Sign in to follow this  
Kongming

Daoist Use of Buddhist Mantras

Recommended Posts

Historically has there ever been the use of specifically Buddhist mantras, say particularly those with more mundane effects besides their purely spiritual effects (such as changing destiny, protection, etc.), by Daoists? From what I've read it seems the Daoists have their own mantras and even created some pseudo-Sanskrit mantras, but is there any precedent for a Daoist using Buddhist mantras and spells for their own use?

 

Is there any examples of contemporary Daoist use of Buddhist mantras? I figure someone with more direct knowledge of Chinese Daoism will likely have greater insight into this than me.

 

I ask because not only is the interaction between the two traditions historically an interest of mine, but I also find myself in the position where I tend to have more interest in Daoism as a personal path but also have practiced a Buddhist mantra (Cundi mantra) that I've found and continue to find useful. That said I don't wish to create my own personal New Age mishmash but rather am interested in being a sincere and traditional practitioner. Thus I'm in a bind as to whether, as someone interested in Daoism, it would be proper for me to recite this mantra. So far the only rationalization I can give is that Cundi is seen as a manifestation of Guanyin, who is also important in Daoism, and that Cundi is also often associated with the specifically Daoist goddess "Doumu" (they share the same mudra for example.)

 

Or is all of this just a case of me not understanding either tradition and the relationship between the two? In short, I wonder what a modern Quanzhen Daoshi/priest would think of the matter.

 

Thanks in advance for any insight and assistance.

Edited by Kongming

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mentioned already that Master Zhang, Yuanming is also a Buddhist master and he teaches and practices reciting Om Mani Padme Hung. My own teacher also practices this as well from the same lineage apparently.

 

Let's see - where did I read about this?

 

Oh it was in that cache of documents a Tai Chi teacher sent me via dropbox....

 

....

 

I'll have to see if I can find it.

 

But you can get that Buddhist mantra meditation c.d. from http://springforestqigong.com which is based on the same lineage from Qingchenshan.

 

Found it - Puzhao Temple. Taoist Master Abbot Zhang was the teacher of the Buddhist Abbess of Puzhao Temple.

Edited by voidisyinyang
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve Jackowicz, "Om Mani Padme Hum in Daoist Revision"

 

2013 Journal of Daoist Studies Vol. 6.

 

 

Edited by voidisyinyang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Daoist¬† and¬† Buddhist¬†techniques¬†have¬†cross‚ÄĎfertilized¬†each¬† other¬† for¬†al‚ÄϬ† most¬† two¬† millennia.¬† The¬† Buddhist¬† mantra¬† Om¬†Mani¬†Padme¬†Hum¬† is¬† an¬† ubiquitous¬†element¬†of¬†Buddhist¬†practice,¬†and¬†has¬†an¬†widespread¬†use¬†in¬† Daoism.¬† In¬†the¬†summer¬† of¬† 2012¬† in¬† Sichuan,¬† China¬† at¬†the¬† Palace¬† of¬† the¬† Heavenly¬†Dragon¬†(Tianlong¬†gong),¬†I¬†was¬†able¬†to¬†receive¬†instruction¬†on¬†a¬† Daoist¬†form¬†of¬†the¬†mantra¬†which¬†mapped¬†the¬†resonances¬†to¬†specific¬†areas¬† of¬†the¬†body.¬†This¬†practice¬†was¬†the¬†core¬†of¬†one¬†of¬†the¬†nun‚Äôs¬†daily¬†regimen.¬† This¬† version¬† of¬† the¬† practice¬† epitomizes¬† the¬† process¬† of¬† hybridization¬† of¬† Buddhist¬†to¬†Daoist¬†practice,¬†as¬†well¬†as¬†demonstration¬†of¬†a¬†kataphatic¬†ap‚ÄϬ† proach,¬†somaticization¬†of¬†spiritual¬†states,¬†and¬†cosmicization. The Practice¬† The¬†practice¬†itself¬†is¬†simple.¬†The¬†mantra¬†is¬†repeated¬†while¬†in¬†a¬†seated¬†po‚ÄϬ† sition.¬† Upon¬† observation¬† the¬† practitioner¬† is¬† seen¬† to¬† chant¬† and¬† to¬† sway¬† with¬†the¬†syllables¬†of¬†the¬†chant¬†as¬†they¬†are¬†repeated.¬†The¬†cadence¬†repeats¬† and¬† increases¬† in¬† speed¬† until,¬† after¬† an¬† indeterminate¬† number¬† of¬† repeti‚ÄϬ† tions,¬†the¬†practitioner¬†intones¬†the¬†last¬†syllable¬†and¬†then¬†sits¬†in¬†meditation.¬† Although¬†the¬†outer¬†appearance¬†resembles¬†many¬†other¬†types¬†of¬†chanting¬† practice,¬† there¬† is¬† an¬† ornate¬† inner¬† visualization¬† that¬† accompanies¬† the¬† chant,¬†as¬†well¬†as¬†requisite¬†technical¬†components¬†of¬†the¬†intonation¬†of¬†the¬† mantra¬†that¬†are¬†considered¬†vital¬†to¬†the¬†eliciting¬†of¬†the¬†correct¬†cosmic¬†en‚ÄϬ† ergy¬†(qi)¬†and¬†achieving¬†potency¬†in¬†the¬†technique.¬† The¬† practitioner¬† needs¬† to¬† be¬† able¬† to¬† intone¬† the¬† syllables¬† correctly¬† according¬†to¬†the¬†lineage¬†technique.¬†Instead¬†of¬†a¬†labial¬†pronunciation,¬†the¬† tone¬†is¬†deep¬†and¬†resonant¬†and¬†loses¬†some¬†of¬†its¬†distinction¬†in¬†sound¬†be‚ÄĎ 204¬†/¬†Journal¬†of¬†Daoist¬†Studies¬†6¬†(2013)¬† coming¬†more¬†of¬†a¬†deep¬†pulsing¬†note.¬†The¬†advice¬†from¬†the¬†initiates¬†was¬† that¬†the¬†body¬†needs¬†to¬†shake¬†with¬†the¬†sound¬†as¬†if¬†a¬†bell¬†echoing¬†to¬†eter‚ÄϬ† nity¬†that¬†was¬†sounded¬†by¬†the¬†Goddess¬†Guanyin¬†herself.¬† The¬† inner¬† visualization¬† begins¬† with¬† the¬† practitioner¬† sitting¬† and¬† calming¬†his¬†mind¬†dispelling¬†any¬†negative¬†thoughts¬†or¬†emotions.¬†Then¬†he¬† looks¬†inside¬†seeing¬†the¬†Goddess¬†Guanyin¬†reflected¬†in¬†his¬†heart¬†as¬†if¬†in¬†a¬† calm¬†and¬†still¬†pristine¬†lake.¬†The¬†practitioner¬†then¬†feels¬†the¬†heart¬†resonate¬† the¬†syllable¬†en.¬†The¬†attention¬†shifts¬†to¬†the¬†area¬†just¬†beyond¬†the¬†left¬†upper¬† arm,¬†where¬†the¬†practitioner¬†feels¬†the¬†syllable¬†ma¬†resonate.¬†Next¬†the¬†prac‚ÄϬ† titioner¬†resonates¬†the¬†syllable¬†ni¬†feeling¬†it¬†in¬†the¬†area¬†directly¬†above¬†the¬† crown¬†of¬†the¬†skull.¬†The¬†practitioner¬†then¬†feels¬†the¬†resonance¬†of¬†the¬†sylla‚ÄϬ† ble¬†ba¬†next¬†to¬†the¬†right¬†upper¬†arm.¬†Next¬†the¬†practitioner¬†feels¬†the¬†syllable¬† mi¬†resonate¬†in¬†the¬†lower¬†abdomen.¬†Finally¬†the¬†syllable¬†hong¬†is¬†felt¬†reso‚ÄϬ† nating¬†throughout¬†the¬†body¬†expanding¬†to¬†the¬†limits¬†of¬†the¬†universe.¬†The¬† cycle¬†is¬†repeated¬†as¬†many¬†times¬†as¬†the¬†practitioner¬†feels¬†is¬†needed¬†to¬†ex‚ÄϬ† perience¬† a¬† transcendent¬† expansion¬† of¬† cosmic¬† force¬† (qi).¬† The¬† practice¬† is¬† then¬†followed¬†with¬†a¬†period¬†of¬†quiet¬†meditation. Historical Origins¬† Om¬† Mani¬† Padme¬† Hum¬† goes¬† back¬† to¬† the¬† KarandavyńĀŇęha¬† Sutra¬† (Foshuo¬† dacheng¬†zhuangyan¬†baoyu¬†jing šĹõÔ¶°Ś§ßšĻėŤéäŚöīŚĮ∂ÁéČÁ∂ď,¬†T.¬†1050),¬†a¬†MahayńĀna¬† Buddhist¬†text¬†that¬†originated¬†in¬†the¬†late¬†fourth¬†or¬†early¬†fifth¬†century¬†CE.¬† The¬†sutra¬†describes¬† the¬† Bodhisattva¬† of¬† Compassion,¬†AvalokiteŇõvara,¬†as¬† the¬†highest¬†of¬†the¬†Buddhist¬†iŇõvara¬†(divine¬†lords)¬†and¬†as¬†the¬†originator¬†of¬† many¬† deities.¬†AvalokiteŇõvara¬† is¬†described¬† in¬† this¬†sutra¬† as¬†being¬†higher¬† than¬†the¬†Buddha¬†himself.¬†The¬†mantra¬†is¬†presented¬†as¬†a¬†means¬†to¬†enlight‚ÄϬ† enment¬† embodying¬† the¬† nature¬† of¬† the¬† Bodhisattva¬† of¬† Compassion.¬† Om¬† Mani¬†Padme¬†Hum,¬†then,¬†is¬†both¬†the¬†paramardńĀya,¬†or¬† Ļinnermost¬†heart Ļ,¬†of¬† AvalokiteŇõvara....¬†It¬† is¬† also...¬†a¬†mahńĀvidya,¬† a¬†mantra¬†capable¬† of¬†bringing¬† about¬†the¬† Ļgreat¬†knowledge Ļ¬†of¬†enlightenment¬†itself‚Ä̬†(Studholme¬†2002).¬† The¬†mantra‚Äôs¬†meaning¬†is¬†not¬†clear.¬†Om¬†is¬†the¬†resonant¬†sound¬†at¬†the¬† core¬†of¬†the¬†universe.¬†The¬†sound¬†has¬†no¬†phonemic¬†translation. Mani¬†padme¬† means¬†‚Äújewel¬†lotus,‚Ä̬†which¬†can¬†be¬†read¬†as¬†a ‚Äúbe‚ÄĎjeweled¬†lotus‚Ä̬†or¬†a¬†jewel¬† in¬†the¬†heart¬†of¬†the¬†lotus.¬†The¬†term¬†may¬†refer¬†to¬†the¬†Bodhisattva¬†of¬†Com‚ÄϬ† passion. Hum¬†is¬†another¬†mantric¬†sound¬†that¬†has¬†no¬†translation. Jackowicz,¬†‚ÄúOm¬†Mani¬†Padme¬†Hum‚ÄĚ /¬†205¬† The¬† Karendavy...

