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Brahma Viharas (2007) for multiple saxophones and piano

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The Brahma Viharas, or Heavenly Abode, are four meditations proposed by the Buddha that aim at letting go of all undesirable traits of the mind such as hate, prejudice, apathy, desire, and jealously. Once the negative traits are uprooted, there is room for positive traits to be cultivated such as love, kindness, compassion, equanimity, and joy. The four meditations are as follows:

In Loving Kindness , one focuses on the development of good-will toward all human beings, …to counteract hate and prejudice.

In Compassion, one focuses on those who suffer, …to counteract apathy.

In Equanimity, one focuses on accepting both the world and the self as they are, …to counteract desire.

In Sharing-Joy, one focuses on a person or creature that is in a good place and literally shares their joy, …to counteract jealousy.

This piece was written at Bowling Green State University under the direction of Dr. Marilyn Shrude. It is dedicated to and was premiered by my good friend, Jeff Heisler.

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