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mantras and that fine line of preeching?!? (am I reading to far into this?)

edited October 2011 in Sanghas
firstly sorry if i have posted this in the wrong section.

I currently do tai chi/qi gong and yoga I have done so for about a year now. I have two different teachers for each part my tai chi instructor is a daoist and my yoga teacher is hindu. Both know that I am studying Buddhism and that I am perfecting my meditation skills (both run a meditation cool down session) however oddly in the past few weeks I'd say months even there has been an additional element of Chanting added to the yoga class and then a prayer section too.

I've sat them out and never joined in as I dont know what I am saying or who im praying too. So i spent a few weeks doing this in the class for a few weeks. The instructor called me aside today and asked me why i wouldnt chant and when I said im not sure what I am saying or praying too he passed me a translation. I mentioned that I will have a read off the document but he was insisting that I learnt the verses.

Help, how do I diplomatically say no. Im in two minds about where I stand with Buddhism vs God issues as it is but this instructor is adding elements of chanting into the lessons. I discussed this briefly with my tai chi instructor and he also thought it sounds a bit like preeching!


  • taiyakitaiyaki Veteran Veteran
    it's just words.

    you could chant shit shit shit shit shit shit shit shit.
    or god god god god god
    or buddha buddha buddha buddha buddha buddha
    they are empty, other than what you project onto it.
    so project your meaning you want to it. instead of god it could represent patience and compassion and wisdom.

    then do it 100%.
  • LOL :D

    That is what my friend at the class said too but i didnt want to be disrespectful
  • Find a new yoga instructor, a secular one.
  • I know the thing is he is really good at meditation techniques and I was hoping to learn more from him without the hinduism lessons too.
  • taiyakitaiyaki Veteran Veteran
    learn hinduism. there is nothing wrong with learning it.
    you'll learn about buddhism as well by learning about hinduism.
    learn about the differences.
  • IronRabbitIronRabbit Veteran Veteran
    Mantra repetition can be perceived as prayer - if that is the intent. Have no worry that you may be worshiping "false gods" and transgressing some article of whatever faith you hold. Know that yoga - tai chi - qigong may have some spiritual tendrils - but they are sciences of movement - energy distribution - aimed at mental and physical health. Mantras, though framed as prayers to seeming deities - are repetitive vibrational emanations meant to engage - focus - mind and thinking - and link mind with body for maximum effectiveness of exercises performed. As Taiyiki says, whether it's "Shit, shit, shit...", "Om shanti, shanti,shanti, om..", or "Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi swoha!" - it is sound - the yoga of sound - not a lapse in faith. Relax. Open your mouth and chant - dance too - life's short.image
  • I think its called Ram Das and a friend in the class mentioned something called kriah and I am now more unsure.
  • DakiniDakini Veteran Veteran
    Kriya yoga, from what I understand, is about bringing about a bliss state and raising the kundalini. I've heard that some people consider it dangerous, because of how it can affect some people psychologically. I don['t have the details, maybe you could look it up.
  • ManiMani Veteran Veteran
    it's just words.
    Though I can't speak from the aspect of Yoga, in Buddhist practices mantra's are actually sacred words or syllables that (can) have a transformable effect.

    Sure, words are "empty" as you say, but while we are still using the conventional mind, we need to approach things from the conventional level. Otherwise we would have no need for any practice methods and we would be quite enlightened already!

    But this to the original poster vintagelot:

    No matter what one is practicing, not all practices are for everyone. So perhaps those particular methods are not meant for you! This is fine, but in my experience if one wishes to gain benefit from a particular method, one must trust that method in order for it to give results. Otherwise it is best to find a method that you are comfortable with.

    Good luck,


  • cazcaz Veteran United Kingdom Veteran
    How do you say no diplomatically ? "No thanks"
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