Coming Home To Myself - I Enjoy Going Back to My Island (lyrics, guitar chords, harmony)

At a recent retreat I had the pleasure of studying with Michael Ciborski, and meeting Fern and the rest of the family as well.  Really insightful people, I have a lot of respect and admiration for the music and work they do: I highly recommend taking a look at Michael's website  (True Middle Way was his name as a monastic).

During the retreat Michael shared a new set of words with me, which he received from the Ashville NC sangha.  I have added guitar chords and three part harmony.  If you would like to download this song, make a donation to the Sangha Songs project and you will be sent to the thank you page.  There you will find audio downloads for this and other songs.

The lyrics and guitar chords can be found at the bottom of this post.

Michael Ciborski's comments:

"Here is an excerpt from one of Thay's talks that lays the basis for the song (a children's Dharmatalk, July 28, 1998).

"The Buddha said that every one of us has an island within, an island of peace and stability within, and we should practice so that we can profit from the existence of that island within ourselves. When he was eighty, the Buddha knew that he was going to pass away in a few months, and he knew that his disciples were going to miss him. During the last six months, around the city of Vaisali, he used to talk to the monks and the nuns about taking refuge within yourself. The expression is atadipaAta means self,dipa means island. When you go back to that island, you experience peace and stability. The Buddha is there, the Dharma is there, and the Sangha is there.

"We can describe the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha as forms of energy. Mindfulness is the kind of energy that helps us to be really there in the present moment, body and mind united. Mindfulness is the kind of energy that helps us to touch life deeply in the present moment. Buddha is my mindfulness, shining near, shining far. So when you have the energy of mindfulness in yourself, the Buddha is present, and light is there. With mindfulness you can see the situation more clearly, and you know exactly what to do and what not to do. We know that the practice of mindful breathing can maintain your mindfulness alive as long as you wish. Or the practice of walking meditation can also maintain mindfulness alive as long as you wish. So you might like to keep the Buddha with you, to invite him to stay with you as long as you like, by the practice of mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful sitting. Because that is an energy for your protection. Buddha is not an abstract idea, Buddha is something very real. Your Buddha nature is your capacity of being mindful, calm and concentrated. So you have confidence in the Buddha, because you know that you are capable of generating the energy of mindfulness in you. What makes a Buddha a Buddha is the energy of mindfulness. Mindfulness carries within itself the energy of calm concentration, and if mindfulness is there for some time, insight is born. That is why mindfulness, concentration and insight go together. So, in your island you have the Buddha. Visualize a beautiful island within yourself, with beautiful trees, clear streams of water, birds, all your ancestors, spiritual or blood, and you can encounter the Buddha, you can take the hand of the Buddha and walk on that island. It is possible. When you are mindful you are a Buddha at the same time. Taking the hand of the Buddha and walking is something you can do every day."

The song was written by Joseph Emet and published in the book "Basket of Plums Songbook: Music in the Tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh" (compiled by Joseph Emet)