Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:09 pm

Chaz wrote:
Yeshe wrote:If that is acceptable, why not copy and paste mantras and Buddha images into every cell of an Excel computer spreadsheet and knock off the lot in a few hours? Just like the Tibetans of medieval times, I would just be using the technology of the time to speed things up, so it must be OK. :stirthepot:



I've wondered the same thing myself.

I could write a short program that could do what you suggest. It could write a mantra to an xls or some other file format and could do 100,000 such operations in a second or so.

For what it might lack in terms of aesthetic, it would make it up with raw, brutal efficiency.

Maybe I should build a web site and use that sort of program. A user comes in and enters the mantra they want to repeat and then inter the number of repetitons. I could charge a penny per repetition. So if someone wanted to do 100,000 repetitions of the 100-syllable mantra, I'd charge them $1000.

Not bad money for about .5 seconds of processor time, eh?



I have come across situations where one person may ask/hire another to perform practices for them.

The funniest was when I visited a Jain family. The husband was fasting so I felt a bit awkward at the prospect of dinner in the family home. Much to my surprise he sat down and tucked into the food. I asked him how this could be, and he replied:
'My wife is fasting for me'!!

Performing practices for other is a reward in itself, but perhaps not those things which rely on 'process' to train the mind. ;)
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby conebeckham » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:11 pm

Right on, I was going to quote from the retreat manual as well!

Considering 4 session of 2 1/2-3 hours or so in a day, for example, for a practice like Shangpa's Gyu De Lha Nga, which he allots one month for, that's 500,000 mantras in one month....or 16,667 mantras a day over 30 days....or 4,167 mantras a session. Definitely doable--but not a light-weight task.
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby kirtu » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:44 am

conebeckham wrote:Considering 4 session of 2 1/2-3 hours or so in a day, for example, for a practice like Shangpa's Gyu De Lha Nga, which he allots one month for, that's 500,000 mantras in one month....or 16,667 mantras a day over 30 days....or 4,167 mantras a session. Definitely doable--but not a light-weight task.


I remember now a couple of years ago asking HE Ratna Vajra about doing a full Avalokiteshvara retreat and he said the recitations should be until signs appear or about 1 million mantra and that it would take about a month. So about a month is 33,333 mantra a day or 8,334 mantra per session.

So anyway, regarding the original Dudjom Rinpoche quote, I'd still like to know the context but I think he's talking about serious practitioners not in retreat and anyway he's probably urging people to deep practice. Also this varies based on the practice. 10,000 of the main Hevajra mantra for example would take a long time (in fact one practitioner was praised for this in a short bio in "Taking The Result As The Path").

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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Individual » Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:19 am

I say Om Mani Padme Hum every time I blink.
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby plwk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 4:08 am

I say Om Mani Padme Hum every time I blink.

No wonder I see Image in your posts... :tongue:
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby heart » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:53 am

kirtu wrote:
conebeckham wrote:Considering 4 session of 2 1/2-3 hours or so in a day, for example, for a practice like Shangpa's Gyu De Lha Nga, which he allots one month for, that's 500,000 mantras in one month....or 16,667 mantras a day over 30 days....or 4,167 mantras a session. Definitely doable--but not a light-weight task.


I remember now a couple of years ago asking HE Ratna Vajra about doing a full Avalokiteshvara retreat and he said the recitations should be until signs appear or about 1 million mantra and that it would take about a month. So about a month is 33,333 mantra a day or 8,334 mantra per session.

So anyway, regarding the original Dudjom Rinpoche quote, I'd still like to know the context but I think he's talking about serious practitioners not in retreat and anyway he's probably urging people to deep practice. Also this varies based on the practice. 10,000 of the main Hevajra mantra for example would take a long time (in fact one practitioner was praised for this in a short bio in "Taking The Result As The Path").

Kirt


Kirt,

It is in the context where you're main occupation in a day is practice. You might be a monk/nun or a yogi. These groups are unusual among westerners, unfortunately.I know of a few though. Even if we do our best we still spend most of the day in samsaric activity. We are amateurs most of us, maybe dedicated amateurs but still amateurs. This is also why it is important to keep accumulating merit and wisdom. When our merit ripens we will have to opportunity and the wish to practice intensively and when our wisdom ripens we will know how to do it.
Still, my teacher insist that we amateurs do a few hours of practice everyday and then try to apply the view through the day. He emphasized many times that a couple of hours a day isn't enough to attain enlightenment in one lifetime and that we have to practice continuously through the day. This is a lot more difficult than most people imagine. That is the reason there was such a great gathering of professional practitioners in Tibet in the old days, they also know about the difficulties of applying the view during an ordinary life.

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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:33 pm

heart wrote:Still, my teacher insist that we amateurs do a few hours of practice everyday and then try to apply the view through the day. He emphasized many times that a couple of hours a day isn't enough to attain enlightenment in one lifetime and that we have to practice continuously through the day. This is a lot more difficult than most people imagine. That is the reason there was such a great gathering of professional practitioners in Tibet in the old days, they also know about the difficulties of applying the view during an ordinary life.


This is one reason why in HYT we apply the view 24/7 (or should) - ourself and all forms as deity, all sounds as mantra and all thoughts as Dharmakaya.

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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Mr. G » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:59 am

I came across a couple of biographies of Honen where it says he was doing 60,000 nembutsu's a day...and they never mentioned anything about being in a retreat.

