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Hey guys,

 

I have recently picked up "The Little Book of Meditation" by William Bodri. I found out about this book from the energy cultivators handbook thread. And honestly, a lot of the ideas resonate with me at this stage. Anyone read his material? It's repetitive so I have to skim slme of it, but I'm liking what I'm reading. He goes over different aspects of life like gaining merit/karma, dieting, and sexuallity. If you have any input on his thoughts please elaborate.

 

He starts off with talking about meditation and all of its benefits. He says that you can open up chi channels with meditation and so fourth. Then he dives into a subject I am spending a lot of time trying to implement into my life and that is the subject of chanting. He says it's good to chant all day when you aren't busy (which is literally all day for me being a lifeguard this summer). He gives numerous chants from different religions. The are also numerous websites discussing chanting and the different benefits they can bring depending on the chant. So I took to chanting and for the last few days I chant out loud when I'm alone and in my head when in the presence of others. It kind of makes sense because in the very least, it forces me to breath deeply in and out. I've been chanting on the out-breath and taking deep in-breaths afterwards, all through my abdomen. I've also been chanting in my daily meditation. The chant I have been using is "Om Mani Padme Hum" prounounced "Aum Ma nee Pie me Hoom". I've been liking the way it sounds and feels so far, but I've only chanted it maybe a few thousand times and compared with most monks that chant, that is supposedly next to nothing.

 

Anyone have experience with chanting? What chants do you use? Anyone have opinions or input on this practice?

 

Best Regards,

 

Chi Boy

Edited by Chi Boy
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I agree that chanting can be a valuable support to spiritual practice. 

One particularly interesting approach is the Warrior Seed Syllable practice.

You can find out more about it here and here if you are interested. 

 

One important point about chanting is how you are vocalizing. 

The idea is not so much to focus on the sound that projects outwardly for others to hear.

It's better to focus on creating a sound that you feel internally and the external sound will be what it is. 

There should be a feeling of internal vibration, space, and movement. It will change and develop with practice and experience.

Depending on what you are chanting, the internal feeling will vary in characteristics and location. 

 

Enjoy!

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not just a support, music can be the core practice itself ; )

 

it's good to do freestyle chanting, humming

start with just "aa" or another vowel

this is how you learn most to create change with sound imo

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Everyone should have a favorite chant.  If you can't chant with others, chant in the shower, the acoustics make it more powerful.  

 

My favorite chant is the chant/canticle practice from Rawn Clark, YHVH, but I've enjoyed the loud rapid warrior chant from Shinto as practiced during misogi training as well as the long peaceful singing chants at Sivananda ashrams. 

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I agree that chanting can be a valuable support to spiritual practice.

One particularly interesting approach is the Warrior Seed Syllable practice.

You can find out more about it here and here if you are interested.

 

One important point about chanting is how you are vocalizing.

The idea is not so much to focus on the sound that projects outwardly for others to hear.

It's better to focus on creating a sound that you feel internally and the external sound will be what it is.

There should be a feeling of internal vibration, space, and movement. It will change and develop with practice and experience.

Depending on what you are chanting, the internal feeling will vary in characteristics and location.

 

Enjoy!

Interesting, would you reccomend chanting out loud or silently for maximum results?

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Interesting, would you reccomend chanting out loud or silently for maximum results?

 

Out loud is better. If you do it silently, you won't generate the inner vibrations.

My point earlier was that you should focus on how it feels inside while you are making the audible sounds.

Don't focus too much on what it would sound like to others or on a recording.

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Makes sense, you hear recordings of mols doing the classic ohm chant and you can tell they are using that technique. I've heard chanting silently is more advanced or something though, not sure if that's actually true.

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 I've heard chanting silently is more advanced or something though, not sure if that's actually true.

 

Chanting seed syllables and mantras are said to work at a non-conceptual level.

The actual vocalization is the foundation.

 

Prayers and songs have a conceptual component and silent recitation is common especially for those doing large numbers of accumulations. 

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Some interesting remarks on this in Austin's Zen and the Brain, EEG outputs showed increased neural inhibitory response from lengthened exhalation, with a correlation to chanting as a way to temper it.

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Here's from the forum, copied and pasted from two recent responses to someone asking about chanting silently and aloud:

 

For each of the three types of chanting, out loud, whispering, and

silent, there is a different vibrational range. The highest vibration

is the silent chanting. It is often recommended that for daily

spiritual practice, silent is therefore best. Whereas, for healing and

manifestation, chanting out loud is best

 

And,

 

When you are chanting silently, with your mind, the energy is directed inward-meaning that you are using your mind and your focus to direct the energy of the mantra into your chakras (and your entire being). Some people are very focused in consciously and creatively directing this energy chakra by chakra.

