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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

“The Real Love” – A Musical that Unites Hearts, Part 10 of a Multi-part Series

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“Ladies and gentlemen, at this joyous occasion, it is our immense privilege to invite our very special guest of honor, Supreme Master Ching Hai.” “Let’s now meet the real Thanh.” “We watched an extraordinary musical, ‘The Real Love,’ which was inspired by Your poetry and just a part of Your amazing personal journey. And for that we want to thank You. We all loved it.”

“Supreme Master Ching Hai, would You care to give us Your thoughts on the musical?”

Wow. You make our world more beautiful with the music. I have been watching it. I’ve been hiding to watch it, because I didn’t want to impose my presence on this beautiful occasion until it was all done. Wow. It’s like a miracle. All these great names, great musicians, great composers, director, come together to create such a magnificent masterpiece. They are all so kind and so elegant. Wow. If it was not for having to meditate now long hours, I would trade anything to come to see this, I would trade anything. But I had to stay here in order to continue meditation unbroken, a few hours okay, but not like two, three days. Thank you so much again. Thank you. It’s breathtaking. I’m sure the audience feels exactly the same as I do.

Wow. My greeting, hugging, embracing to the great composers like Mr. Al Kasha, Mr. Doug Katsaros, Mr. Don Pippin, Mr. David Shire, we meet again, and Mr. Bill Conti, who could not be here today, but I feel his love. He always has the talent of sending love even when he’s not present. Thanks for your musical scores that really set our spirits soaring high and touch our hearts to the core. You really glorify love tonight. I appreciate all the kind words you have shared about my poems as well, personally and in the press. And I’m so honored that you wanted to bring to them the uplifting element of song on this, as on other occasions. And I thank you, Mr. David, for your music direction, as well as the orchestra musicians, so crisp and so full of life, that make us feel transported in time and space. Mr. Mark Knowles, thank you as well for the genius choreography with dances of all kinds of styles, that mesmerized us every second. I also appreciate you, director Chris Shelton, for bringing the story to life so vividly and movingly as you did with all your detailed attention. I’m also deeply grateful for the government’s kind support and the media’s glorious comments. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I’m touched also as an audience member by the work that so many professional artists poured into making this production, including all the greatly talented cast members, the guest stars, the all creative team and crew, such as the script writers, lighting technicians, costume and set designers, and the musicians. And I know you all have worked long hours together to make it the best.

I am always grateful for the artists. What the artists do for our world, we cannot thank them enough. Without the artists, I mean all the artists, you know, composers, musicians, artists, actresses, actors, singers, dancers, all these great and elegant people, kind-hearted, so pure and so loving. These artists, they are doing wonderful things for our world as they do for our innermost heart. So I want to applaud you, each of you one by one, for the wholehearted effort and the love you have put into this gift you have shared with us, the world, in the form of this musical. I truly appreciate the honor that all of you, the brilliant artists, the great musicians, exceptional actors, actresses, singers, the legendary composers, etcerera, all your effort. May God bless you.

OK. So, I just share with you a little bit of my thoughts. Over two decades ago, Lê Dinh, one of the Aulacese, meaning Vietnamese, famous composers, translated one of my poems into a musical song. At that time, I was not in the Himalayas yet. I was still a householder. The poem was called “Like the Drifting Cloud,” and one decade later, I knew about it. It means all that time I did not know he put my poem into music. Many people knew it. I didn’t know. And then, another famed musician glorified another of my poems titled “Passing by Your House,” into a musical song. Also I did not know it until half a decade later. Since then, many more such lovely surprises kept coming. When they asked me if they could use the latest poem, “The Real Love,” to make into a song. I thought OK, another song. But I did not imagine that in such a proportion like this. I was so overwhelmed, even just to know about this program. All these great people, I could not imagine. And all the lucky people in the audience there, face to face with these exceptional, great artists, talents, musicians, composers. I can only envy you. You know, this is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime that we can see all these great people together in one cast, in one musical. I can only envy you, but thank you for coming, thank you. I can never thank all of you enough for your incredible, loving dedication and support to art and love. This is the real love, your love.

