Chanting

The chanting of mantras or sacred syllables as part of the path to realization
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    Yungchen Llamo Paid Member

    THERE IS A SAYING in Tibet that a beautiful voice can make a wild animal stop dead in its tracks and listen. Such a voice, and its pacifying potential, are the Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo's karma. A few days after her birth, her mother presented her to a lama who named her “Goddess of Song”. For much of her life, though, singing was just an occasional luxury. Eight years ago, she fled Chinese-occupied Tibet, trekked across the Himalayas, and arrived half-dead in Dharamsala with a single-minded quest: to see his Holiness the Dalai Lama and study the dharma. Today, she has a stunning record, “Tibet, Tibet,” on Peter Gabriel’s Real World label, and a blessing from His Holiness: To fulfill her Bodhisattva Vows, he told her, she must use her voice to help spread some understanding and appreciation of Tibetan culture, as China does its best to stamp it out. More »
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    Shomyo no Kai Paid Member

    For many Western Buddhists, chanting is a regular part of practice. But few perhaps are familiar with chant’s long and illustrious history in Japanese Buddhism. All that may change this March, when Shomyo no Kai–Voices of a Thousand Years embarks on its first North American tour, produced and organized by Japan Society in New York City. The chorus of two dozen priests from the Shingon and Tendai sects performs traditional shomyo—Buddhist ritual chanting—along with shomyo-inspired works by contemporary composers. More »
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    Get Real Paid Member

    Reverend Patti Nakai, the associate minister at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago, grew up as a Presbyterian. Born in the Lakeview area of Chicago, to a Buddhist father and a Christian mother, she attended a church with a congregation that, like the neighborhood itself, was heavily Japanese-American. A third-generation Japanese-American herself, Reverend Patti began delving into the Buddhist side of her heritage while at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a degree in international economics and Japanese history and culture. After graduation, Nakai returned to her hometown to find that a staunchly conservative minister had taken over her childhood church. This change, coupled with a lingering heartbreak from college, led her to join her father’s old congregation at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. More »
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    Living Buddhism Paid Member

    This article is available as part of our current web exclusive featuring the Shin School of Pure Land Buddhism. Read more about the rich tradition of Jodo Shinshu from our Wisdom Collection here. More »
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    Get Outta My Head Paid Member

    Meditating at an Indian ashram, ELIZABETH GILBERT struggles to keep it together with no help from her brain. The following morning, I arrive right on time for the 4:00 a.m. meditation session that always starts the day here. We are meant to sit for an hour in the silence, but I log the minutes as if they were miles—sixty brutal miles that I have to endure. By mile/minute fourteen, my nerves have started to go, my knees are breaking down, and I’m overcome with exasperation. Which is understandable, given that the conversations between me and my mind during meditation generally go something like this: Me: Okay, we’re going to meditate now. Let’s draw our attention to our breath and focus on the mantra. Om namah Shivaya. Om namah Shiv— Mind: I can help you out with this you know! Me: Okay, good, because I need your help. Let’s go. Om namah Shivaya. Om namah Shi - More »
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    A Right to the Dharma Paid Member

    This article is part of an online special section about Nichiren Buddhism. We hope that by gathering these articles in one place and making them freely available, our Buddhist conversation will be broadened and that we can, all of us, more fully know ourselves in knowing one another. Read the other articles here. More »