When you are chanting aloud, the energy of the mantra is directed-primarily-outwardly.

Of course you do benefit inwardly from chanting aloud...and some of the energy is moving out and around your externaly body and your space.

It is beneficial, especially when beginning to chant, to do some of each.

Hearing the mantras as we chant them aloud can be very helpful to the mind in many ways...some people are more auditorily focused and sometimes chanting mantras in a rhythmic way helps the mind to settle and quiet focusing on the sound of the mantra, "hearing" the mantra as we chant it aloud can also keep us aware of whether we are chanting it correctly and we can hone our pronunciation.

As the mind gets quieter, it becomes easier to focus on chanting mantras silently. As the mind becomes increasingly silent, sometimes mantras will begin to chant themselves. There have been posts from people who have commented that they find their mind chanting mantras spontaneusly-even in their sleep!

Wow!!!! Thats crazy!

 

Thanks for the clarification Earl Grey.

 

And that sounds really calming to play a mantra out loud. I'm gonna try that when I have wifi again, most likely while I'm studying, just to see how it affects my energy.

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That being said, chanting mantras is how one takes in their power to ameliorate our karma by stimulating the petals on the chakras in specific patterns.  There are 50 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, the Matrika, and each of those 50 sound vibrations have a particular petal/spoke that they stimulate.  As we are all made up of sound units, this is the only way in our dense Dark Age to sand off the karma.  Prior ages of less density used other methods.

 

Earl Grey,

 

Thanks for sharing.

Though, I vehemently disagree with the quote above. There are different and more efficient methods out there for purification of karma. Not all teachers know all of them. Mantras are excellent though, and I encourage all the classical, proven ones.

 

 

Mandrake

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Out loud is better. If you do it silently, you won't generate the inner vibrations.

My point earlier was that you should focus on how it feels inside while you are making the audible sounds.

Don't focus too much on what it would sound like to others or on a recording.

In Hindu/Vedic traditions there are four levels of sound (and therefore chanting). Para, pashyanti, madhyam and vaikhari.

 

http://www.artofliving.org/wisdom-q-a-8-may-2013-qa-2

 

Essentially one should progress from chanting aloud (vaikhari) to para (without any sound). Try a mantra like the Gayatri to see what I mean. If you can maintain 100% focus on the mantra (each syllable) without sound, without mind wandering, your practice has matured.

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In Hindu/Vedic traditions there are four levels of sound (and therefore chanting). Para, pashyanti, madhyam and vaikhari.

 

http://www.artofliving.org/wisdom-q-a-8-may-2013-qa-2

 

Essentially one should progress from chanting aloud (vaikhari) to para (without any sound). Try a mantra like the Gayatri to see what I mean. If you can maintain 100% focus on the mantra (each syllable) without sound, without mind wandering, your practice has matured.

 

Lots of great info on this thread.

My response was based on the fact that the OP is new to chanting.

It wasn't intended to be comprehensive. 

 

I'll also suggest that we not be too quick to let go of the vocalization of seed syllables and mantras.

There is more to the effect of vocalization of mantra than the mastery of mental focus. 

While that is clearly a very valuable aspect, the sound has its own benefits.

The sound and vibration can help clear and transform.

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The recitation of om mani padme hum has been my main spiritual practice for the past 3 or so years. I simply love it. I chant it silently in my mind as much as I can. It has brought much peace and joy into my life but it has also brought much karmic cleansing which is definitely not pleasant. The mani is my anchor through good times and bad times. If you stick with it I hope it does the same for you.

 

Here is a website that has some teachings on the benefits of the mani mantra:

https://bodhiactivity.wordpress.com/mani/

 

If you are seriously interested in pursuing this as a lifelong practice I would also recommend a book by the title of Heart Treasure of the Enlightened ones.

 

om mani padme hum

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You are most welcome, ChiBoy! I am actually planning on taking the two courses on mantra teaching and puja ceremonies from Namadeva and Sathabhama eventually after having committed so much to mantra practice (and how much it has greatly affected me with each siddhi), so it's good to be contributing to the discussion on chanting already for seekers and practitioners. :)

 

Here's another link on four kinds of chanting: http://thewayofmantra.com/the-different-ways-of-saying-mantras/

 

Here's a post on listening to mantras from Satyabhama:

Listening to mantras by enlightened ones like Satgurus Sant Kesavadas and Rama Mata is highly spiritualizing to the listener. You can find videos of him on YouTube on two channels, Sant Keshavadas and Bhadragiri Keshavadas. His books, audio and video recordings are available at www.TempleofCosmicReligion.org.

