Song of Loving-kindness
Solo voice with or without audience
Suitable for children’s voices
Song of Loving-Kindness is a setting of an adaptation, by Jaime Manrique and myself, of the Metta-Sutta, the sutra of loving-kindness, one of the earliest surviving Buddhist texts. Commissioned in 2000 by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, it won top honors in the 2002 Waging Peace Through Singing Competition.
“Loving-kindness” is the first of the Brahmaviharas, the Four Blessed Dwelling Places: loving-kindness, compassion, joy in the success of others, and equanimity. It is said that when a group of monks were terrified after entering a forest, Shakyamuni Buddha sent them back, having taught them the Metta-Sutta, saying it was all the protection they would need. The piece is a simple one-line setting of the central part of the sutra; it can be sung by a soloist, chorus, or any combination of solo and choral singers.