“Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world, the heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own. Wake now, discover that you are the song that the mornin’ brings, But the heart has its seasons, its evenin’s and songs of its own.” 

When I was, a young boy growing up in the suburbs of the Jersey shore, the background music in our neighborhood was often the classic albums of American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead by the Grateful Dead. I remember hanging around the older kids who were indeed at the crest of the hippie movement and enjoying the great sound and deep lyrics of the iconic San Francisco band. Young men were coming home from the Vietnam war at this time and some were in our circle of friends. The Dead appealed to me immediately with their classics such as “Uncle John’s Band” Sugar Magnolia, New speedway boogie and Box of Rain.

Music reaches into our souls when we hear it at a very young age and it stays with us as we get older.  Jerry Garcia and the band had allowed for tapping of their live shows in what would later turn out to be a stroke of marketing genius. By allowing fans to tape concerts the tapes now serve as a way to preserve the classic shows and keep the depth of their creativity alive and thriving for adoring fans like myself. Jerry’s selfless attitude was voiced as, “well once we are done with it, they (the fans) can do what they like with it”.  No band has the kind of following to this day 50 years later then the Grateful Dead.

When I dug into the concert archives, I realized the depth of the spiritualty of the Grateful Dead in a way that I would have never imagined. And with new technology such as iPod, it was easy to listen.

 For me, no song by the Dead resonates more with my soul and my spiritual journey than “EYES OF THE WORLD”. Here are a few more lyrics with another round of the chorus:

“There comes a redeemer, and he slowly too fades away, 

And there follows his wagon behind him that’s loaded with clay.
And the seeds that were silent all burst into bloom, and decay, 

and night comes so quiet, it’s close on the heels of the day. 

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world,
the heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own. 

Wake now, discover that you are the song that the mornin’ brings,
But the heart has its seasons, its evenin’s and songs of its own.”

The song is a form of ZEN.

Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia’s lyrics are absolutely a meditation in themselves.

Here are a few comments from the book , “The complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics”: 

 “You are the eyes of the world”

This is a beautiful translation of the noted Buddhist practitioner Longchenpa’s practical guide to the tantra (The Jewel Ship: A Guide to the Meaning of Pure and Total Presence, the Creative Energy of the Universe, byang chub kyi sems kun byed rgyal po’i don khrid din chen sgru bo) It was translated by Kennard Lipman and Merrill Peterson and published by Lotsawa of Novato, CA. The song itself obviously held importance for the folks involved in its production for part of Hunter’s lyrics are printed opposite the title page.

I actually tripped across the “book “in a mall bookstore by  one day 18 years ago and was amazed with what Hunter and Garcia’s lyrics were pointing to. What synchronicity!! If you love spiritual truth and Zen,  I think you will just love this transitionary Lipman and Peterson of Longchenpa’s “Jewel Ship” called “You are the Eyes of the World”. It’s an eye opener for living in the now.

Longchenpa instructs the reader how to experience pure presence. I always sense this reality when I listen to this amazing song.

According to Shambahla publications, “Renowned as a peerless teacher, practitioner, and scholar, Longchenpa thoroughly studied and mastered every one of the many Buddhist vehicles and lineages of teachings existing in Tibet at his time. Through his radiant intellect and meditative accomplishment, in both his teachings and written works, he was able to reconcile the seeming discrepancies and contradictions between the various presentations of the view and the path within the many lineages of transmission. His written works are also famous for being able to transfer true blessings just by reading or hearing his enlightened words”.

Longchen Rabjampa, Drimé Özer commonly abbreviated to Longchenpa (1308– 1364), was a major teacher in the Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism.

We all are in essence the eyes of the world. When you become aware of your own awareness, you are going inward and observing your mind rather than just reacting to your senses which are outside of you.

This is how we begin to awaken. It’s a very advanced spiritual practice of presence. That is what this song points to. The song also reminds us that the human heart is the  center of our existence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV4t1kRWb3w&list=RDbV4t1kRWb3w

I love the song so much that I got permission from the bands copyright attorneys to use the lyrics in the beginning and the end of my book “The Yoga of True Wealth”.

When you realize, you are the Eyes of the world, you are realizing the divinity within you living through you and actually living you in your entirety.

Here is a short example of the description of Zen by the magnificent Buddhist scholar, Longchempa:

“Here I have elucidated for the sake of future generations the meaning of the supreme way of life.This approach to life, which derives from spontaneously perfect universal creativity,is the way to directly experience the pure fact of awareness that is at the very heart of all experience. This approach is not a gradual process of self-development; with it you actually wake up to what is, right now. The goal of dzogchen is “the pure fact of awareness”- an inner awareness and self-knowledge that lead to a state of total completeness, which is intrinsic freedom. Dzogchen creates nothing anew but awakens us to what it calls our natural, i.e. uncontrived, state and allows the complete unfolding of self-knowledge and awareness. The path of dzogchen calls for us to recognize what we are right now, without fantasy or deception”

Longchempa – The jewel ship: A guide to the meaning of pure and total presence- Translation by Kennard Lipman and Merrill Peterson

“Sometimes we live no particular way but our own
And sometimes we visit your country and live in your home
Sometimes we ride on your horses, sometimes we walk alone
Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world,
the heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own. 

Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning’ brings,
But the heart has its seasons, its evening’s and songs of its own. 

May the peace of the precious present moment be with you.