Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Mantras

StormerStormer Explorer
edited June 2013 in Meditation
I have decided that I might further my Buddhist practice by quietly chanting a mantra to myself while I meditate. Any thoughts/comments/advice?

Comments

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    I do that sometimes when I am looking for more energy. If I am not connected and aware.

    What made you think of mantras?
    riverflow
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    Stormer said:

    I have decided that I might further my Buddhist practice by quietly chanting a mantra to myself while I meditate. Any thoughts/comments/advice?

    It is a good plan. What sort of mantra are you looking for? Are you already meditating? What sort? I am using Amitaba at the moment as that is the temple focus I am visiting.
    :)
  • StormerStormer Explorer
    @Jeffrey: Well I've been just doing breathing meditation and I've been pretty content with it but I'd heard of others using mantras and thought there might be something to it.

    @lobster: To be honest, I don't know a whole lot about it. I thought I'd just use the 'generic' sounding one which is 'Om Mani Padme Hum'
  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    Here's a great resource for mantra knowledge.

    http://www.wildmind.org/mantras
    riverflowInvincible_summer
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    Stormer said:

    @Jeffrey: Well I've been just doing breathing meditation and I've been pretty content with it but I'd heard of others using mantras and thought there might be something to it.

    @lobster: To be honest, I don't know a whole lot about it. I thought I'd just use the 'generic' sounding one which is 'Om Mani Padme Hum'

    Got it! :clap:

    Mantra gives the advantages of breathing, meditation and voice improvement, health etc etc.

    Om Mani Padme Hum is one of the favourite
    and the 'National Mantra' of Tibet.

    It is associated with compassion
    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/guanyin.htm

    It is a complete practice
    http://chenrezigpuja.org/

    however . . . just adding chanting as many as comfortable on an outbreath . . .
    gives the distracted mind another focus and alignment . . .

    OM MANI PEME HUM




    dhammachick
  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran
    @Stormer - Chanting through meditation? I guess it depends on what your goals are and what type of meditation you do. It sounds a bit complicated/confusing to me, unless you make the mantra the object of contemplation, as in Pure Land and Tantric(?) Buddhism.

    Just for trivia's sake, Ajahn Chah (and perhaps other Thai Forest or Theravadan teachers) recommend "Buddho" as a mantra, with the 1st syllable on the in-breath, the 2nd on the out-breath.
  • "Buddho" is possibly the most widespread meditation mantra in Thailand. It means "awake". More about this mantra here
    dhammachick
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    I'll stop and do mantras when I am very anxious or dull (very different states but similar in a way). I'll just do them.

    Om Mane Peme Hum is one. Look for some chanting on of this on youtube because it can be really beautifully intoned, not just dry words (don't know how to explain this).

    Another is:

    May the hearts awareness waken in the unawakened
    Where it has begun to stir may it never fade
    And may it awaken fully

    That is a mantra to arouse bodhicitta. Bodhicitta could be the wish to awaken your heart for all concerned to benefit.

    Another is:

    Namo Gurubia (if you have a guru)
    Namo Buddhaya
    Namo Dharmaya
    Namo Sanghaya
    repeat

    This is refuge

    Another is

    We go to refuge to the Buddha
    Until all sentient beings realize Buddhahood
    x3 (or more)

    This is another refuge mantra
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran


    The ego is just a passing thoughts. If you don't identify with these passing thoughts they just blow through and cannot 'stick'.
  • edited June 2013
    Heres mine:
    Nobody knows why anything happens
    Nobody knows why anything happens
    Nobody knows why anything happens
    riverflowInvincible_summerEvenThird
  • DaivaDaiva Veteran
    I use various mantras that help me deal with my meditation hindrances.
    I know that one should just be able to sit and meditate, but i like the ritual aspect of chanting and it helps me to dig deeper sometimes.
    I like to chant the Green/White mantras.
    My Metta meditation (may i be happy, may i be at peace, may i be safe, etc) even turns into a mantra that i use while I go out for a run.
    And i add some Kundalini mantras. Throwing in a little Sita Ram is nice too.
    The words don't really matter, just the intent.
    lobster
  • Hi Ho, Hi Ho
    It's off to work I go
    lobsterdhammachickEvenThird
  • Stormer said:

    I have decided that I might further my Buddhist practice by quietly chanting a mantra to myself while I meditate. Any thoughts/comments/advice?

    In order to understand what a mantra (literally "three thoughts") is you need to understand how thinking increases actuality. In a simple but litteral sense, the more a "message" is repeated the more potential it has for that thing to become actual.

    But it is not enough to merly repeat-think any statement, the statement must be expressed in the primordial sylabyles (Da, Ta, Na, Am, Om...); it needs to connect with the underlaying reality.

    Much of the First Mantra teachings have been censored from traditional buddhist doictrine, though we do find its re-emergence, for example with the complex Daimoku ("Na Ma Re Ge").

    It is also worth noting that insight meditation is a skill distinct from the recetation of Mantra, this is a fact that can distract experinced meditatiors who learn of the power of mantra.

    Na Ma Sa Ye







  • TakuanTakuan Veteran
    @stormer, what tradition are you from? Depending on your tradition, some mantras might fit your personal practice more easily than others.
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Namaste all,

    I was wondering if I might add a question? Sorry @stormer I'm not trying to hijack your thread and I apologise if that appears to be the case.

    I usually chant Om Mani Padme Hum. I have at times chanted the Tara chant but does anyone know of a chant that I can use to help with anger and self pity? I find I have moments of total self indulgent self pity that I wish to work through and thought if there were a chant to help that would be great.

    Thanks and in metta,
    Raven
  • TakuanTakuan Veteran
    @dhammachick
    I'd suggest doing some insight meditation to discover where these feelings are coming from. Mantra are great, but they're especially helpful when we know the origin of specific problems.

    If you really want a mantra that might help, prajnaparamita mantra (along with study of the heart sutra) could be of use.
  • CittaCitta Veteran

    @Stormer - Chanting through meditation? I guess it depends on what your goals are and what type of meditation you do. It sounds a bit complicated/confusing to me, unless you make the mantra the object of contemplation, as in Pure Land and Tantric(?) Buddhism.

    Just for trivia's sake, Ajahn Chah (and perhaps other Thai Forest or Theravadan teachers) recommend "Buddho" as a mantra, with the 1st syllable on the in-breath, the 2nd on the out-breath.

    Good suggestion..'Buddho' is usable by anyone.
    From a Vajrayana viewpoint some mantras need an empowerment from a qualified teacher in order to be effective..otherwise they are like an electric fan or heater that is not plugged in.
    But others like ' Buddho' are universal.
    One of the most centred mantra users I know uses 'kyrie eleison.'
    Invincible_summer
  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran
    If it helps you with your practice, then why not?
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Takuan said:

    @dhammachick
    I'd suggest doing some insight meditation to discover where these feelings are coming from. Mantra are great, but they're especially helpful when we know the origin of specific problems.

    If you really want a mantra that might help, prajnaparamita mantra (along with study of the heart sutra) could be of use.

    @Takuan - I know where they are coming from - my illness and the lack of ability to DO anything about it. I have what I have, I logically know I need to accept it and "get over it" and get on with the life that I do have left. But emotionally I still "sulk" which I really want to modify and be a "nicer" person to be around.

    In metta,
    Raven
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    @Dhammachik,

    My teacher says that it is like waves. There are waves emitting from the center and the bounce off of the perimeter and cause a patttern.

    So we have our own intentions and cares. So like you want to be nice to be around. But there are still all of these waves from maybe attachment to life and security. In the end we all lose our security, but you have lost yours earlier. In reality death can be around any corner. That's not said to make us tense in fear but rather with these waves in mind we can see that some of the inertia is to be protective. That's all well and good I mean we want to feel good.

