cool old buddhist song by Donovan

The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is

The caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain

Oh Juanita, oh Juanita, oh Juanita, I call your name
Oh, the snow will be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside

The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
The lock upon my garden gate’s a snail, that’s what it is
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within
Caterpillar sheds his skin to find a butterfly within

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is

First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is
First there is a mountain

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moïse and Alida Viator began performing with the Eh, La Bas, a band that plays the New Orleans Creole has a great version of the song …

~~~ LISTEN ~~~

There Is a Mountain” is a song and single written and performed by British singer-songwriter Donovan,[1] released in 1967.

~~~ LISTEN ~~~

The lyrics refer to a Buddhist saying originally formulated by Qingyuan Weixin, later translated by D.T. Suzuki in his Essays in Zen Buddhism, one of the first books to popularize Buddhism in Europe and the US. Qingyuan writes

Before I had studied Chan (Zen) for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and rivers as rivers. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and rivers once again as rivers.[2]

~~~~ ~~~ ~~ ~

This is an old zen statement about the experience of enlightenment

~~

A rather famous Zen koan states ‘First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is’, referring to the spiritual path.  The unenlightened mind sees a mountain.  The Enlightened mind sees the mountain (and all things for that matter) as no-mountain (no-thing, devoid of a fixed self), a ripple on the ocean of sunyata that underlies Reality.  But to be able to communicate with and help living

~ ~ ~

I don’t know what everyone is so puzzled about. He’s singing about plate tectonics and erosion. It couldn’t be more obvious

~

When this song was new I was about 12 years old, and I was proud that I was able to decipher “for the snow would be a blinding sight to see as it lies on yonder hillside”

~~ ~~

I would sing this song to my grandmother. Since I didn’t know the lyrics I would sing it, saying, Abuelita! instead, of saying, “Ohh juanita! I call your name”. “There are blind things, look upon my garden…”First there is mountain, than theres is no mountain, than there is”

One thought on “cool old buddhist song by Donovan

  1. Cool old Buddhist song by Donovan: As I recall the basic musical theme of the Donovan song was the theme for the spectacular 35 minute theme and variations piece by the Allman Brothers: Mountain Jam, one of my all time fave rock pieces. Listen to the opening bars of Mountain Jam, and you’ll hear First there is a mountain…

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