Love is the most precious thing in this physical realm. So we must protect love, be it the love between a couple, between parents and children, between friends. Love between humans or love between animals, love between humans and animals or between animals and humans. Be it even the love between plants and trees. They do communicate. They do love and protect each other, as scientists have proven. You read about them, you know.

Real love is what we need to protect our world, especially now. Whatever we love will blossom. Whatever loves us makes us grow in happiness. But love is not just a vocabulary; love is action, invisible and visible. Love can flourish or be destroyed even, though the essence of love can never be destroyed. There are deeds that can nourish love, there are deeds that can make love wither and die. I mean physical love. I mean the love in this realm. There are deeds that can make love grow, there are deeds that can make love diminish. We must cherish, treasure love if we find it. Support it. We have to support it with our thoughts and speech and actions.

In any relationship, there must be always give and take. For example, between a couple, it is not enough just to say, “I love you.” We should always take care to respect and help each other like the first days and even better every day. Knowing what the partner likes, we’ll try to offer that. And knowing what the partner doesn’t like, we’ll try to avoid.

Being considerate is the key to a good relationship. Listen to me, the one who left home. But I know it works for you, who want to keep your relationship. I’m just indulging myself to voice a few opinions. Any differences, we should discuss till both agree or compromise. It’s not really difficult to keep a relationship happy and thriving if we have real love.

Selfishness and ego are the number one love killers, and my Lord, don’t we see a few like that? And then when love is gone, we cry, we lament, we blame everything, everyone, including ourselves. And we could even punish ourselves with illness or even our life. But when we love on a bigger scale, for example, like our nation, or our planet, or our world, then it’s another story. That is the love like that of Jesus, or Buddha. Then we sacrifice personal happiness and personal love for others, be it humans or other species.

Are you still there? So quiet, I thought I have put you to sleep! Thank you for being awake and it’s about, you know, three o’clock here, in the morning. I feel sleepy, so I thought maybe you are. Be patient, I won’t be long.

We can be and should be the example of love, like giving, caring, and harmonizing, so that when others think of us, remember our names, they would feel happiness, love, comfort, and even noble. And their good quality will shine forth. We should not be the source of burden or misery to others, in their thoughts, deeds, and speech. We have to be the source of inspiration, of nobility and love, especially if we have been shown how, by others’ example.

If we have love, all good will come our way. We can start to love now, today, and continue tomorrow into the future. Love yourself, love your family, love your neighbors, love all around us. Without love in our heart, we are almost nothing, just a burden to ourselves, to loved ones, and society.

Love is not a word on our lips, love must be our feeling inside, and action translated outside. Love the animals, we’ll be veg (vegan). Love the Earth, we’ll go green. Love the world, save the planet. I hope God will take into consideration our sincere prayers. Then we can save the planet. But we should all be sincere and work together in unison and one goal.

“I’ve been very, very honored to meet Supreme Master Ching Hai. I admire Her so much and She definitely is the one who made me change my life so deeply, my diet so deeply. It’s such a strong energy there. It’s a very peaceful and creative and fresh atmosphere.”

“As soon as I got here, I felt this amazing love in the air. It’s filled with Light, Love, it’s beautiful and you can tell where Her heart is in Her art. Because Her art is really, it’s the image of the soul.”

“I felt something very unusual about being around the rehearsal of ‘The Real Love,’ and that was a certain sort of serenity. Everybody seemed to feel this will be all right, and indeed it was. It was like that’s the way it was supposed to be, and that’s what I mean by that silent kind of calmness. You had somebody looking over you on this, more than just the composers. If I were in Her presence, I certainly would express to Her my great appreciation for Her caring about performers and the importance of recognizing what we do. Bless Supreme Master Ching Hai for having that attitude toward artists. It helps us to be better.”

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