 

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/635111/pdf

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen Hayes, Bujinkan teacher turned esoteric buddhist teacher, on Om mani padme hum. 

 

Om= That is a plead to Heaven 

 

Mani = jewel,  like in the Diamond sutra, you are pleading for wisdom /Knowledge. 

 

Padme =lotus,  might be a reference to the fully developed crown chakra. 

 

Hum = That is you accepting the grace of Heaven. 

 

Intention up, evolve,  internalize. 

 

It is 20 years since I read that one,  but this was more or less the core of it according to Hayes. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't Guan Yin revered both as a Daoist Immortal and Buddhist deity? Cross-fertilisation or different paths to the same source of grace that works expediently? 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following my last post,  Ken Cohen in the dvd Qi healing states that Om invokes the power of creation. 

 

And yes, sorry Kongming for going off-topic. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, rex said:

Isn't Guan Yin revered both as a Daoist Immortal and Buddhist deity? Cross-fertilisation or different paths to the same source of grace that works expediently? 

 

I've read that the main reason Guan Yin was created was because of the Taoist worship of the Queen Mother of the West - or the Mystic Valley, etc. - the female principle. So Guan Yun was transformed from a male in India to a female in China because of Taoism.

 

All the Chinese literati can chime in with some kind of literati debate. haha.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SeekerOfHealing said:

You need to read Kukai's books when he proves supermany of buddhism over taoism. He explains why buddhist mantras works and why daoist does not work. 

 

Why do you post on a Daoist website if you think Buddhism is superior to Taoism and Taoist mantras don't work?

 

Are you some kind of Buddhist missionary? haha.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All hail the Shaolin Temple? 

:D

 

This is the general section after all, not the daoist section. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Kongming

 

I suggest you to read. 

 

"SangŇć shiiki¬†(šłČśēôśĆáś≠ł;¬†Indications of the Goals of the Three Teachings), was an apology for Buddhism, written when he was 24 years old (797). KŇękai, in this work, compared Buddhism,¬†Confucianism, and¬†Taoism, and discussed the superiority of Buddhism. He used a form of literary narrative, displaying his literary talent. The work demonstrates KŇękai‚Äôs knowledge of existing belief systems, including Confucianism and Taoism. The Nara temples, with their extensive libraries, were the most likely place, perhaps the only place, where KŇękai could have found all of these texts"

 

Generally if daoist would new the power and practice of Vairochana, Daoism and other religion itself would disappear. The only thing which keep those things going is just limited mind and character which cling to the teachings of confucius or laotzu.

 

 

Edited by SeekerOfHealing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read Kukai and am fairly familiar with Shingon (at least intellectually) as it is one of the sects of Buddhism (along with general East Asian esoteric Buddhism) that most interests me.

 

That said I can't agree with Kukai or much of Buddhist polemics regarding their unique superiority over every other tradition...to be honest in another thread I recently posted on Daoism and Buddhism's difference, where they do differ doctrinally I am mostly in agreement with Daoism's positions. 

 

Furthermore Kukai's assessment of Daoism seems to largely be a straw man since he portrays Daoism as being concerned with getting into heaven, which according to Buddhism is samsaric, and therefore not leading to true liberation. Problem is this is not only a simplified and inaccurate view of Daoism but also fails to take Daoism on its own terms when it (usually) portrays immortality or "xianhood" or becoming a "zhenren" as being equivalent to Buddhist liberation, namely permanent and unable to be lost.

 

Another problem is the primary form of Daoism today and the one which interests me most, namely Quanzhen/Neidan, postdates Kukai.

 

Personally I am a bit of a perrenialist in many respects, so I'd say Shingon's Vairocana is equivalent to a personalized form of the Dao, and hence their powers would be equal.

 

Interestingly in the Buddhist hierarchy of traditions, particularly that employed in Tibet, Buddhism is supposed to be superior to all other traditions, Mahayana superior to Hinayana, Vajrayana as superior to "regular" Mahayana, and sometimes Dzogchen/Mahamudra put as superior to "regular" Vajrayana/tantra. Daoist alchemy in its methodology and framework is closer to tantric Buddhism than other forms and in its dialectic is often similar to Chan/Zen, which in turn is often seen as similar to Dzogchen in many respects. In other words, if Daoist alchemy/Quanzhen were a form of Buddhism it would be placed very highly on Tibetan (and Shingon) hierarchies of potency.  Daniel Reid compares Quanzhen favorably with Dzogchen here for example:

 

http://danreid.org/daniel-reid-articles-practice-makes-perfect-dzogchen-chuanchen.asp

 

In short, I don't think Daoism is inferior to Buddhism in any way or I would just be a Buddhist, and indeed I personally often am in agreement with Daoism where the two differ.

 

Back to the primary topic, again I do find the Cundi mantra useful for a variety of reasons while being more interested in Daoism, but as noted am weary of falling into personalized paths of a New Age mishmash.

Edited by Kongming
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this