Born of Tibetan nomads, Nawang Khechog discovered in childhood a deep affinity with the bamboo flute. In 1959, he fled to India and spent 11 years as a Buddhist monk before bringing his music to the West. Here, Nawang describes the inspiration behind his new album Universal Love.
For spiritual practitioners in Tibet, one of the highest aspirations is to cultivate the heart of universal love—to become one who loves all sentient beings unconditionally. Thus, the measure of whether someone has cultivated universal love is illustrated in the classical Tibetan story of the mother who has only one child (“Buckikpe maa tar”) and shows how much she would love and give care to her only child.
Yes, this is a tall order and, in my case, I am far from actualizing this wonder and magnificence. Perhaps I can say that I have been inspired by this highest aspiration a tiny bit since my early years due to the kindness of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s living inspiration and his teachings on the Tibetan Spiritual culture of universal love.
This inspiration gives me some sense of meaning, purpose, and direction, and helps me to channel my anger not to hate anyone, channel my temptations not to become overwhelmed by lust and greed, and channel my heart to try to love all and everyone.
I often wonder if, even given a million years to do this, I can cultivate this universal love in my heart. That would be the beginning of the highest journey and meaning of my life.