"A Journey Through Aesthetic Realms"
Reverberating with Heavenly Music

– Love and Peace Join the Human Hearts in a Reunion of East and West

Washington Chinese News January 9-15, 1998

A spectacular concert entitled
     "A Journey through Aesthetic Realms" was held at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, two blocks away from the White House, on the evening of December 27, 1997. This concertwas a blend of the traditional and contemporary arts that bridges East and West, transcending cultural and language barriers, giving the audience a unique, original and unforgettable artistic experience.

     Among those attending the concert were the guest of honor Supreme Master Ching Hai, and other distinguished guests, including US Senator Mark Katz and his wife; Ms. Kieu Chinh, star of the hit movie Joy Luck Club, and chair of the Au Lac Children's Fund; Mr. Jim Delgado, director of Volunteer Services and acting secretary of the General Office, Department of Veterans Affairs; Attorney Susan Allen, president of the Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, and her husband, Attorney Paul Allen; Attorney Maurice White, division chief, Administrative Office of the US Courts, and his wife; Attorney Benjamin Wu; Ms. Ruth Wong; Dr. Mike C. Chen; Dr. Wenxiong Huang and his wife; and Dr. Arthur Wu and his wife. An audience of over three thousand filled the concert hall to partake in an unforgettable feast of beauty for the eyes, ears and spirit in the musical event of the century.

     The concert was conceived by a distinguished Aulacese musician, Nguyen Dinh Nghia, better known as the "Magic Flute." Nguyen Dinh Nghia has spent many years studying the performing techniques and manufacturing art of Au Lac's tribal musical instruments, and later began crafting improved instruments. He has developed his own superb style that has given a modern dimension of musical excellence to the mystical sounds of authentic tribal instruments. In 1994, Nguyen Dinh Nghia won the Individual Artist Award from the Governor of Maryland as the state's Best Musician in Musical Instrument Performance. He had reached the pinnacle of his artistic career.

     At the end of 1996, Nguyen Dinh Nghia and his family were invited to perform at the concert, "An Evening of Musical Performance and Poetry Recital," organized by the Artist's Association in California. There he witnessed Supreme Master Ching Hai, a versatile artist and spiritual teacher, contributed all proceeds to Aulacese artists who had faded from people's memories. Nguyen Dinh Nghia was deeply touched by this humanitarian deed, and after reading Supreme Master Ching Hai's spiritual teachings, was filled with even greater admiration for this legendary lady.

     At the same time, he was pleasantly surprised to discover that Supreme Master Ching Hai had become an inspiration in his artistic life, enabling him to open up an entirely new musical realm on a level far beyond his previous attainments. He achieved major breakthroughs in his awareness and application of the sounds of various musical instruments. He was also greatly inspired in terms of musical creativity, which elevated his performance and composition skills to a spiritual realm of unique beauty. Hence, Nguyen Dinh Nghia especially planned this musical event to express his reverence and appreciation for Supreme Master Ching Hai.

     This grand gathering featured 25 world-renowned composers and singers, including "the Beethoven of Au Lac," Pham Duy; American New Age musician David Arkenstone; singer Dalena, who performed in Phantom of the Opera; and many other celebrated singers, movie stars, composers and lyricists.

     An exhibition of Supreme Master Ching Hai's artistic creations was held in the lobby of the Constitution Hall before and during the concert. The exhibition featured paintings and poems written in new lively styles, fabulous and superbly designed Celestial Jewelry, and dozens of gorgeous Celestial Clothes. Visitors to the exhibition were full of praise for Supreme Master Ching Hai’s all embracing and outstanding artistic talents.
"A Journey through Aesthetic Realms" was an artistic feast presented by a galaxy of distinguished talents and brilliant stars. Rich and colorful in content, the evening's performance reached climax after climax over a seven-hour-long period that kept the audience captivated till it’s the very end.

     The stage was decorated with exquisite images of classical Greek angels and graceful Eastern flying apsaras. This, plus the wonderful and ever-changing stage lighting and stereo sound effects, and a giant video screen on either side of the stage that projected the performance live, added to the audience's enjoyment of the show.

