to Ashes”, one of my favorite of the creations that comprise “The Formless Track”.

Here is the original tune and video:

Ashes to Ashes // Arman Ray + Hyon Gak Sunim /// The Formless Track // 현각스님: 첫 선-테크노 앨범 #edm #zen

Through Arman Ray, I came to know about the extraordinary gifts and skills of Sam Leuis, a conservatory-trained Moroccan music producer, who worked with me to refine a remix version of the song, and this is where we arrived with the final sound.

What is perhaps most gratifying about the creation and release of this remix is the fact that I was able to “sample” into the song a piece of teaching being delivered by my Teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn. This is an excerpt from the morning kong-an talks he gave to the monks and nuns (and lay visitors) then training based at the Seoul International Zen Center, Hwa Gye Sah Temple, in the foothills of Sam Gak Sahn Mountain on a periphery of Seoul.

Master and disciple, rapping together, sending out Dharma seeds on an essential matter at the very heart of human existence. It can’t feel any more gratifying than this: paying back one’s debt to the masters who brought us in and guided us, for the benefit of serving all suffering beings.

This version of the video is in square aspect ratio for the purposes of some social media sites. We will be releasing a set of four “landscape” versions (in both 1080p and 4K renderings) over the coming days. These will be excellent for wide-screen viewing. The “landscape” versions will have even more developed visuals, including the teachings of the “Pieta” and “le dans macabre” traditions. In these days of insane war and suffering, it seemed important to point especially to this dimension. Please have a look.

Anyway, one day you die.

Ashes to Ashes // Arman Ray + Hyon Gak Sunim (Sam Leuis Remix) // feat. Zen Master Seung Sahn #현각스님

Share this on:

Related Posts: