Author Topic: A little confused  (Read 1250 times)

Offline Scaryfeet

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A little confused
« on: June 25, 2014, 05:36:05 pm »
Hello everyone

I am new here, and quite new to Buddhism. I have read several books, including some of those recommended on this forum for beginners and have a basic understanding. I am still unsure how to meditate properly because there's so much information available, and so many names for different things I feel a little lost, to be honest.

I see people talking about chants, and having their own chant given to them. How does this work?

I also see people mention the names of many different teachers, I'm unsure about this too. Do people usually pick a teacher to follow? And if so, how do you find one? I don't have the means to physically go to a monastery right now and so am restricted to learning myself for now.

Thank you for any advice offered

Jo


Offline NepalianBuddhist

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 05:55:11 pm »
Start by downloading a Buddhist chant .wav and learning how to Hum the Mantra
Start by being a listener to the class
Its a daily lifestyle not attainment or endeavors


Offline Dharmakara

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 08:27:59 pm »
When it comes to chants, it really depends on the branch of Buddhism being practice --- for example, in Theravada tradition, this would be a good place to start:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pali_chant.htm


but from within the various Mahayana traditions you'll find a greater variety, such as with the Plum Village Chant Book:

http://plumvillage.org/


then there's the Nichiren and the receiving of the Gohonzon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohonzon_(Nichiren_Buddhism)


as well as the recitation of Buddha name in Pure Land Buddhism:

http://www.amitabha-gallery.org/plchant.htm


I know, so many chants and so little time :)

The first thing you should do is select the tradition that resonates with you best and then follow the chanting style and pattern of that tradition.

As for finding a teacher, it's pretty much the same, where you need to select the teacher who's words resonate with you best --- if there is actually an exception to this it would be the Ch'an tradition, where it's said that the teacher will appear when the student is ready.

Whatever you do, as a beginner you do not want to mix and match traditions --- a smorgasbord might sound tasty and appealing, but it's a quick way to get a good case of indigestion.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 08:30:04 pm by Dharmakara »

Offline Awakened_Angel

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2014, 08:36:26 pm »
When it comes to chants, it really depends on the branch of Buddhism being practice --- for example, in Theravada tradition, this would be a good place to start:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pali_chant.htm


but from within the various Mahayana traditions you'll find a greater variety, such as with the Plum Village Chant Book:

http://plumvillage.org/


then there's the Nichiren and the receiving of the Gohonzon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohonzon_(Nichiren_Buddhism)


as well as the recitation of Buddha name in Pure Land Buddhism:

http://www.amitabha-gallery.org/plchant.htm


I know, so many chants and so little time :)

The first thing you should do is select the tradition that resonates with you best and then follow the chanting style and pattern of that tradition.

As for finding a teacher, it's pretty much the same, where you need to select the teacher who's words resonate with you best --- if there is actually an exception to this it would be the Ch'an tradition, where it's said that the teacher will appear when the student is ready.

Whatever you do, as a beginner you do not want to mix and match traditions --- a smorgasbord might sound tasty and appealing, but it's a quick way to get a good case of indigestion.


Back to basic most basic of all....

Does Chanting really help or what purpose does it serve?

e.g. chanting is a ritual, in 10 fetters, the third "ritual" falls in this category. as I see, chanting etc, is a form of cultural practise that we carry on as buddhist. 

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2014, 08:46:53 pm »
This is actually a never ending debate, where the answers will vary depending on who you ask --- on one hand there is no doubt that chanting in fact can condition the mind, helping the person internalize the Dharma in their thought process, daily life, ect., but on the other hand there's no mistaking the fact that the Buddha appears to have resisted ritualism.

Personally, I believe that taking a middle ground is more effective than going to one extreme or the other.

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2014, 10:48:46 pm »
When it comes to chants, it really depends on the branch of Buddhism being practice --- for example, in Theravada tradition, this would be a good place to start:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pali_chant.htm


but from within the various Mahayana traditions you'll find a greater variety, such as with the Plum Village Chant Book:

http://plumvillage.org/


then there's the Nichiren and the receiving of the Gohonzon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohonzon_(Nichiren_Buddhism)


as well as the recitation of Buddha name in Pure Land Buddhism:

http://www.amitabha-gallery.org/plchant.htm


I know, so many chants and so little time :)

The first thing you should do is select the tradition that resonates with you best and then follow the chanting style and pattern of that tradition.

As for finding a teacher, it's pretty much the same, where you need to select the teacher who's words resonate with you best --- if there is actually an exception to this it would be the Ch'an tradition, where it's said that the teacher will appear when the student is ready.

Whatever you do, as a beginner you do not want to mix and match traditions --- a smorgasbord might sound tasty and appealing, but it's a quick way to get a good case of indigestion.


Back to basic most basic of all....

Does Chanting really help or what purpose does it serve?

e.g. chanting is a ritual, in 10 fetters, the third "ritual" falls in this category. as I see, chanting etc, is a form of cultural practise that we carry on as buddhist.


