Mantras: Songs from Naomi – SSSSAA, 9'

Potter’s Clay
From the album, I Want to Live, The Crossing, Innova Records, 2013.

  1. [in progress]
  2. Echoes (2010)
  3. Potter’s Clay (2007)

Texts by Naomi C. Rose from Pema’s Goodnight and Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas.


Premiered 2010 by the Crossing Choir, Donald Nally, conductor.

The poetry of “Echoes” is from Naomi Rose's children's book on Tibetan themes, Pema's Goodnight. The poem aligns nature's transformation at nightfall with the echoing of the famous mantra from the “Heart Sutra,” gaté gaté paragaté parasamgaté bhodi svaha. In chanting this mantra, a practitioner explores emptiness as the gateway to compassion; the literal translation is: gone gone, beyond gone, beyond completely gone, awakened, so be it! This piece was inspired by The Crossing's warmth, artistry, and otherworldly sound; it is offered as a gift.

Snow peaks turn golden.
Fragrant petals.
The crimson skies
melt into night.
Silver stars
and sailing moon.
Echoes of a chanting tune.
Gaté gaté paragaté parasamgaté bhodi svaha.

score excerpt

Potter’s Clay

“Commissioned for their 10th Anniversary Season by the Milwaukee Choral Artists, Sharon A. Hansen, Conductor." Published by Santa Barbara Music Publishing. Premiered 2/8/08 by the commissioning ensemble at Elmbrook Chapel, Brookfield, WI.

This poem is found in Naomi’s award-winning children's book, Tibetan Tales for Little Buddhas, with a foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Throughout the story, Naomi weaves a mantra from the Buddhist tradition, "Om mani padmé hum." This mantra is spoken to Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion, who vowed to hear the prayers of all sentient beings and postpone his own enlightenment until every being on earth achieved nirvana. In some renderings of Avalokitesvara's story, Amitabha Buddha endows him with 11 heads and 1,000 arms, so he may better hear and assist those who suffer. His mantra, "Om mani padmé hum,” manifests compassion, good fortune, and purifies negative karma.

[Om mani padmé hum]

Life is like a potter’s clay
changing shape from day to day.
As stars sparkle in the sky
light and dark go quickly by.
What’s the future, no one knows
So be at peace with how life goes.

score excerpt