A funny TNH story about mantras

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A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Luke » Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:48 pm

“There is a story I would like to tell you about a woman who practices the invocation of the Buddha Amitabha’s name. She is very tough, and she practices the invocation three times daily, using a wooden drum and a bell, reciting, “Namo Amitabha Buddha” for one hour each time. When she arrives at one thousand times, she invites the bell to sound. (In Vietnamese, we don’t say “strike” or “hit” a bell.) Although she has been doing this for ten years, her personality has not changed. She is still quite mean, shouting at people all the time.

A friend wanted to teach her a lesson, so one afternoon when she had just lit the incense, invited the bell to sound three times, and was beginning to recite “Namo Amitabha Buddha,” he came to her door, and said, “Mrs. Nguyen, Mrs. Nguyen!” She found it very annoying because this was her time of practice, but he just stood at the front gate shouting her name. She said to herself, “I have to struggle against my anger, so I will ignore that,” and she went on, “Namo Amitabha Buddha, Namo Amitabha Buddha.”

The gentleman continued to shout her name, and her anger became more and more oppressive. She struggled against it, wondering, “Should I stop my recitation and go and give him a piece of my mind?” But she continued chanting, and she struggled very hard. Fire mounted in her, but she still tried to chant “Namo Amitabha Buddha.” The gentleman knew it, and he continued to shout, “Mrs. Nguyen! Mrs. Nguyen!”

She could not bear it any longer. She threw away the bell and the drum. She slammed the door, went out to the gate and said, “Why, why do you behave like that? Why do you call my name hundreds of times like that?” The gentleman smiled at her and said, “I just called your name for ten minutes, and you are so angry. You have been calling the Buddha’s name for ten years. Think how angry he must be!”
--Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
http://sharelife.wordpress.com/2010/08/ ... tes-story/
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Seishin » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:29 am

Possibly only humorous if you don't practice the nembutsu??? :thinking:
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby mudra » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:00 pm

Seishin wrote:Possibly only humorous if you don't practice the nembutsu??? :thinking:


is humor not allowed?
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Seishin » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:27 pm

Depends on whose expense I guess. :namaste:
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Luke » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:48 pm

Seishin wrote:Possibly only humorous if you don't practice the nembutsu??? :thinking:

I think the story would be equally funny if the woman were reciting Vajrasattva's mantra instead.

I gathered that the neighbor was not making fun of the deity, but was making fun of the woman in order to show her that she lacked compassion.

But anyway, yes, Seishin, Amitabha is fantastic and I certainly wouldn't post anything which would disparage his holy name.

Om Ami Dewa Hrih
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Seishin » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:55 pm

Don't worry Luke. I didn't take any offence. :smile: Whilst I got the joke, I could also see how it could be offensive to those who practice the nembutsu. It was only a suggestion. I wasn't trying to be a sour puss or anything. :namaste:
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby mudra » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:05 am

Seishin wrote:Depends on whose expense I guess. :namaste:


I think it is really at the expense of those who don't have a sense of what their preactice is about, and who don't have sense of humor.
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Quiet Heart » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:36 am

:smile:
I shouldn't explain this...but I will.
The point of the story is that if she had been calling that name for that long and still had not learned compassion, she was failing in her attempt to gain compassion and understanding.
The nieghbor was simply pointing that out to her.
It is the equivalent of the "wise fool" stories in which an apparently untutored person makes a remark that illustrates the supposedly wiser person's mistken action.
It is an example of the "teaching story" often told by Zen teachers to their students to make an experienced student see their mistakes...so the student can then correct the mistake.
It's a gentler way to make the intended point than outright criticism of the student.
Exactly what I would expect TNH to use to gently correct a student's error.
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby LastLegend » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:05 am

Hui Neng said true treaders of the path don't find faults in others but in themselves. Reciting Amitabha is reciting his way...practice is always wholesome.
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)

Linjii
―Listen! Those of you who devote yourselves to the Dharma
must not be afraid of losing your bodies and your lives―
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:23 pm

The story is very funny and makes a good point! :lol:
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Kunga Leshe » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:07 pm

ha!
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Re: A funny TNH story about mantras

Postby Gharchaina » Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:31 am

This is an old theme in the Buddhadharma.

