Thursday, May 19, 2011

MANTRA 101


Last time I said:

A good example of this is the way we deal with the Heart Sutra, which is considered by many to be the single most important sutra in Zen, the one that defines Zen as a distinct form of Buddhism. It ends with a whole big long section that says how wonderful this one mantra is and how everyone should proclaim it. I do not know, nor have I even heard rumors about, a single Zen Buddhist who chants that mantra.

When I wrote that I took it for granted that most readers had the same understanding as I do as to what it means to chant a mantra. What I was referring to was the way mantras are chanted in Hinduism and Hindu-based religions.

The Hare Krishnas, for example, chant the mantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare over and over and over sometimes for hours on end. In Trancendental Meditation, one is given a mantra by one's instructor guru. One then repeats this mantra silently while one meditates. It's usually just a few syllables long. Repeating this sacred word or phrase is supposed to help focus the mind on the divine. Here's a page that talks about the practice.

I just checked Wikipedia's entry on mantras and it appears that what I'm referring to is "mantra japa," which they define as follows:

Mantra japa was a concept of the Vedic sages that incorporates mantras as one of the main forms of puja, or worship, whose ultimate end is seen as moksha/liberation. Essentially, mantra japa means repetition of mantra,[8] and it has become an established practice of all Hindu streams, from the various Yoga to Tantra. It involves repetition of a mantra over and over again, usually in cycles of auspicious numbers (in multiples of three), the most popular being 108. For this reason, Hindu malas (bead necklaces) developed, containing 108 beads and a head bead (sometimes referred to as the 'meru', or 'guru' bead). The devotee performing japa using his/her fingers counts each bead as he/she repeats the chosen mantra. Having reached 108 repetitions, if he/she wishes to continue another cycle of mantras, the devotee must turn the mala around without crossing the head bead and repeat.

That's what I was talking about. And that is what the end of the Heart Sutra appears to me to be telling us to do with the mantra gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

But loads of people wrote in to tell me that at their temple they chant the Heart Sutra every morning or every Sunday or whatever. Yes. This is true. But I've never been to a Zen temple where they chant that mantra more than once.

I suppose one could read the Heart Sutra in such a way that it doesn't tell us to do "mantra japa" with that mantra. But I've never read it that way. I've always thought it was clearly telling us that we should repeat gate gate etc. over and over and over again.

Sorry for creating confusion.

M'kay?

103 comments:

Mumon said...

Well, look at me!

Anonymous said...

I known that for me there's a qualitative difference when I chant the mantra part of the Heart Sutra as opposed to the rest of it. It's kind of like "yes you've been paying attention as you've been chanting, but are you *really* present? Here's your chance - put everything into *these* words. But maybe that's just me...

anon #108 said...

For me, the mantra at the end of the Heart Sutra does have a rousing "Let's take this home!" effect which gets me excited and a little bit emotional on the rare occasions when I get to chant it (at the annual 3-day retreats of the group I've sat with). But it's done once only. A final tinkety-bonk, a last "hannya shingyo" ident and we're off for a coffee break.

Are you suggesting mantra-japa might do us good, Brad, or are you saying that although the Heart Sutra seems very keen on it, we needn't bother?

I get the vedic/yogic origins of mantra-chanting, but why, I wonder, do Buddhist folks who chant mantras chant mantras? What are mantras in Buddhism for? (That's mantras, not sutras.)


BTW, here's the defintion of the sanskrit word japa, from the Monier-Williams Dictionary:

"muttering, whispering...muttering prayers, repeating in a murmuring tone passages from scripture or charms or names of a deity, &c, muttered prayer or spell."

Rick said...

99 bottles of beer on the wall ...

john e mumbles said...

20 some odd -and I do mean ODD- years ago I was given a Sufi zikr, virtually the same thing as a mantra, a God Name, to recite with every in-breath and out-breath.

This was part of a traditional initiation done by a Shaykh of the Order.

Its a powerful practice, if you have never had anything you thought you could take to your deathbed for certain refuge and comfort, well, somehow (I mean don't ask me to explain how), this is it. It IS your breath, the essence and actuality of it, the gratitude for it, the raw awareness of it.

What I realized very early on into the practice -and found out later it is very true indeed- is that Anything can be a mantra, any meaningful or non- meaningful, or even unintelligible word or phrase, if it is practiced with conviction and heart.

A young friend, a mother, once asked me for a simple practice and I said repeat your son's name over and over and it will live in your heart, it will be your heart, your love for him through remembrance of his name on every breath will be your practice.

john e mumbles said...

I forgot to mention she was dying of cancer...

Anonymous said...

Post moar dharma talks! I crave for them!

Anonymous said...

Holy Fuck. Check out these Zen Whores.
http://five-mountain.org/

Norbert said...

I've been practicing the Jesus prayer for quite some time now; this practice really does "center" you. I worked with Heart sutra's mantra, too, and it was also very effective.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the Five Mountain Link. Wearily I say, thank goodness... it appears the Cavalry is arriving!

:^D

Blondeau said...

This is how I have always taken it as well. I often use "gate gate ..." mantra japa style. It seems very right at an intuitive level.

proulx michel said...

As I mentioned before, whenever I see a roadkill (or, for humans, a sign that says that there was a roadkill, I say the mantra.

It's probably totally useless, but it's important for me though, because I believe we have to be conscious of what's involved in a roadkill.

R said...

As I see it the sutra never says what Brad is saying it does, and I can’t really see why would it be viewed otherwise.

The “proclaim” at the end seems merely to say to proclaim it once - which is then done - right after - in ending that very chanting of the sutra.

- That is all.


You can check any translation of the sutra you like. - In the Nishijima-Cross translation it is even clearer.



Brad sometimes really isn’t serious.

+ said...

I think it is even more evident in listening to the chanting of the sutra, - (in the Rinzai sect at least, I don’t remember if it’s the same in the Soto sect) the way it ends.

anon #108 said...

R -

The N/C translation of the Heart Sutra in the first book of Shobogenzo has:

"Therefore we invoke the spell of prajna-paramita.
We invoke the spell as follows:"

The Chinese characters (from Brad's link) are:

故説般若波羅蜜多呪 ("So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra"
即説呪曰 ("Proclaim the mantra that says...")

I don't read Chinese characters at all, but Google translate suggests that "proclaim" might also be "So it is recommended [to] say..."

One Sanskrit version has:

prajnA-pAramitAyAm uktaH maMtraH tadyathA ("The mantra is spoken in the prajna-paramita in the following manner...")


As I read them, none of these versions/translations resolve the question whether the Heart Sutra recommends us to chant the mantra japa stylee or not.

I know nothing of the practices of the time in which the Sutra was written so I've no opinion on what the 'authentic' approach might be. I have always assumed that mantras were supposed to be chanted, that is repeated over and over, but perhaps that's not always been the case.

Bottom line: japa it if you want to. It's clear that some folks find chanting (anything) an enjoyable and rewarding thing to do.

Lemmy said...

Today my mantra is "Friday".

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=747_1305849739

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

I hate you mysterion! Boo!
If you think there is power or truth in that phrase you are an idiot. Words are just human vocal utterances that try to convey something real but never mean the same thing twice. Whore is a loaded word, funny to some, frightening to others. In itself it is meaningless and empty. There is no cosmically powerful sound vibration black sapphire mantra magic. All there is, is ritual and superstition and dumb beliefs.

mtto said...

Isn't mantra japa a part of vajrayana practice?

Myst, "magic spells" sounds more like dharani than mantra.

anon #108 said...
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anon #108 said...

Mysti wrote:

GATE is also pronounced

"JAW - TAY"

as in "Jeffery" (Geoffrey Chaucer)



In Sanskrit (and Hindi) the "g" of gate is written ग् (using the devanagari alphabet), always transliterated as 'g' and pronounced as in 'gap', not as in 'Geoffrey'. The 'g' sound of 'Geoffrey' or 'job' is written ज् and always transliterated as 'j' - it's a completely different letter and sound from 'g'.

So, in Sanskrit, गते (gate) is pronounced as the French word "pâté" (meat paste), with a 'g' instead of a 'p'.

But perhaps you're talking about pronunciation of the word in Chinese or Japanese or Korean...or some other dialect/convention?

I appreciated your take on the subject of mantras, Chas.

Oh yeah, mtto...dharani. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

According to Red Pine, mantra and dharani were originally interchangeable, but at some point dharani came to be used for meaningful, intelligible phrases, and mantra for syllabic formulae which are not meant to be understood. Source: Wiki

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:06

Thought it was the opposite: the mantras are intelligible and can be translated,
the dharani are the bits of archaic language, now sounds, believed to have power, but not translatable

Anonymous said...

As punishment for creating confusion, I sentence you to chant the heart sutra 108 times.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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anon #108 said...

In that case, Chas, I defer to the 'old ones' from Nepal. All the Sanskrit I know is based on modern scholarship and practice.

Still, pronouncing two distinct letters ('g', a voiceless valar and 'j', a voiceless palatal) in the same way can't be 'correct'; the devanagari alphabet is very logical, systematic collection and arrangement of sounds as produced by the tongue, teeth, mouth, vocal chords and breath. But I'll take your word for it that, as far as the old ones from Nepal are concerned, they're doing it right :) Interesting.

anon #108 said...

...thanks for the link.

anon #108 said...

...which, sadly makes no reference to pronunciation. Vedic recitation - intonation and accent - yes, but not pronunciation.

anon #108 said...

EDIT: make that "'g', a voiced valar and 'j', a voiced palatal."

I wonder what's on telly?

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...

for your consideration, a PDF book ~ Buddhist Bible, an exception to the rule...

http://zenwerx.net/dl/buddhist_bible1sted.pdf

COPYRIGHT 1932 BY DWIGHT GODDARD
Dedicated
TO MY HONORED TEACHERS
Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki
PROFESSOR, OTANI UNIVERSITY
Taiko Yamazaki
ROSHI, SO-KO-KU MONASTERY

anon #108 said...

Sadly, most of what is accepted as 'authority' today comes from the flood of publications in the 1890's.

That's true, Chas. But, as you may know, recent (C19th and subsequent) Sanskrit scholars have the advantage of being able to refer back to the sutras of Panini, who described and codified every aspect of the Sanskrit language around the C4th BC. And Sanskrit is still spoken in parts of India. As with all languages, some aspects of pronunciation differ from region to region, but not that much, or so I have heard.

So Sanskrit is rather unique in that we have access to a very clear and precise ancient set of rules describing how to put it together and speak it "properly" - it's a very "proper" language ("saMskRta" = "put together, constructed, well or completely formed, perfected").

But you're reporting that which you have heard, the exceptions to the rules. I geddit.

I will check out the links.

Uncle Willie said...
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mtto said...

Chapter 26 of the Lotus Sutra is titled "Dharanis". Reeves translates this as "Incantations". The footnote in the Kato et al translation reads: A spell or talisamnic word, one of the four kinds of dharanis. There are four kinds of spells: (1) to heal disease, (2) to put an end to the consequences of sin, (3) to protect the sutras, and (4) for wisdom. The following spell is for the protection of this sutra. Neither the Reeves or the Kato translates the dharanis (incantations) themselves, although Reeves gives a variety of pronunciations: Japanese, Sanskrit, Pinyin.

I'm pretty sure that most of the syllables in the dharanis of the Lotus Sutra don't mean anything denotatively; that is why they aren't translated. Or in some instances they might be names of mythical beings. The mantra at the end of the Heart Sutra, does mean something, as do other Buddhist mantras, like "Om mani padme om". However, I think it is correct that the terms dharani and mantra break down as completely separate categories.

Mr. Reee said...

"There is no cosmically powerful sound vibration black sapphire mantra magic."

Damn! I'm taking this "Japa For Dummies" book back to B&N and chucking it at the clerk's head.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Mr. Reee said...

Those Boonville folks were just sharkin' higheelers.

Where's mah horn of zees?

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

Tu ne cede malis,
sed contra audentior ito.

anon #108 said...

Chas,

The 'g' of gate is defined by Panini and other ancient Indian grammarians as an unaspirated voiced valar/guttural stop. The 'j' of *jah-tay* is an unaspirated voiced palatal stop. If some folks somewhere are using a prakrit/dialect that confuses the two - smashing, I don't mind at all. But they're not pronouncing Sanskrit the way it should be pronounced. Sanskrit is a rare example (maybe the only one?) of a language with a very clear set of shoulds, set in palm-leaf 2,500 years ago.

You can japa 'jah-tay' if you like, but I strongly recommend gate with a guttural ग for those seriously desirous of reaching the other shore sometime this kalpa.

Mysterion said...

On the other shore, on the other shore
We will reunite with all the things we ever owned before
Our single socks will all be to their rightful pairs restored
We'll meet all our possessions on the other shore

As we near those golden sidewalks floating on the clouds above
Assuming heaven is our destination
We may glance behind for one last look at everything we love
But truly there's no call for reservations

On the other shore, on the other shore
We'll have piles and piles of jeans we can't fit into anymore
We'll wear all those crazy cowboy shirts we got from Fred Labour
We'll meet all our possessions on the other shore

We'll find books we bought in college and sold for half-price unread
And sacks and sacks of earring backs lost under someone's bed
And baseball cards and army men and model planes galore
And every tiny plastic high-heel Barbie ever wore

On the other shore, on the other shore
We'll have giant storage units free of charge for evermore
Where our tax receipts will all be saved in bags upon the floor
We'll meet all our possessions
On the other shore, on the other shore

We'll find National Geographics from 1974
Our children's art will cover God's refrigerator door
We'll meet all our possessions on the other shore

Written By HANK CARD, CONRAD DEISLER, KRISTEN NELSON CARD

performed here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoI9trk8WMQ

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

The photo: when did Brad and Obama become Hare Krishnas?

proulx michel said...

I think referring to a contemporary use, be it termed "ancient" as it may doesn't mean much. In terms of generations, we are not very far from 1930, yet the pronounciation of our languages has varied wildly, as we can see from phonographic record, and even film.

Of course there are periods when change are fast and others (and places) where they are slow. Canada maintained for two centuries the court speech of France, but that's over now.

We have indications of how French was pronounced in the 12th Century because one of the most important rabbis of Judaism wrote French in hebrew characters. Languages move, and what you hear today in Nepal, although termed "ancient", is in no way a guarantee that this is what existed 2000 years ago and such.

R said...

- 108 (@ 6:36 am) -

I don’t see what does it matter if it says “proclaim” or “invoke”. I also see no problem with “recommended [to] say”.

- If it says – “Therefore we invoke the spell of prajna-paramita. We invoke the spell as follows:” - it seems clear and natural it refers to the single recitation of the mantra at the end of sutra.

I see no reason why would one interpret it as a recommendation to continuously chant these last few words as what you call japa.


I don’t know Sanskrit or the necessary Japanese and I haven’t looked into these.


As I see it the sutra tells you to say the mantra, - which then you do - as you chant it, - and then you can just go drink tea.


[- Middle line: Drink tea if you want to. It’s clear that some folks find drinking (anything) an enjoyable and rewarding thing to do. -]


- In Japanese monasteries the Sutra is chanted daily, - often more than once, - so whenever you’ve chanted it you’ve said the mantra.

For what it’s worth.


It seem clear to me from the words of the sutra.

It’s perhaps clearer if you’re used to chanting it daily.


- Would you see it otherwise if it hasn’t been for what brad said?


[Brad’s point seems to be the sutra recommends us to do something no one ever does. The thing is the sutra never recommends it in the first place.

Muho somewhere refers to the fact that a precept of not getting intoxicated is received while no one initially has any intention of following it.

But that is something else.]

anon #108 said...

I understand your point, R. And no, I hadn't thought much about it until Brad mentioned it. Having thought about it a little bit, I concluded: "As I read them, none of these versions/translations resolve the question whether the Heart Sutra recommends us to chant the mantra japa stylee or not."

As I have no plans to repeatedly chant 'gate gate...' and no strong feelings about chanting generally, it's perfectly fine with me if you're right or if Brad's right about this. I don't have a dog in this particular fight.


captcha = picke

R said...

I didn’t miss your quote.

I’m not about “resolving”. Suppose you read the sutra it seems you’d naturally see it as I say. - This is the point, - not about making a full inspection investigating pretranslated versions and coming to a 100% certainty.



My point is brad is irresponsible.

btw said...

The Heart Sutra is part of some larger sutra.

In case anyone’s interested it may clarify.

+ said...

I didn’t really get why you started calling me “R”, One O.

Uncle Willie said...
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Anonymous said...

Why is Obama wearing Brad's glasses in the photo? Brad looks funny without them.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

Does anybody know what time the earthquakes are supposed to start?

proulx michel said...

An onymous said...

Does anybody know what time the earthquakes are supposed to start?

Well, it seems that they won't be starting on this side of the Pond, anyway...

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know what time the earthquakes are supposed to start?

6 PM? Presumably, Pacific Standard Time, cause that's where Camping lives?

Mysterion said...
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Billy said...

Brad,
Completely off topic here, but have you ever read Fight Club?

Mysterion said...
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mysterion's agent said...

Give him a topic and WATCH OUT!!!!

tattoozen said...

I still say 'JY-ROWS' even though the new poster down at the local greek food place has a pronunciation guide which clearly states that they are "YEE-ROHS". Ive said it the "wrong" way for years and years and its comfortable on my tongue that way. If it was really important i would make an effort to correct myself, but it doesnt seem to be, so i wont.

I will probably keep saying (and thinking) its "GAH-TAY" forever.

Anonymous said...

Contra leftist anthropologists who celebrate the noble savage, the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker wrote in 2007, quantitative body counts—such as the proportion of prehistoric skeletons with ax marks and embedded arrowheads or the proportion of men in a contemporary foraging tribe who die at the hands of other men—suggest that pre-state societies were far more violent than our own. According to Pinker, the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes "got it right" when he called pre-state life a "war of all against all."

See: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage (Oxford University Press, 1996) Keeley)

Anonymous said...

Hare Wah-na
Hare Wah-na
Oh bama bama
Hare Wah-na

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...

p.s. I tend to agree that pre-civilized man was a free-for-all.

Thus law codes - like Hammurabi.

Attribute your laws to the local god and the locals won't mess with your laws.

Sumerians did that, Akkadians did that, Egyptians did that, and much later the Fellaheen in the Levant got around to it also.

Uncle Willie said...
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Anonymous said...

i found this zen site recently, it also has some good essays. Thought i might share it with y'all.

http://www.hsuyun.org/chan/en/home.html

Lefty said...

"Then I met with the 'old ones' from Nepal and was corrected."

Well, no disrespect to the 'old ones', but the Sanskrit syllable used there is a "GA".

Lefty said...

And interestingly, even in mantrayana/vajrayana, the mantra embedded in the Hannya Shingyō isn't one that gets used, particularly, as a mantra, not by itself.

The entire Heart Sutra is frequently used as a sort of "general exorcism" in Japan...

john e mumbles said...

FYI, I "raptured" yesterday but as you can see, I can still comment on this here bloggie.

Did I say "raptured"? I meant "ruptured" while eating a snow cone and had to go to the emergency room for sutures. While there I ascended via the usual meds.

I was out of it, but now am okay and back. Oh yeah, Jesus God sez: "Hey y'all."

Didn't see anybody else while up there. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Just the other day
at Moe's Books...

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

http://www.dvc.edu/biopage/MHuff/

CAPCHA = ornamental

Anonymous said...

more on topic:

Although psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism derive from theoretical and philosophical assumptions worlds apart, both experientially-based traditions share at their heart a desire for the understanding, development, and growth of the human experience. Paul Cooper utilizes detailed clinical vignettes to contextualize the implications of Zen Buddhism in the therapeutic setting to demonstrate how its practices and beliefs inform, relate to, and enhance transformative psychoanalytic practice. Though mindful of their differences, Cooper's intent throughout is to illustrate how the practices of both Zen and psychoanalysis become internalized by the individual who engages in them and can, in turn, inform one another in mutually beneficial ways in an effort to comprehend the ramifications of an individual or collective expanding vision.

Anonymous said...

the Alan Watts of his day...

Anonymous said...

they both had Amblyopia

and a penchant for verbosity.

Anonymous said...

Brad I'm enjoying this lil blog you're maintaining for Mysterion in the comments section ;)

Anonymous said...

Zen Dave?

Uncle Willie said...
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R said...

Just something I came across

http://www.shimanoarchive.com/PDFs/20101206_Malone_Goto.pdf

Anonymous Bob said...

the California earthquakes Saturday night probably puckered a few sphincters in the bay area, at least among the fundi crowd.

CAPTCHA : balkyd : I kid you not

Bruno said...

As for me, I have always thought of it as some kind of advice. Something like: "You have to practice the great wisdom like this: 'go, go! Go further! Go even beyond: that is enlightment.'"

In my point of view, it implies that practice never ends. You must always go ahead, and when you think you got there, then you go further beyond. This going on and on is the Enlightment itself.

But, well, I'm kinda of a skeptic anyway. These whole ideas of "magic" words, and stuffs like this is bull for me. Reality is as plain and clear as it is.

Mysterion said...

Blogger Bruno said...
"But, well, I'm kinda of a skeptic anyway. These whole ideas of "magic" words..."

I agree. Magic words are magic words ONLY to those who believe in Magic.

Gone, gone, all gone, everyone gone, realize, now well...

Nirbana/nirvana is where you cease to be reborn. Everything id gone. Everyone is gone.

Thus, alone, you may be at peace.

example: an acquaintence of mine left the mormon church because they claimed he would be reunited with his wife in heaven.

"That's not heaven," he told them. "That is HELL!"





perspective

Mysterion said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hh-U7sScQg

Uncle Willie said...
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Anonymous said...

"Mantras are not "magic". It would be more accurate to say that they are scientific."

Nonsense.

R said...

UW, - I wanted to react to your 4:49 am and I dropped it, - for a while at least, - but generally the situation is that that which acts as a debugging software is self consciousness. - The mantra or its repetition promotes self consciousness. - That is its main facility.

Other effects which rely on the [choice of the] mantra itself could quite easily and clearly be said to be secondary, though it does not mean they are unimportant.

Plus the debugging is not against viruses or malware but simply against bugs.


The fact many sources advise against changing the mantra is that not changing it enables the increase in the focusing of the mind which depends to a great deal on continually using the same mantra your mental systems become used to.


It may be that for you mantra meditation is better than Shikantaza.


Plus - again - there hardly any significant danger in making up your own mantra - as far as I can see. As long as you don’t pick something evidently negative as we might assume A-Bob would for example.

+ said...

Two other things, -

- 1, - I get the impression you are somewhat of a materialistic person, - you should be careful in coming to conclusions, - in my view.

- 2, - Self consciousness is, - in my view, - which I am quite confident is correct, - where man differs from animals.

- Animals can think. - The fact that a dog can find his way home reflects the occurrence of thinking processes.

- Animals have the six senses as humans do.

- Humans have as well that which is called - in Buddhism - the sixth sense.

Humans are able to observe their own mind in the way animals are fundamentally only able to view the physical objects in the outside world.

- A human can look at his own thought, emotion or wish. - Animals are unable to direct their mind in that manner. - That seems to be where the root of the fundamental difference is.

Uncle Willie said...
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Anonymous said...

R, I get the impression Uncle Willie is one of mysterion's many alter-egos.

Uncle Willie said...
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Anonymous said...

"YOU should be careful about coming to conclusions about a person based on a few comments posted on a blog."

It's just that mysterion used that sentence before almost word for word. I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

also you and mysti often post within minutes of each other.

Uncle Willie said...
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chairman wao said...

that blonde dweeb on the right in the pic, with the shaved head, and the little curly q on back, chanting hare krishna whatever--looks and act like that, say eastside, when you want to learn the zen of getting the living sh*t kicked out of you.

R said...

- Of course, - I thought my remark might be taken as offensive. (- that is to UW @ 5:52 am)

Still - just after saying I should be careful [- ... -] you verify my impression just in the next paragraph.

- I will not explain why that is so. - Though I might apologize for that.

+ said...

As for the closely repeated sentence: - (- assuming 8:44 am is right - that is) It might reflect mental similarity which again may be part of what I was talking about in the first place.

But if you could see what I’m talking about it wouldn’t be there. - I get what I’m saying may again be unpleasant, but still it seems this is the way it is.

Michael M. said...

I recite the Heart Sutra mantra japa-style (gate gate . . . )but I don't talk about since, as you imply, there's a Zen institutional pattern of either not doing that or not saying so. It's my private practice.