The story of the first Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama in India, has been told and retold for over 2,000 years.
Some followers, devotees, and even scholars may have been inclined to rewrite and retell these stories as best they could or as best they could remember. Richard Del Connor stumbled into Buddhism while studying Shaolin Kung Fu in 1980. The more he read and discovered–the more impressed he became. For the Masters of Kung Fu featured article about him, Richard stated, “When I discovered what Buddhist was, I realized I was already a Buddhist.”
While a student in the UCLA motion picture program from 1984 to 1987, Richard would purchase books from the UCLA book store. He visited the UCLA library. He purchased books mail order. And he discovered the roots of Shaolin Kung Fu to be the Original Zen Buddhism of China. Actually, it’s Chan Buddhism, but the Japanese call it “Zen.”
He began teaching Shaolin Kung Fu and included some Buddhism in his classes. He felt a responsibility as a teacher to provide more for his students and so he studied Buddhism more. He also taught Tai Chi Chuan which led him into Taoism to understand its origins.
While at UCLA he discovered The Art of War by Sun Tzu and wrote his own book of “Strategy,” for his newly created independent record label, Shaolin Records, which he staffed with interns from an advertisement he posted in the Los Angeles “Music Connection Magazine.” The ad for interns stated: “Free Kung Fu lessons for Shaolin Records interns.”
In 1994 Richard met Chief Richard Sparrow Eagle. The Chief said he had been expecting to meet Richard, he’d had visions of him. Over the next few years Chief Sparrow Eagle revealed other visions he’d had of Richard including, “Continue to pursue your Buddhism. I’ve seen that this is your path. You may use the Pipe Ceremony Teachings I have shared with you. You may perform rituals and ceremonies but you cannot create another Pipe Carrier because you are not born Lakota. I’ve seen that Buddhism is your future.” These were especially strange words to hear since Richard had never even discussed his Buddhism with the Chief. Chief Sparrow Eagle was the last disciple (“Medicine Man”) to be trained by the Elder Fool’s Crow of the Lakota Sioux. This made Richard Del Connor also a disciple of Fool’s Crow.
In 2007 Richard began studying Freemasonry and Confucianism. He wrote a four book series to be studied and applied to one’s life over a 4-year period, Human Values for Success in Family and Business.
Having been a Mr. Mom since 1991, his family disbanded and Richard Del Connor produced the 4th American Zen album, LEVEL 4 = Kung Fu Cowboy PART 1: King Solomon’s Temple. This rock opera musical memoir of his life became a spiritual parallel of King Solomon building his temple in Jerusalem.
Throughout this spiritual journey Richard continued to study Buddhism and referred to himself as a “Buddhist Scientist” as he “noticed the effects of applying Buddhism to people’s lives.” He rehabilitated criminals, cured drug addictions and many physical and emotional problems of his students. The 22 years of raising his children as Buddhists also was an enriching experience as he realized the techniques of making people smarter as he homeschooled his children.
In 2021 Richard Del Connor decided to create something unlike anything he’d created before. He’d created 18 rock operas, written a dozen screenplays, designed three Shaolin Kung Fu curriculums for three different martial art systems he is the founder of, and has written a dozen books of poetry and a few books of fiction that he started transforming into audiobooks in late 2020. But to put all of these into ONE PROJECT? He was excited for the challenge.
Buddha, A Rock Opera Audiobook is the culmination of a life of spiritual discovery and loving appreciation of life. Richard decided that he would try to create ONE PROJECT that could bring together all his skills, talents, and enlightenment into an entertainment product, that would make people smarter.
Richard won’t say if this book is visions or creativity. His life has always been a mixture of the two, so he’s willing to take credit for the amazing creativity of this story, but doesn’t always know where the information came from… probably just contemplative meditation… and a unique genius.
Buddha, A Rock Opera Audiobook isn’t meant to be factual, even if it is. Richard Del Connor is the only author of this book, this music, this poetry, and this perspective of the life of Buddha. Perhaps it is accidentally true. That is his name: in 1993 Richard Del Connor was given the Chinese name, Zhen Shen-Lang “Spirit Wolf of Truth.”
PRE-RELEASE reservations from July 4, 2021 to April 7, 2022 are discounted to $18.88 (will be $24.88 on April 8, 2022 thereafter).