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Old 07-17-2012, 09:08 AM   #1
mincarlie.frymyer

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Default Why do we do chanting?
I have done chanting for two weeks now. I chant becos I felt it is time I chant. I do not know why but I just stop resisting it and just chant.

So I am chanting becos I feel it is time but not becos of the main reason. So I am chanting blindly without a right understanding.

Will guys be kind enough to tell me the reason of chants and what sort of understanding you guys have for chanting?

Peace be with all of you.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
huerta

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I have done chanting for two weeks now. I chant becos I felt it is time I chant. I do not know why but I just stop resisting it and just chant.

So I am chanting becos I feel it is time but not becos of the main reason. So I am chanting blindly without a right understanding.

Will guys be kind enough to tell me the reason of chants and what sort of understanding you guys have for chanting?

Peace be with all of you.
Hi xenusfreeman,

Chanting can help to settle one's mind. It can be used as a reminder of the daily practice one needs to do and/or used for devotional purposes.

In general there are various different types of chanting, depending on the tradition of Buddhism one is following.

Could tell us exactly what it is that you are chanting, please - and if you are doing it in English or not -and then it will be easier to comment.


with kind wishes

Aloka
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:46 AM   #3
ExelePlavisseu

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Howdy,
I was a bit weary about participating in chants, as I didn't know much about them. Luckily my Centre offered a 6 week course on the subject. I find chanting helps to cut through discursive thought, rouse confidence and energy, and set an intention. At home I only chant the Shambhalian Proclamation of Goodness chant at the start of my practice, and I end with dedicating the merit. I also usually attend Sadhana of Mahamudra twice a month. Other more experienced practitioners are more than welcome to correct me if I'm incorrect.
M
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #4
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Wow...
What kinda chant...

I chant in Pali in those two weeks... Sorry, it is not two weeks but three weeks...
I think it is Theravada teaching. We usually chant Salutation to the Buddha, Salutation to the Triple Jem, The five principles, the Discourse of Loving Kindness(I remember it was three weeks becos I didn't chant this for two weeks and kinda miss it), Blessings (I didn't know the full name for it) and well others. All of them are chanted in Pali that is part of the reason why I don't know the reason for chanting but it felt right so I chant. The real reason why these group of people chant becos they wanted their tone to be in sync with each other so that it sound beautiful and nice. Very weird reason but I am grateful anyhow since I get to learn chanting. At least now I know why we chant and now I go there for a different reason thanks to you Aloka-D. Thank you very much.

However, they do have English interpretation its just I didn't bother to read it since it was chanted in Pali which pronouncing Pali properly seems to be more important during those few weeks. Of course these group never force people to do it and did not actually influence me in doing it so I actually don't see anything bad in them so I join them.

This group is relatively and they usually meet in one of the members home to chant. Recently or after the first week that I have join them, they start to meet in a meditation center which they were invited many times but they never go since they didn't know who was going to open the door for them.

I guess I am drawn to chanting becos I feel it is time and not drawn to it becos I understand why we should chant. Thank you again Aloka-D for clarifying it.

I didn't know I can chant in English? But I should have expected it since others do chant in Mandarin.

SwamiMike, I love chanting Discourse of Loving Kindness. I don't know why but I really love it. Maybe somebody take the time to explain to me the reason they chant it. According to one of the members who were in charge, Discourse of Loving Kindness came into being when some Bhikku was finding it hard to concentrate in meditation becos of the disturbance from the supernatural. So some Bhikku came back and ask Buddha how to over come it and Buddha taught these chants. I find this chant especially pleasing but maybe it can be an influence by the story or maybe it really do work, I don't know. What I do know is I find peace whenever I chant it and I can sleep wonderfully after I chant it.

Peace be with all of you.
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
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I love chanting Discourse of Loving Kindness. I don't know why but I really love it. Maybe somebody take the time to explain to me the reason they chant it.
The Kananiya Metta Sutta is chanted to remember the Buddha's words about loving-kindness and also for the benefit of self and others as we say the words ourselves, generating goodwill and loving-kindness towards all beings.