     The show opened with a touching address by Mr. Pham Duy, followed by a performance by twelve little angels dancing in lively and ingenious steps choreographed to the tune of "My Love," composed by Supreme Master Ching Hai. The curtain on "A Journey through Aesthetic Realms" was thus raised in a bright and joyful atmosphere.

     The next performer to come on stage was Dalena, who sang the song "I Will Forever Love You," lyrics and music by Supreme Master Ching Hai. Her clear and melodious voice expressive of deep feelings relayed God's love for all, tugging the heartstrings of the audience. It was at this point that a spiritual and musical journey unfolded for all those present.

     When New Age composer David Arkenstone presented his most recent work, his fresh and fluid melodies led the audience into his dreamlike musical stories. The atmosphere of warmth and spiritual elevation flowing between the audience and performers struck a chord deep down in David Arkenstone's heart, so that he spontaneously played four additional tunes, one of which was especially dedicated to Supreme Master Ching Hai. His performance was as natural as that of a newborn baby. He repeatedly expressed that he felt highly honored to be able to take part in this concert. Down with a heavy flu, he had originally planned to leave right after his performance. But he enjoyed the harmonious and uplifting atmosphere so much that he stayed to watch the program till the very end and then joined the other performers on stage in a farewell tribute.

     About halfway through the concert, Director of American Veterans & National Coalition of Homeless Veterans Mark Katz accepted a contribution of US$100,000 from Supreme Master Ching Hai on behalf of Mr. Terry Anderson, chairman of the Au Lac Children’s Fund. World-famous movie star Ms. Kieu Chinh, chairwoman of the Fund, went on stage with him. The contribution will be used to build 40 schools in Au Lac over the next ten years.

     Supreme Master Ching Hai also presented another US$100,000 to Mr. Jim Delgado, director of Volunteer Services and acting secretary of the General Office, Department of Veterans Affairs, to help low-income American veterans. Supreme Master Ching Hai observed that America had lost many sons and daughters in the Vietnam War, and nothing could compensate for their loss. She said she could only show her respect for them through this humble contribution and hoped that it would help heal the spiritual wounds inflicted on both nations by the Vietnam War. She thanked America for sacrificing her children for Au Lac, where Supreme Master Ching Hai Herself was born. Supreme Master Ching Hai’s magnanimous act of universal love carried an exceptionally profound and everlasting significance in the promotion of world peace.

     Two short films were shown during the concert. One was a documentary on the life of Supreme Master Ching Hai, montaged and produced by Joseph Hieu, a Hollywood actor, producer and director. For Mr. Hieu, this short documentary was far more difficult to produce than a two-hour motion picture. It was the best and most difficult work of his career, he said, and he was very honored to be able to produce a film introducing Supreme Master Ching Hai’s life to the world.

     The second video was a documentary film about Supreme Master Ching Hai’s charitable and humanitarian efforts since 1988 in providing disaster relief to various parts of the world. For years, Supreme Master Ching Hai and members of Her International Association have engaged in helping the world's suffering people, including refugees in various countries, victims of natural disasters such as famines, floods, fires, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, as well as senior citizens without relatives or friends, families in poverty, homeless people, and inmates.

     Supreme Master Ching Hai has also been globetrotting to bring God's love and light to less fortunate souls in every corner of the world. The films left the entire audience deeply moved by Her benevolence. Many men shed tears. As compassion and concern for the world’s suffering people overflowed in the hearts of those present, the people also became more respectful toward Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her noble love and deeds. Ms. Allison Clark, a stenographer who worked on the English caption that night, said in all sincerity: "I had never known or heard of Supreme Master Ching Hai before tonight, but I will never forget Her. She is a saint."

     A three-time recipient of the National Billboard Song Award, the distinguished Aulacese-American songwriter Mr. Le Quang Anh, had long been touched by Supreme Master Ching Hai’s selfless deeds to save the world and Her utmost efforts to elevate the level of human consciousness. Thus he wrote a song titled “Supreme Master Ching Hai” especially for Her. Supreme Master Ching Hai's great efforts spoke of Her world vision, Mr. Le Quang Anh said, which was why he wrote the lyrics in English so that the whole world could understand and learn this song. He also invited Tom Mahieu, a famous American singer, to sing the song at the concert.

