Musical Dharma Story

Maureen Hall is an accomplished singer/songwriter and Dharma teacher. Growing up against the backdrop of 1960’s America in the south, her personal experiences drew her heart to champion the cause of racial harmony. During the 70’s and 80’s she played an active role as a civil rights activist using her music and her voice while participating regularly in marches across the country.  As someone who has been and continues to be involved in the evolution of this cause, she has a strong belief that these problems have not gone away but rather, “… have become more hidden, institutionalized and sinister. Our work is not yet finished.”

“The Dharma is desperately needed in our world at this time. Music can touch the heart in ways words alone could not. It is an honor to be in service to the Dharma through music.”  - Maureen Hall

Maureen’s introduction to Buddhism came in the form of a four day retreat in 2001, led by well-known Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield. Shortly after her experience with that retreat, she met Ginny Morgan (1948- 2011) of Columbia Missouri,the woman who would become her beloved teacher and friend. Ginny guided Maureen’s practice from 2002 until passing from complications related to breast cancer in 2011.  

Ginny served as Maureen’s mentor when she embarked on her Community Dharma Leader (CDL) training through Spirit Rock Meditation Center but transitioned before Maureen completed her training. Ginny recommended Venerable Pannavati who agreed to mentor her through the remainder of the CDL4 program. Maureen completed her training and received her meditation teaching certification in 2012 through the Community Dharma Leader Program.  

Maureen continues her training through the Dharmacharya Program  which is administered by Venerable Pannavati and Venerable Pannadipa of Embracing Simplicity Hermitage in Hendersonville NC.

Maureen has been teaching Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri since 2010. She also taught MBSR for the Center for Integrative Medicine, in Springfield Missouri in 2006 and 2008. (This program was offered for nurses and chaplains with continuing education credits for nurses.)

Maureen offers Dharma talks and daylong retreats. She integrates Dharma songs throughout the talks as a way of emphasizing the principles being presented. Maureen’s Dharma talks focus on the Four Bramaviharas, Mindfulness and Non-Dualism. She also teaches meditation classes one-on-one and currently serves as a mentor to three students.

Maureen and Richard (Bliss Hippy) travel with Venerable Pannavati as much as possible serving as the Venerable’s Dharma Troubadours, providing a musical compliment to the Venerable’s Dharma talks.

Bliss Hippy loves to perform their Dharma tunes, but in addition, they provide a delightful selection of inspirational tunes, irreverent pieces and dukka-oriented songs in a variety of secular venues that include coffee shops and public houses, wineries and universities as well as nursing homes and house concerts.

Richard’s songwriting is a unique blend of insightful observation, wacky wisdom and approachability.   His humorous but irrefutable “God’s For Everybody” from their CD Bliss with an Attitude is a shining example of his ability to turn a musical phrase.  Maureen’s style of songwriting is heartfelt, warm and often times filled with compassionate messages that uplift and encourage the listener, as exhibited in “Pour Out Your Love,” from their Buddha Face CD.  

Their repertoire includes a generous assortment of original folk, pop and blues pieces combined with an occasional sprinkling of their own musical interpretations of songs from spiritual teachers such as  Eve Decker, Krishna Das, Kirtana and others.