Many people report that listening to recordings Namadeva Acharya/Thomas Ashley-Farrand are also spiritualizing. He recorded the mantra CDs intending them to be pronunciation guides and teaching the mantras, so that people can do the sadhanas independently. His workshops on CDs were also intended to teach about the Vedas and puranas and as mantra intensives.

That being said, chanting mantras is how one takes in their power to ameliorate our karma by stimulating the petals on the chakras in specific patterns. There are 50 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, the Matrika, and each of those 50 sound vibrations have a particular petal/spoke that they stimulate. As we are all made up of sound units, this is the only way in our dense Dark Age to sand off the karma. Prior ages of less density used other methods.

If you are chanting for health or prosperity, it is important to manifest it by chanting the mantras out loud, using the Namaha ending. Also if it is a new mantra to you, then chant a good number of them out loud to get it "seated" within your being.

For other purposes, we can chant whispering or silently. Surprisingly to Westerners, the silent chanting is more effective, because it is at a higher vibration.

Is it best to chant on the inhale and exhale? Also should I chant multiple times on the exhale or one time slowly?

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I've done the Mani mantra for many years.  Even though it's not taught in my tradition, it's one of those lovely gifts to all of mankind.

 

I do it silently, only a few hundred times a day lately, but I've gone through weeks where I've done it nonstop.  In the times where I get very disciplined with it, ALOT of personal things change.  How I treat people, my outlook and thoughts.... also I even noticed my dreams change.  They were more pleasant, I had no nightmares, etc.

 

The best way I've found , that works for me, is to think that with each time I say it, millions of people and everything everywhere is being alleviated of their suffering.  Sometimes its hard to conceptualize "love" or "compassion", by trying to subjectively conjure it up in your mind or your heart.  But by thinking of others, that your helping them and freeing their pain, is the ultimate feeling of a "successful mani" in my book.

 

Your mileage may vary.  I loved the links given in this thread! 
Om mani padme hum!

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I've done the Mani mantra for many years. Even though it's not taught in my tradition, it's one of those lovely gifts to all of mankind.

 

I do it silently, only a few hundred times a day lately, but I've gone through weeks where I've done it nonstop. In the times where I get very disciplined with it, ALOT of personal things change. How I treat people, my outlook and thoughts.... also I even noticed my dreams change. They were more pleasant, I had no nightmares, etc.

 

The best way I've found , that works for me, is to think that with each time I say it, millions of people and everything everywhere is being alleviated of their suffering. Sometimes its hard to conceptualize "love" or "compassion", by trying to subjectively conjure it up in your mind or your heart. But by thinking of others, that your helping them and freeing their pain, is the ultimate feeling of a "successful mani" in my book.

 

Your mileage may vary. I loved the links given in this thread!

Om mani padme hum!

Do you mind if I ask what your tradition is? Also, how do you chant? As many time as you can on the inhale and exhale? Just once on the exhale?

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I say it over and over in my head. Since it is silent I don't incorporate the breath. I practice Chan Buddhism.

 

Peace!

FX

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Being part of the vajrayana cult I use mantra a lot.

 

I would say it is very good to get a transmission and form a connection with an enlightened lineage of masters, that helps for sure. Certain mantras such as the mani mantra don't need this type of transmission to function, but still I think it would deepen the impact of the practice as you connect through the vibrations also with the realisation of the master.

 

Then I found it very important to understand a bit how and why they work, you can read about that. What I found for myself to be very important is to "vibrate internally" - the more open (less tense) your throat neck and jaw muscles are - the more you feel the vibration in the rest of your body cells.

 

So it is less a sound wave that we use in trying to get someone's attention who is in another room

 

And more like a means to get our body cells to move into higher frequencies - or in other words: to be more alive

 

The more you let the sound vibrate in all of your body, and specially inside of your body, the more you relax - the more you can relax the more vibration you will feel in your body and how the sound waves move out of your body into your surroundings

 

Then once you got there you can get silent and do it more internally to.

 

But I fell first it is very important to "incorporate" the mantra

 

So much so that your body cells have the informations of that yidam-deity written on them, these are informations of love, compassion, wisdom and great joy

 

If you vibrate the mantra internally - in the right way, you immediately feel how your cells respond by waking up - the liquids in your body start moving, your muscles relaxe

 

Throat needs to be very relaxed for that - so that there can be this internal humming and vibrating

 

Like a cat purring

 

That's the best picture of how to intone a mantra I know of - like a cat purring, remember that the cat purrs because of bliss and feeling very very nice

 

Do your mantra like that and your mind really gets some rest ;)

 

Hope that helps

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