     During his performance, Mr. Mahieu said that he had never met Supreme Master Ching Hai before. However, when he was singing the song, his heart was so deeply touched that he ended up singing it twice and invited the audience to sing along with him. Instantly, the Hall resounded with sincere singing; everyone was united as one, and the atmosphere of the moment was truly touching.

     An internationally renowned singer, the Grand Prix du Disque award recipient Bach Yen, and her husband musician Tran Quang Hai, along with Jean Louis Beydon, a famous French pianist and director of the Academy of Music in Vanves, France, specially flew from Paris to perform in the concert. Bach Yen sang many songs in excellent French, English, Spanish and Aulacese. With a rich voice full of passion and outstanding vocal techniques, Bach Yen sang to Beydon’s superb piano accompaniment, intoxicating the entire audience. She herself was also deeply immersed in her own performance, repeatedly performing additional songs and dedicating them to Supreme Master Ching Hai. Using his magical vocal skills, Mr. Tran Quang Hai, Bach Yen’s husband, gave a remarkable performance.

     Other programs included traditional Aulacese folk songs and dances, and various melodies composed from Supreme Master Ching Hai's love poems. These exquisite and profound, romantic yet spiritually elevating songs were like nectar nourishing the souls of all those present, who yearned for Truth, Love and Beauty. Among these wasthe duet "Go! Go! Go!" sung by Dalena and Henry Chuc. Its lucid and lively rhythm was full of power and grandeur, holding an everlasting appeal that seemed to lead one into the future.

     The performance by Nguyen Dinh Nghia and his family brought the night's concert to its ultimate climax, which had an overwhelming effect on the audience. The musicians played a number of tribal instruments including the Au Lac bamboo flute, the Hmong flute, the rarely heard or seen dan trung, and the monochord dan bau, whose origin dates back to the seventh century. Nguyen Dinh Nghia found that after he came to know Supreme Master Ching Hai, his musical attainment had risen to a greater height as he created meditative music of a unique style.

     On the night of the concert, he and his grown children first performed in public "Rainbow and Waterfall," "Clouds Adrift," "Words of the River," and "Chanting from the Heavens." Their music guided audience members from dreamlike lives of transmigration into an awakening of consciousness, leading to the longing for enlightenment and the truth about the cosmos and human life.
The stage lights, with their constantly changing patterns and colors, created a miraculous theatrical effect. The ingenious harmony of the magical instruments played by these great artists gradually led the audience into a vast and transcendent, strange yet familiar state of consciousness.

     Each and every sound of the drums, bells, flutes, vertical bamboo flutes, thunder, and ocean tides reverberated in the ears of the audience, as if to awaken all sentient beings to attentively listen to the long separated music from our heavenly homeland.When "Chanting from the Heavens" was played to the tune of the "Amitaba Infinite Light Chant," the entire audience spontaneously joined in the chorus. An extremely intense vibration was clearly felt in the air; people's consciousness was also uplifted to a pure, holy and sublime state. The concert hall transcended the physical level into an ocean of love.

     Supreme Master Ching Hai closed Her eyes and joined in the chanting, and many members of the audience were moved to tears. At that very moment, one truly felt the great harmony of the world, and the union of God and humanity. It was indeed a scene of Heaven on Earth. With all the heavenly sounds resounding in unison, all of creation was reunited. "A Journey through Aesthetic Realms" reached its highest point with a gently descending curtain.

     Nguyen Dinh Nghia then cordially invited Supreme Master Ching Hai and all the performers to come on stage. The musician presented Supreme Master Ching Hai with a miniature dan trung, the only one of its kind in the world, which he had specifically made for Supreme Master Ching Hai to express his respect and gratitude for Her. Supreme Master Ching Hai presented flowers to all the performing artists, and thanked them for their enthusiasm and superb performances. All of the performers said that they were honored to be able to join this grand gathering and acknowledged that this program was the best and most significant that they had ever attended.

     The exuberant audience stepped out of the concert hall rejoicing, as if they were still immersed in the heavenly sounds resounding in their ears – a true experience of the reunion of music and spirit. The Truth, Virtue and Beauty of the Kingdom of God had elevated everyone's soul back to its heavenly homeland. (Excerpted from Supreme Master Ching Hai News Magazine #89)

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