Is meditation a ritual?

Do you do Anapanasati meditation?
Do you consider
When it comes to chants, it really depends on the branch of Buddhism being practice --- for example, in Theravada tradition, this would be a good place to start:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pali_chant.htm


but from within the various Mahayana traditions you'll find a greater variety, such as with the Plum Village Chant Book:

http://plumvillage.org/


then there's the Nichiren and the receiving of the Gohonzon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohonzon_(Nichiren_Buddhism)


as well as the recitation of Buddha name in Pure Land Buddhism:

http://www.amitabha-gallery.org/plchant.htm


I know, so many chants and so little time :)

The first thing you should do is select the tradition that resonates with you best and then follow the chanting style and pattern of that tradition.

As for finding a teacher, it's pretty much the same, where you need to select the teacher who's words resonate with you best --- if there is actually an exception to this it would be the Ch'an tradition, where it's said that the teacher will appear when the student is ready.

Whatever you do, as a beginner you do not want to mix and match traditions --- a smorgasbord might sound tasty and appealing, but it's a quick way to get a good case of indigestion.


Back to basic most basic of all....

Does Chanting really help or what purpose does it serve?

e.g. chanting is a ritual, in 10 fetters, the third "ritual" falls in this category. as I see, chanting etc, is a form of cultural practise that we carry on as buddhist.


Is meditation a ritual?

you must consider
When it comes to chants, it really depends on the branch of Buddhism being practice --- for example, in Theravada tradition, this would be a good place to start:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pali_chant.htm


but from within the various Mahayana traditions you'll find a greater variety, such as with the Plum Village Chant Book:

http://plumvillage.org/


then there's the Nichiren and the receiving of the Gohonzon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohonzon_(Nichiren_Buddhism)


as well as the recitation of Buddha name in Pure Land Buddhism:

http://www.amitabha-gallery.org/plchant.htm


I know, so many chants and so little time :)

The first thing you should do is select the tradition that resonates with you best and then follow the chanting style and pattern of that tradition.

As for finding a teacher, it's pretty much the same, where you need to select the teacher who's words resonate with you best --- if there is actually an exception to this it would be the Ch'an tradition, where it's said that the teacher will appear when the student is ready.

Whatever you do, as a beginner you do not want to mix and match traditions --- a smorgasbord might sound tasty and appealing, but it's a quick way to get a good case of indigestion.


Back to basic most basic of all....

Does Chanting really help or what purpose does it serve?

e.g. chanting is a ritual, in 10 fetters, the third "ritual" falls in this category. as I see, chanting etc, is a form of cultural practise that we carry on as buddhist.


Is meditation a ritual?

Do you think Anapanasati meditation is only a ritual?

What is the object of mindfulness in Anapansati meditation? It is the breath(physical feeling)
What is the object of mindfulness in Kasina meditation? It is the visual object
What is the object of mindfulness in Chanting meditation(Mantra)? It is the sound through hearing.

So the only difference in ALL meditations is the object you are mindfull of.......
So if my mindfulness of the chant is a ritual... Then likewise your mindfulness of the breath is only a ritual  :cheesy:

It seems you have an aversion towards other peoples object of mindfulness(Chanting)




Offline Dharmakara

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2014, 10:56:30 pm »

Offline Awakened_Angel

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2014, 12:08:01 am »
LOL....

haha... yeap, what I meant it

meditation... to experience and to see to analyse to try

chanting..... to just read or sing... like dharmakara said, to "condition" the mind align to dhamma... BUT, what if you chant without knowing what it meant nor you chant inorder to ask for things

e.g. it is said by some master(not budhsist, but mixture buddhism+taoism+new age) claim by chanting heart sutra could communicate with bodhisatva. so many people keep on chanting day and night in hope to meet bodhisatva and get their wish fulfilled

I have no aversion nor rejection toward the subject of chanting. BUT I somehow see many problem with people chanting which I saw among my area

1) ask few monks to chant and "sell" plate that write their family name for blessings. the plate range between USD 100 up to USD 5000. depending on front row or back row

2) people chant to get blessing from buddha or get worldly things(e.g. wealth, sucess) by keep on chanting and chanting with intention buddha heard and fulfill...

« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 12:14:12 am by Awakened_Angel »

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2014, 03:21:32 am »
LOL....

haha... yeap, what I meant it

meditation... to experience and to see to analyse to try

chanting..... to just read or sing... like dharmakara said, to "condition" the mind align to dhamma... BUT, what if you chant without knowing what it meant nor you chant inorder to ask for things

e.g. it is said by some master(not budhsist, but mixture buddhism+taoism+new age) claim by chanting heart sutra could communicate with bodhisatva. so many people keep on chanting day and night in hope to meet bodhisatva and get their wish fulfilled

I have no aversion nor rejection toward the subject of chanting. BUT I somehow see many problem with people chanting which I saw among my area

1) ask few monks to chant and "sell" plate that write their family name for blessings. the plate range between USD 100 up to USD 5000. depending on front row or back row

2) people chant to get blessing from buddha or get worldly things(e.g. wealth, sucess) by keep on

chanting and chanting with intention buddha heard and fulfill...