    I think you will see this protectiveness rebound again and again and be filled with emotion. This is something everybody is going to deal with. My step mother just almost died! But that doesn't *cut away the value* of your wish to be nice to be around. That is a wish from your heart. I think that you need to open to this wish and think about why you wish it. I have no idea, but it could be very profound in relation to your wish to be safe and alive. It could be the wish to be free from worry and at peace with our loved ones in solidarity.

    So my prescription would be to keep reinforcing and finding the genuine value of your wish to be nice to be around. It might be a stormy emotion but I hope you get to the bottom of it and it rings like a bell. And then the other waves, the waves of preservation and frustration and anger keep rolling outward you can just let them be there. If we let them be there then they play out their story and are no longer fed.

    Metta _/\_
    dhammachick
  • TakuanTakuan Veteran
    @dhammachick
    While I cannot imagine what you're going through, maybe I can provide a resource. That way you can find something that fits your needs.

    Tsem Tulku Rinpoche has posted very many practices on his site. I hope you can find one that helps.
    http://resources.tsemtulku.com/prayers/mantra-list.html
    http://blog.tsemtulku.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/sadhana-prayers.html
    These two links are a list of mantras and practices that don't require initiation.
    dhammachick
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    @Jeffrey and @Takuan.

    Thank you both very much :)

    In metta,
    Raven
  • Daiva said:

    I use various mantras that help me deal with my meditation hindrances.
    I know that one should just be able to sit and meditate, but i like the ritual aspect of chanting and it helps me to dig deeper sometimes.
    I like to chant the Green/White mantras.
    My Metta meditation (may i be happy, may i be at peace, may i be safe, etc) even turns into a mantra that i use while I go out for a run.
    And i add some Kundalini mantras. Throwing in a little Sita Ram is nice too.
    The words don't really matter, just the intent.

    I was looking for something like this, and almost made a new thread.

    Is this to say that one might use a different mantra for a different reason? For example, Manjushri's mantra for one specific reason, Green Tara's for another reason. Or does one develop an affinity for a deity, buddha or bodhisattva (not necessarily as a yidam for empowerment and visualization) and stick with that mantra? For example, it's my desire to cultivate compassion and wisdom... could I alternate chanting OM MANI PEME HUNG and OM AH RA BA TSA NA DHI at different times?

    In Hinduism it's taught that one picks the mantra, if uninitiated and the mantra is not given by the guru, and uses it exclusively. For example, someone drawn to Ganesha would chant Om Gam Ganapataye namaha or Om Sri Ganeshaya namaha exclusively (either with a mala or not), and not use any other mantra for any other deity. I use Om namo Narayanaya for Vishnu, to connect with God. But since this site is not Hinduism, I'm curious if the same recommendation applies.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited June 2013
    @Jainarayan, In my sanghas liturgy we have a lot of different mantras. This leads me to believe that in Tibetan Buddhism you may have multiple mantras. I haven't gotten close enough to a sangha for the guru to recommend a mantra, possibly, short of synchronicity and the blessing of the connection to awakened beings however distant that is.
  • Thanks. It seems that at least in Tibetan Buddhism there is more variability unless you are empowered to one sadhana. Of course, the Hindu take could just be an orthodox view... there is a lot of that, as with anything. I don't think that chanting a different mantra to a different deity is any different than praying to that deity.
  • DaivaDaiva Veteran
    My sangha is a Western Buddhist group that encompasses all traditions (Against the Stream Meditation Society). There's no chanting when we meet as a group, and the focus is on dharma and Vipassana meditation. I have a meditation teacher who expands on the Vipassana methods and includes practices such as Metta. But chanting is excluded in her teaching. However, she encourages me to chant to accompany my meditation practice and leaves it up to me. I just do what feels right for me. She doesn't necessarily encourage her other students chant - it's just something that helps me - and she supports that. This sangha also has different workshops with different teachers from different traditions where I learn other methods as well.
    I've been to other sanghas (Kagyu and Sakya) and they require that you be initiated before you receive Tara transmission and Tara mantra practice. In my area, there aren't many sitting lamas associated with these groups, so it's kind of more a communal thing. Lamas come to visit once or twice a year for workshops, where you can receive further transmissions and direction for personal practice.
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited June 2013
    Stormer said:

    I thought I'd just use the 'generic' sounding one which is 'Om Mani Padme Hum'

    Do that. It's an excellent mantra to work with. Do as many as you can per practice session. It may be helpful to get a mala and set yourslef to do a specific number like 27 or 108 or whatever.

