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Silent Mantra

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited January 2022 in Buddhism Basics

The noisiest mantra practice I have ever done? Nam Myoho Renge Kyo at a Nichiren meet being played loudly in a soundproofed basement. As it was my first visit, my appointed guide was amazed I sat through an hour and a half of this buddha bombardment …

As we refine our quietening:

  • Mantra, vocally and loud
  • Gradually softening to barely audible
  • Internal (silent chanting)

Each of these have benefits and possibilities. So for example Vajrayana/Mantrayana will accompany mantra with bells, drums, conch shells and instruments made from human bones to scare away demons. Ay caramba!
Moving towards the softening of the mantra requires a more developed focus/concentration.
Silent mantra recitation is more prone to wander away if not stilled.

Anyways that is my experience. What is yours?



  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Definitely can relate with my Nianfo practice @lobster .

    Just reading a book at present regarding different types of Nianfo to focus the mind:

    1. Reciting Aloud - when the mind state is torpor or many thought arise.
    2. Reciting in a Low Voice - when the mind is scattered or you are tired.
    3. Diamond Recitation - if reciting allowed or in a low voice is not practical, merely moving the lips in recitation.
    4. Silent Recitation - when none of the three above is appropriate. This is "Mind Only" recitation. The Buddha's name should be clear and distinct in the mind.
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited January 2022

    I tend to recite the Tara Mantra very often. It's particularly helpful if trying to rid the mind of an Earworm.
    It may sound flippant, but that's not my intention.
    Your Mind can only house one active thought at once.
    I would rather repeat a beneficial Mantra to myself, and establish a serene equilibrium, than listen to "Hey Carrie Anne" ad infinitum...

  • It seems doing a silent mantra is akin to a one armed clap.
    Until, of course, you come across a on armed monk who obliterates that analogy post haste.
    I was going somewhere with this, but the boat left the dock while I was still on the gangplank. Oh well, time for a nice swim anyway. B)

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    @Kotishka said:
    When thoughts cloud my mind during meditation I mentally recite "Bud-dho".

    I tried Buddho for a while. Can’t remember why I left it, it was a few years ago.

  • Shoshin1Shoshin1 Sentient Being Oceania Veteran

    Silent Mantra

    Conscious Awareness is my silent mantra...

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran
    edited January 2022

    A student asked Grandmaster Xuánshā: "How do you enter the dhyānas?"
    The master responded: "Do you hear the rushing of the mountain stream? Enter there.”

    Venerable Kakuban says: "All sorts of sounds and voices produced by any phenomenal existence, either good or evil, or by any non-sentient existence, such as the land, mountains, rivers, the earth, sand, pebbles, as well as the birds and beasts, are nothing other than natural dhāraṇīs [...]"

  • Thanks everyone for your insights/experience. All different.

    @Shoshin1 said:
    Conscious Awareness is my silent mantra...

    Indeed. I also appreciate the reminder to be aware of natural sounds and if not in a natural environment can we listen to effects of sound on us … A lot to be understood from that.

    Mantra is a tactic of intense or gentler focus as @Bunks and others mention.

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