From the Kakacupama Sutta

The Story of the Mistress Vedehika

"In the past, monks, in this very Savatthi, there was a mistress, Vedehika by name. And, monks, this good reputation had spread about the mistress Vedehika: 'The mistress Vedehika is gentle, the mistress Vedehika is meek, the mistress Vedehika is calm.' Now, monks, the mistress Vedehika had a maid-servant, Kali by name, who was able, energetic and very methodical in her work. Then, monks, it occurred to Kali, the maid-servant: 'This good reputation has spread about my lady: "The mistress Vedehika is gentle, the mistress Vedehika is meek, the mistress Vedehika is calm." Could it be that my lady does have anger within her which she does not show, or could it be that she does not have anger? Or is it because I am methodical in my job that my lady, though she does have anger within, does not show it, and not because she does not have anger? Why don't I test my lady?'

"Thus, monks, the maid-servant Kali got up late the next morning. And, monks, the mistress Vedehika told this to the maid-servant Kali: 'Hey, you Kali!' — 'What is it, lady?' — 'Why did you get up so late?' — 'Oh, that is nothing, lady.' — 'What! That is nothing, indeed! You bad maid-servant, you got up late!' Angry and displeased, she frowned.

"Then, monks, it occurred to Kali the maid-servant: 'Though she does have anger within, my lady does not show it; it is not that she does not have anger. It is because I am methodical in my job that, though she does have anger within, my lady does not show it, and not because she does not have anger. Why don't I test my lady further?'

"Now, monks, Kali the maid-servant got up even later than before. Then, monks, the mistress Vedehika told the maid-servant Kali: 'Hey, you Kali!' — 'What is it, lady?' — 'Why did you get up even later than before?' — 'Oh, that is nothing, lady.' — 'What! That is nothing, indeed! You bad maid-servant, you got up even later than before!' Angry and displeased, she gave vent to her displeasure.

"Then, monks, it occurred to the maid-servant Kali: 'Though she does have anger within, my lady does not show it; it is not that she does not have anger. It is because I am methodical in my job that, though she does have anger within, my lady does not show it, and not because she does not have anger. Why don't I test my lady further?'

"And, monks, the maid-servant Kali got up even later than before. Then, monks, the mistress Vedehika told the maid-servant Kali: 'Hey, you Kali!' — 'What is it, lady?' — 'Why did you get up so late?' — 'Oh, that is nothing, lady.' — 'What! That is nothing, indeed! You bad maid-servant, you got up so late!' And angry and displeased, she hit her on the head with the door-bar. And this injured her head.

"Now, monks, the maid-servant Kali, with her head injured and blood oozing, went about among the neighbors, shouting: 'Look, sirs, at the deed of the gentle one! Look, sirs, at the deed of the meek one! Look, sirs, at the deed of the calm one! How can she, saying to her own maid-servant, "You got up late today," angry and displeased, having taken a door-bar, give me a blow on the head and injure my head?'

"And then, monks, this ill-repute spread thereafter about the mistress Vedehika: 'The mistress Vedehika is violent, the mistress Vedehika is arrogant, the mistress Vedehika is not calm.'

"In the same way, monks, some monk here is very gentle, very meek, and very calm, so long as disagreeable ways of speech do not assail him; but when disagreeable ways of speech do assail the monk, it is then that the monk is to be judged whether he is 'gentle,' 'meek,' or 'calm.' Monks, I do not call that monk 'dutiful,' who is dutiful on account of the requisites he gets, i.e., the robe, almsfood, lodging and medicaments, whereby he falls into pseudo-dutifulness. And why? For, monks, when that monk fails to get the requisites of the robe, almsfood, lodging and medicaments, he ceases to be dutiful, and is not in keeping with the norms of dutifulness. But, monks, whichever monk out of reverence for the Teaching, out of respect for the Teaching, out of dedication to the Teaching, showing honor to the Teaching, and giving regard to the Teaching, comes to be dutiful and is in keeping with the norms of dutifulness, him do I consider as dutiful. Therefore, monks, you should consider: 'Only out of reverence for the Teaching, out of respect for the Teaching, out of dedication to the Teaching, showing honor to the Teaching, and giving regard to the Teaching, shall we become dutiful, shall we be in keeping with the norms of dutifulness.' Thus, indeed, monks, you should train yourselves.
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