    If after doing that mantra you get a sense of connection to the practice of Chenrezig/Avalokiteshvara try the sadhana. Lobsters recommendation is good.

    Here's one used in the Kagyu lineage, specifically Thrangu Rinpoche's sangha:

    http://s151421314.onlinehome.us/nbp/docs/PDF/16. Chenrezig for Website.pdf

    It includes the Tibetan, phonetic Tibetan and English. The Tibetan version of this sadhana is usually sung to a specific melody. Here's an mp3 to the sadhana being sung:

    http://s151421314.onlinehome.us/nbp/docs/MP3/48. Chenrezig with Lama Kathy.mp3
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    Daiva said:


    I've been to other sanghas (Kagyu and Sakya) and they require that you be initiated before you receive Tara transmission and Tara mantra practice.

    Really? I'd like to know what sanghas those are.

    I'm Kagyu and I've been taught that you don't need any sort of transmission to do Tara or any other Kriya Yoga practice. Just get a sadhana and do the practice. I used to do a regular Green Tara practice with a Sakya lama and she'd allow anyone to attend practice.

    The is a lung (reading transmission) one can receive that is said to increase the blessing associated with such practices and in some cases you can take an abhisheka for more advanced versions of the practice, but for the simpler Kriya Yogas no transmission, permission or "initiation" is required. Why do you suppose you can buy or download the sadhanas for these practice? if the were restricted, you wouldn't be allowed to see the text let alone use it.

    You can download White Tara, Chenrezig, Medicine Buddha and others on Thrangu Rinpoche's Site and you can buy traditional versions in pecha format on a number of sites, including the Namse Bangdzo site. No permission needed. Get the sadhana and practice it.
  • DaivaDaiva Veteran
    One of the places where i attend workshops is this one:
    http://www.dechenfoundation.org/activities.html
    They have a section about required initiations in the text. They did have a monthly Green Tara practice, which was just for the initiated, but it looks like they are not offering that anymore. The members are super nice, but I was hoping to receive more instruction.
    I have yet to find a Kagyu or Sakya group that teaches any form of kriyas. I am in Los Angeles and you'd think there should be many, but there aren't.
    Thank you for the suggestion to download from Thrangu Rinpoche's and Namse Bangdzo's sites. I am definately going to check it out as it is time for me to adjust my sadhana practice.
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    Daiva said:

    One of the places where i attend workshops is this one:
    http://www.dechenfoundation.org/activities.html
    They have a section about required initiations in the text. They did have a monthly Green Tara practice, which was just for the initiated, but it looks like they are not offering that anymore. The members are super nice, but I was hoping to receive more instruction.
    I have yet to find a Kagyu or Sakya group that teaches any form of kriyas. I am in Los Angeles and you'd think there should be many, but there aren't.

    Check out Ken McLeod's group over by Marina Del Rey - Unfettered Mind. Ken is a Kagyupa who went through a traditional 3-year retreat with the Sakya Lama I mentioned earlier.

    It sounds like the Dechen folks are referring to the more advanced yogas when they talk about "initiation".
    Thank you for the suggestion to download from Thrangu Rinpoche's and Namse Bangdzo's sites. I am definately going to check it out as it is time for me to adjust my sadhana practice.
    Definitely. Try it and see how you like it. If you want, you can seek out a reading transmission for those practices, but it's really not necessary.
  • DaivaDaiva Veteran
    @Chaz - Ken actually teaches workshops at Against the Stream. I just saw on their site he has one coming up July 8th. I'll have to check it out. Thank you for the suggestion. I am getting a lot of good info in this thread....

