Heng Sure (Bhikshu) holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley and has a Masters from the University of California at Berkeley in Oriental Languages. He currently lectures on the Buddhist Sutras and holds regular meditation classes.
Rev. Heng Sure uses his 12 string guitar and a beautiful singing voice reminiscent of Bill Monroe to interpret three songs from a variety of Buddhist traditions about the process of enlightenment. The first is called the "Ballad of Yashodhara;" and gives voice to Prince Siddhartha’s agonizing choices as he prepares to renounce the householder’s life. His resolve to defeat impermanence compels him to say goodbye to his beloved wife and venture into the unknown in search of awakening. The second song is the entire Mahamangala Sutta, "The Buddha’s Teachings on Blessings.” Rev. Heng Sure invites the assembly to sing along with the Buddha’s advice in response a deva who comes asking Buddha how to live correctly and wisely.
The third is a selection of verses from Tang Dynasty Chan Master Master Yongjia's “Song of Enlightenment.” Rev. Heng Sure tells the interesting story of this monk's certification by the Sixth Chinese Patriarch. Heng Sure's tells the story in a down-to-earth fashion. The song itself expresses Yongjia's understanding of the Buddha Nature within. The first verse goes: "Don't seek for the true; don't cut off out the false. Know that false and true alike are gone without a trace. Now not a trace itself is gone; then empty emptiness: You've found the Thus Come One's true mark where nothing can't exist."