More about the Metta sutta here:


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/a.../wheel365.html
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:30 PM   #6
Machater

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The Chant of Metta
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Hello xenusfreeman,

Some time ago, when I was a Soto Zen practitioner we used to chant the whole Genjo Koan and the Sandokai in Japanese language and even when at the very beginning of doing this I didn't understand what was I chanting, the feeling of something beautiful was there. The phrases that were sung made the mind and the whole environment a peaceful place in order to start meditation.

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Old 07-19-2012, 01:33 PM   #8
RastusuadegeFrimoum

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Thanks Aloka-D for the links...
I will check out Metta The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love...

But I think I will watch or listen to the video somewhere more private... I am in the office right now and if I were to listen now then I might shock somebody here.... LOL

Hey Esho,

Wow Japanese... Hmmm, I am about to join Soka Gakkai International Dhamma discussion tomorrow so I best be ready to accept that some of the things that I chant in Pali as well as known in Pali like dhamma or sangha will most definitely be translated into Japanese. I am joining their discussion but not joining their group however since I am free tomorrow and there was no chanting session in Pali.

I hate to miss it. I don't know why but I really like it. I check myself within to see if there is attachment to it but seems to find nothing but the feeling of "Yes, I should do it. There is no wrong in chanting so there is no fear to be in the wrong."

Now even Japanese has their own Buddhism chanting in their own language. I wonder when we have a westerner Buddhism chanting in English. . Well I will join becos at LEAST I understand what I am chanting and truly remind myself what I have forgotten in Buddhism that week.

Thanks again for sharing your story with me, Esho and thank you Aloka-D for giving me a deeper right understanding and the encouragement to go on. Thank you.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:35 PM   #9
infarrelisam

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Now even Japanese has their own Buddhism chanting in their own language. I wonder when we have a westerner Buddhism chanting in English. . Its not just Japanese, Tibetan Buddhists often chant in Tibetan. However, I think that the more Buddhism becomes firmly established in the west over a few generations, the more chanting there will be in English rather than in the cultural language of the origins of the different traditions. I think its already happening to some extent.
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:13 PM   #10
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Hey Esho,

Wow Japanese...
Yes. Many of the teachings in that particular school are supported in the cultural heritage of Japan. The ideograms were the base of many of the understandings we could reach during the teishos (spoken teachings).

It is similar to what happens here when Pali terms are clarified giving a better understanding to the teachings of Gotama Buddha enhancing the practice.

IMO, it is important also to 'feel' the sound and rhythm of the original language because it is the best way a message can be transmitted.

Many teishos were devoted just to a few ideograms of the Genjo Koan and the Sandokai in order to develop wisdom about Zen fundamental teachings.

There is no wrong in chanting so there is no fear to be in the wrong. Of course there is nothing wrong. It helps to prepare the mind for meditation.

Thanks again for sharing your story with me, Esho and thank you Aloka-D for giving me a deeper right understanding and the encouragement to go on. Thank you. You are welcome, xenusfreeman.

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Old 07-20-2012, 12:27 AM   #11
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I chant in Pali in those two weeks... Sorry, it is not two weeks but three weeks...
I think it is Theravada teaching. We usually chant Salutation to the Buddha, Salutation to the Triple Jem, The five principles, the Discourse of Loving Kindness(I remember it was three weeks becos I didn't chant this for two weeks and kinda miss it), Blessings (I didn't know the full name for it) and well others. All of them are chanted in Pali that is part of the reason why I don't know the reason for chanting but it felt right so I chant
Hello again xenusfreeman,

This is the Chanting book (Pali and English) used by Amaravati Theravada Forest Tradition Monastery in the UK :

http://www.amaravati.org/documents/A..._Book_2006.pdf

MP3's of morning and evening chants:

http://mirror1.birken.ca/dhamma_talk...ing/index.html
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:02 AM   #12
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Thank you again Aloka-D.

Wow, I got a lot of homework and I best start doing it. LOL.
Who is my teacher? Great Lord Buddha who usually keep silence but by just a glance from him will awesomely make me feel bad if I were to forget practice something in his teaching. LOL.