  • In Hinduism it's taught that one picks the mantra, if uninitiated and the mantra is not given by the guru, and uses it exclusively. For example, someone drawn to Ganesha would chant Om Gam Ganapataye namaha or Om Sri Ganeshaya namaha exclusively (either with a mala or not), and not use any other mantra for any other deity.

    Hi @Jainarayan, I wanted to ask you: since you are familiar with Hinduism, could you answer a question that I have? Basically, I was wondering why people are drawn to certain deities. Even as a Westerner, I have always felt drawn to Ganesha. Even more so when I learned the meaning behind the images.

    One reason I feel drawn to him is that he is the remover of obstacles and guardian of portals. Even now, I still like to keep statues of Ganesha but since becoming Buddhist I had been thinking that I should take these down and was relieved to learn that in some places Buddhism and Hinduism are mixed together.

    Also, what would a Hindu think if they walked into the home of a Westerner and saw images of Ganesh on display (in a respectful manner). Would they think that person was crazy? :lol: After all, I wasn't raised Hindu. I don't know, there's something about it that really appeals to me. Shiva as well. I guess it's similar to how Jesus and images of Jesus appeal to many types of people but do you think there is some kind of karmic connection as to why someone would be drawn to a particular deity, even if that person if from a different culture?
  • @rivercane
    rivercane said:


    Hi @Jainarayan, I wanted to ask you: since you are familiar with Hinduism, could you answer a question that I have? Basically, I was wondering why people are drawn to certain deities. Even as a Westerner, I have always felt drawn to Ganesha. Even more so when I learned the meaning behind the images.

    It's said and believed that a particular deity calls to the devotee. You may try to push away, but you are always called back. Sometimes one deity brings you to another. When I first started learning to play guitar I plodded along like every other beginner. When I began keeping a picture of Saraswati near my music area, my playing improved by light years. I was in a store that sells murthis, idols. I got a small one of Ganesha and Shiva Parivar (Shiva's family). Within a short time, and totally unexpectedly I began to feel an affinity for Krishna and set up a small altar with him as the center focus. So I believe that Saraswati and Ganesha "introduced" me to Krishna.
    One reason I feel drawn to him is that he is the remover of obstacles and guardian of portals. Even now, I still like to keep statues of Ganesha but since becoming Buddhist I had been thinking that I should take these down and was relieved to learn that in some places Buddhism and Hinduism are mixed together.
    Indeed he is the remover of obstacles and guardian of portals, as well as the placer of obstacles, when they're for our own good. He tends to rein us in if need it. It's also said he is the easiest deity to communicate with because he spends much of his time on this plane. But I think the other deities are just as easy to reach. I know a few people, besides me, who syncretize Hinduism and Buddhism.
    Also, what would a Hindu think if they walked into the home of a Westerner and saw images of Ganesh on display (in a respectful manner). Would they think that person was crazy? :lol: After all, I wasn't raised Hindu. I don't know, there's something about it that really appeals to me. Shiva as well. I guess it's similar to how Jesus and images of Jesus appeal to many types of people but do you think there is some kind of karmic connection as to why someone would be drawn to a particular deity, even if that person if from a different culture?
    I think there is indeed a karmic connection. I do not believe a Hindu would be offended, but rather, pleased that a deity is displayed in a respectful and serious manner. When I attended temple for the first time and introduced myself to the temple staff, told them my background and beliefs, the response was overwhelmingly "you were always Hindu". It's not meant to say that Hinduism is superior as some people mistakenly believe when people, Hindu or non-Hindu say everyone is Hindu. It's more accurate to say everyone follows or has followed Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Way. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita 4.11 "Whosoever worship Me through whatsoever path, I verily accept and bless them in that way. Men everywhere follow My path." The path he speaks of, in the context of his teachings in the B.G. is the path of truth and the quest for truth... whether Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Christian, Baha'i.

    I hope that helps and doesn't offend anyone.
    rivercanelobster
Sign In or Register to comment.