(1) and (2) has nothing to do with using hearing/chant as an object of mindfulness to meditate upon.

you do realise that even in the pali canon the Buddha taught 40 different meditation objects to meditate on.

In one sutta there was a man named Cunda who was mentally retarded and could not do anapatsati(breath meditation)......so the Buddha had him be mindfull of himself sweeping the floor with a broom as his meditation.

The point is mindfulness. Not the object you are mindfull of.(read noble eightfold path).




Offline Awakened_Angel

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2014, 07:16:46 am »
Yes ai concur.THat is why O ask beside chant as object of meditation and condition the mind to dhamma, what else phrpose do it serve?

Offline namumahaparinirvanasvaha

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2014, 07:32:33 am »
Yes ai concur.THat is why O ask beside chant as object of meditation and condition the mind to dhamma, what else phrpose do it serve?
Right speech/good merit/kind words/good merit/good praise......ect...good merit.

In Pure Land the chant is multi-purpose.

Namu Amida Bu.......mindfullness of the Buddha= jhana/Samadhi
Praising and veneration of the Buddhas and their qualities equals good merit
Praising and rebirth aspiration in the Buddha leads one to birth in the Pure Land(Mahayana)
In the majjhima nikaya i think sutta 12 last paragraph it is said that by praising of the buddha one will recieve heaven rebirth.

Offline Awakened_Angel

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2014, 05:31:04 pm »
Yes ai concur.THat is why O ask beside chant as object of meditation and condition the mind to dhamma, what else phrpose do it serve?
Right speech/good merit/kind words/good merit/good praise......ect...good merit.

In Pure Land the chant is multi-purpose.

Namu Amida Bu.......mindfullness of the Buddha= jhana/Samadhi
Praising and veneration of the Buddhas and their qualities equals good merit
Praising and rebirth aspiration in the Buddha leads one to birth in the Pure Land(Mahayana)
In the majjhima nikaya i think sutta 12 last paragraph it is said that by praising of the buddha one will recieve heaven rebirth.

yes, all that you mentioned I concur... BUT, from my observation, the buddhist association(not govern by monks, but lay people who form the commitee/board of directors as part time and are businessman in fulltime).

where chanting is taught to:
1) communicate with buddha or bodhisatva
2) get bodhi(wisdom) by chanting alone
3) get blessings
4) to have more beautiful body/face
5) to have more blessings
6) to have better fortune

that is why I ask, is above example that I mentioned was the purpose? as I see no significant of it at all

« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 05:35:59 pm by Awakened_Angel »

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2014, 10:25:03 pm »
Angel, I understand where you're coming from --- for example, it's quite common among members of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), where there's a tendency to chant for material possessions, something I've witnessed first hand more times than I care to think about. One of the saddest encounters occurred back in 2001, shortly after I relocated to Los Angeles, involving a homeless woman with two children, one of which was diabetic and required insulin on a daily basis.

Although she was on welfare and received an extended hotel voucher because of the children, she didn't even think twice when it came to giving a substantial amount of the money she received to SGI or purchasing an expensive Gohonzon. It was just too abusive, especially when you consider the fact that she was chanting for a new Cadillac, but I couldn't bring myself to talk to her about the insanity of it all, where it felt like I would be taking away one of the few things that gave her hope and peace.


Offline Awakened_Angel

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2014, 12:36:16 am »
this is what I saw lately, mind comment?

a master who
1) claim he saw heaven,hell,ghost and deva
2) perform miracle on healing(like jesus)
3) bodhisatva came before him and provide a mantra to untie the problems of people by simply chanting

4) provide a "small house" mantra whereby people would write their wish and chant(heart sutra and great compassion mantra for 49 times daily before burn them). it is said that this "small house" mantra was taught by buddha/bodhisatva himself personally

5) urge people to release a ten thousand fish into the sea(question, where do people catch the fish from inorder fro them to release??)
6) using pyschic power to encover peopel`s health problem/personal problem.(raise hand with open palm, directed to the guy, close eye and pretend to "see")

what do you think?

P/S he say he teach dhamma....
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 12:40:16 am by Awakened_Angel »

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: A little confused
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 01:37:07 am »
Using pyschic power to uncover peoples problems? Yes, this would certainly be a warning sign, as well as his other claims, especially if he's publically announcing this stuff.

As for urging people to release a ten thousand fish into the sea... the people would be purchasing the fish from venders and then releasing them, which happens to be a common practice among most Buddhists, but certainly not by an individual in such large numbers at one time --- there's also the issue of releasing non-indigenous species into waterways, something that needs to be stopped if it's occurring.


 


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