Dear Esho and Aloka-D,

I wonder though, if Mahayana were to spread more widely in the west, who will be the Bodhisattvas. Whose statue will be up in the west. In the east, we have Lord Ashoka for India, Goddess of Mercy for China and many others. I wonder who will be given the honor to have his or her statue put up... Just a thought though.

Oh well, I will be practicing all this.

Peace be with all of you.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:21 AM   #13
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I wonder though, if Mahayana were to spread more widely in the west, who will be the Bodhisattvas. Whose statue will be up in the west.....
I think that would be the subject of a completely different thread to "Why do we do chanting."

One topic at a time, please xenus !

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Old 07-21-2012, 08:29 AM   #14
ClorrerVeks

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Yes, it is a completely different thread... Sorry...

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Old 07-23-2012, 07:59 AM   #15
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in the tradition that i practice chanting is done by the teacher to create an environment full of metta for the students to practice. the students are not supposed to take part in the chanting. when students have reached levels they can be taught to chant. students are not forbidden to take part in chanting outside of course environments.
jason
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:10 AM   #16
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Huh??

So how is a student deemed worthy of chanting??? May I know what kind of levels are you referring to?

I thought we can chant whenever we like. Besides, there is so much resources about chanting out here that we basically just follow them and we know how to chant. I personally don't think we should stop someone from participating in chants unless that particular person think he or she is not ready.
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Old 07-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #17
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Hi xenus

Its possible that he might be referring to Goenka retreats - where I think maybe they play recordings of Goenka chanting.

I've never heard about reaching "levels" before one can chant.

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Old 07-23-2012, 01:53 PM   #18
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Hmmm...

I don't know about Goenka retreat or what Goenka means but its weird to not let a participant participate.
It is usually the participant who will not participate since the participant has some issue within that need to be address before acceptance arises in order to chant and not the other way around where people stop you from participating when you are already ready.

But I guess different retreats has different weird rules and I can't say much since I don't go to retreat but do most of my stuff at home like meditating. The center I attended and even the group I join look at me with a smile since I show up without any hesitation, bow, and even chant with them. They find it a big deal partly becos maybe they saw I was able to humble myself that much. They were grateful not becos of my presence but my willingness to participate with them.

So for a retreat to stop a willing participant is kinda weird felt for me.

I am not angry by the way but felt really weird to this kinda retreat.

Maybe some of you can clarify why we can't participate in chanting in Goenka retreat? Is there some rules that needs to be follow?

Peace be with you all.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:20 PM   #19
ONLINEPHARMACYCHEAPILLS

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Huh??

So how is a student deemed worthy of chanting??? May I know what kind of levels are you referring to?

I thought we can chant whenever we like. Besides, there is so much resources about chanting out here that we basically just follow them and we know how to chant. I personally don't think we should stop someone from participating in chants unless that particular person think he or she is not ready.
hey xenusfreeman,
aloka got it right, i was referring to retreat environments, goenka retreats are silent retreats, the environment is to create solitude for the meditator so they can penitrate deep inwardly. i'm not 100% but i believe chanting done by students could have an adverse effect bringing them to the surface in their meditation it could also disturb other students practicing in silence. the rules are for the benifit of all students not to supress them in any way. outside of the retreat environment there are no restrictions placed on students they are their own masters.
a student would never be deemed worthy of chanting, chanting is done specifically by the teachers.
there is a graduated process where students who have taken many courses and practiced for many years, these students and AT's are qualified to sit longer and more detailed courses, this may sound restrictive but in the environment it makes alot of sense as bringing sankharas to the surface and eradicating them takes time for most and attending a certain amount of short retreats before attending longer ones allows a meditator to clear the surface sankharas before going deeply on longer retreats to eradicate the deeper ones.
on these longer teacher retreats i believe chanting is taught.
hope this answers your questions.
jason
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:56 PM   #20
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Hi xenusfreeman

I do some Paili chanting too. I had some trouble at first as I didn't 'feel' the chants meaning as I am new to the Pali language. I subsequently found some chanting in Pali and English which has helped me a lot - link below:

http://feeds.amaravati.org/Amaravati...ook-EbookAudio

(these chants are in the same Theravada Thai Forest tradition as Aloka posted)

I can now really appreciate what I am chanting and get a lot of joy from practising them.
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