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Switch to Forum Live View Gate, Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bohdi Satva
6 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2008 - 11:25AM #21
nnn123
Posts: 1,536
what I was taught is that meditation, in a sense, is a purer and more direct experience than chanting.  Of course, that is generally, because any spiritual discipline can make one elevated...and, I think, many spiritual disciplines can rise and rise and rise...to the point that they transcend any limitation or form.

But, generally, meditation is a bit purer and more direct.

So, if one finds oneself in meditation, then what I was told is that it is best to stay in that form, without adding chanting (out loud or silently).

However, if the meditation starts to fade and ebb and you feel you want to continue, at that time adding some chanting might be wise.

And, of course, chanting can be an excellent "warm-up" prior to meditation (as well as a proper spiritual exercise in and of itself)..

here's an interesting link:

Buddhist chants

http://www.buddhanet.net/audio-chant.htm


gassho,

Jon
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2008 - 12:04PM #22
ArizumaBrett
Posts: 5
THis old dharma bum has practiced Zazen with the SOTO Zen folks and I admit that the question of chanting "gate gate, paragate, parasamgate...." sometimes came to mind. I might yet try it... ;*)

At the time I also taught Yoga with the Integral Yoga Institute folks and we often chanted prayers and Satsang and I always felt that the 2 practices were mutually supportive, though at the time the Buddhists were suspicious of the yogi in their midst and the Yogis were suspicious of the Zen Buddhist in their midst. Years later I found practitioners from both groups were practicing with the Vajrayana Buddhist group under Trungpa Rimpoche. Then they were suspicious of me because I also was practicing with the Muslim Sufis. HA HA HA HA HO!


When i practiced with the Kagyu folks in Colorado (RMDC)  I was once reprimanded during  a dathun (28 day group retreat) for chanting OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM (the "Guru Rimpoche" Mantra) during the breaks as I walked back to my hut. (whoopsie! Bad boy!) this struck me as terrifically funny so I wound up laughing out loud so hard that I discovered the main mantra of my practice at the time: "HA HA HA HA HO!!!" (which I found out years later is actually part of the "100 syllable Vajrasatva Mantra" in the practice of the Nyingmapas ("Ancient School" Vajrayana)

Often the Indian Yogis recommend the mantra SO-HAM (pron. SO-HUM) when following the breath. I found this is to much be gentler/nicer than counting breaths or exhalations.

When I was with the Sufis of West Africa they would have huge gatherings (100's of thousands) and chant the names of ALLAH all night. This was a powerful practice, as was sitting in a circle with the Naksbandi Sufis of Pakistan enjoying the same practice.

Since then I have received transmision from the Nyingmapa Nagpas (shaman yogis) of Tibet.
So from within the confines of my own home (a kind of semi-retreat) I chant out loud and in repeat in silence the mantra of my yidam while visualizing the specific form of the deity... I notice that after a few hours or so of this I sometimes drop off into a full-some silence of mind, sometimes accompanied by some dream-like manifestations... I rather like this practice...

So in this case repeating OM DZAMBHALA DZALENTRAYE SOHA over and over seems to lead eventually to GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA.

These days I chant My Nyingmapa prayers (7 line prayer of Guru Rimpoche, several deity prayers and my yidam mantra.) I also seem to be drawn to the Shaiva mantras and prayers that come from India. In fact I have discovered strong links beteen Shavism, Buddhism, and Sufism though there's no need to discuss that here.

Good luck! Don't be afraid to try new things! Avoid rigid practices and forms! Find your own way! Try repeating the GATE GATE mantra over and over and SEE WHAT HAPPENS! Go out on a limb and saw the branch off, Try it!
Yours in the Dharma, Uncle Brett
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2008 - 4:57PM #23
rinbosha
Posts: 2
there are as many rafts as there are stream-enterers. Especially in the esoteric schools, chanting (indeed, any activity, but here, chanting) is seen as a form of meditation in and of itself. Meditation doesn't have to be silent. For some, the silent way works. For others, myself among them, I get very little from solitary, silent meditation except a sore seat. On the other hand, when chanting, the self disappears in the chanting, until there is nothing left. In short, chanting-as-meditation is more useful in terms of my Buddhist practice than the standard silent meditation.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2008 - 3:53PM #24
buyanbodhi
Posts: 4
As a Taoist and Tibetan Buddhist, I believe that one may chant DURING meditation, but that chanting per se is not meditation. For myself, I use chanting as a gateway into meditation. Or I use chanting as a way to prepare myself for meditation. The great bright mantra from the Prajna Paramita:gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha; works best for me for that. Sometimes when I find myself drifting asleep or away from concentration during meditation, I'll use an appropriate mantra and chant for a few minutes. For example, if I am contemplatiing the mystery of the all, I'll use the last two lines of the first paragraph of the Tao Te Ching: xian zhi you men, zhong miao  zhi men (darkness within darkness, light with light; the spiral dance of energy, the gateway to mystery-my translation).  I use the Tao Te Ching as my mainstay, along with the Gayatri mantra and Tibetan mantras. But my main meditation is silent when I'm sitting before my altar (when my health permits).
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2008 - 3:53PM #25
buyanbodhi
Posts: 4
As a Taoist and Tibetan Buddhist, I believe that one may chant DURING meditation, but that chanting per se is not meditation. For myself, I use chanting as a gateway into meditation. Or I use chanting as a way to prepare myself for meditation. The great bright mantra from the Prajna Paramita:gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha; works best for me for that. Sometimes when I find myself drifting asleep or away from concentration during meditation, I'll use an appropriate mantra and chant for a few minutes. For example, if I am contemplatiing the mystery of the all, I'll use the last two lines of the first paragraph of the Tao Te Ching: xian zhi you men, zhong miao  zhi men (darkness within darkness, light with light; the spiral dance of energy, the gateway to mystery-my translation).  I use the Tao Te Ching as my mainstay, along with the Gayatri mantra and Tibetan mantras. But my main meditation is silent when I'm sitting before my altar (when my health permits).
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2008 - 9:21PM #26
buddhist_observer
Posts: 1
Yes.  In Dzogchen practice, it is normal to open and close with chanting.  It is quite beneficial in a variety of ways -- the repetitious sounds and breathing help focus and energize the meditation.
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