60 nembutsus in a minute
3600 numbutsus in an hour
61,200 nembutsus = 17 Hours

:shock:

It also said that towards the end of his life, he could see Amitabha. I could imagine why.
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Feb 16, 2011 1:13 pm

There's a huge difference between doing 1000 long Vajrasattva mantras a day and 1000 Vajra Gurus. In this case, it sounds like HH Dudjom Rinpoche was talking about the Vajrakilaya mantra in particular. If one devoted a 2 hour session in the early morning and 2 hours in the evening after work, one could easily do 10,000 a day. This is really not inconceivable for many people. Cut out elaborate dinners, TV, internet time and maybe an hour of sleep and most people can afford those 4 hours. The exceptions of course are those with full time responsibilities like young children. I understand why he said 'of average' capacity. I don't think it is that high an expectation, when you really contemplate the four thoughts that turn the mind and let them penetrate. So much of our time is spent in distraction, this is a big aspect of the degeneration of our time I think.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby plwk » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:01 pm

I came across a couple of biographies of Honen where it says he was doing 60,000 nembutsu's a day...and they never mentioned anything about being in a retreat.

60 nembutsus in a minute
3600 numbutsus in an hour
61,200 nembutsus = 17 Hours

:shock:

It also said that towards the end of his life, he could see Amitabha. I could imagine why.

http://www.ymba.org/parable/parabfr3.htm
PARABLE 019:
DEATH OF HONEN, FOUNDER OF JAPANESE PURE LAND

"At the hour of the serpent (10 a.m.), on the day of his death, his disciples brought him an image of Amida, three feet high, and as they put it on the right side of his bed, asked him if he could see it.
With his finger pointing to the sky he said, 'There is another Buddha here besides this one. Do you not see Him?'
Then he went on to say, 'As a result of the merit of repeating the Sacred Name, I have, for over ten years past, continually been gazing on the glory of the Pure Land, and the very forms of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but I have kept it secret and said nothing about it.
Now, however, as I draw near the end, I disclose it to you.'
The disciples then took a piece of cord made of five-colored strands, fastened it to the hand of the Buddha's image, and asked Honen to take hold of it." (Honen, the Buddhist Saint: His Life and Teaching, p.636.)

Note: It is an ancient practice in northern India (and later China and Japan) to exhort a dying person to face west, holding onto a thread attached to the finger of an Amitabha Buddha statue. This practice, which stems from a samadhi ("light") in the Avatamsaka Sutra, is meant to remind the dying of their vow to be reborn in the Pure Land.
"To exhort the dying to remembrance of Buddha, / And show them icons for them to behold,/ Causing them to take refuge in the Buddha,/ Is how this light can be made." (T. Cleary, Flower Ornament Sutra/Avatamsaka Sutra, v.I p.350)

Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

What is 'enough'? :buddha1:
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Mr. G » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:06 pm

plwk wrote:http://www.ymba.org/parable/parabfr3.htm
PARABLE 019:
DEATH OF HONEN, FOUNDER OF JAPANESE PURE LAND

"At the hour of the serpent (10 a.m.), on the day of his death, his disciples brought him an image of Amida, three feet high, and as they put it on the right side of his bed, asked him if he could see it.
With his finger pointing to the sky he said, 'There is another Buddha here besides this one. Do you not see Him?'
Then he went on to say, 'As a result of the merit of repeating the Sacred Name, I have, for over ten years past, continually been gazing on the glory of the Pure Land, and the very forms of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but I have kept it secret and said nothing about it.
Now, however, as I draw near the end, I disclose it to you.'
The disciples then took a piece of cord made of five-colored strands, fastened it to the hand of the Buddha's image, and asked Honen to take hold of it." (Honen, the Buddhist Saint: His Life and Teaching, p.636.)

Note: It is an ancient practice in northern India (and later China and Japan) to exhort a dying person to face west, holding onto a thread attached to the finger of an Amitabha Buddha statue. This practice, which stems from a samadhi ("light") in the Avatamsaka Sutra, is meant to remind the dying of their vow to be reborn in the Pure Land.
"To exhort the dying to remembrance of Buddha, / And show them icons for them to behold,/ Causing them to take refuge in the Buddha,/ Is how this light can be made." (T. Cleary, Flower Ornament Sutra/Avatamsaka Sutra, v.I p.350)


:thumbsup:

Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?
What is 'enough'? :buddha1:


Good question. The answer for me is "not enough". :smile:
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    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby gnegirl » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:07 pm

In the words of Homer Simpson

D'oh! Of course not!

But i keep chugging along, steady and slowly.
"Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise." --Surangama Sutra

Phenomenon, vast as space, dharmata is your base, arising and falling like ocean tide cycles, why do i cling to your illusion of unceasing changlessness?
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Jikan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:46 pm

Lately I've come to think I'm NOT practicing enough. And I think my practice is lax in some respects.

Amending this.
Last edited by Jikan on Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby kirtu » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:29 pm

mr. gordo wrote:I came across a couple of biographies of Honen where it says he was doing 60,000 nembutsu's a day...and they never mentioned anything about being in a retreat.

60 nembutsus in a minute
3600 numbutsus in an hour
61,200 nembutsus = 17 Hours

:shock:

It also said that towards the end of his life, he could see Amitabha. I could imagine why.


Honen's example is wonderful.

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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:02 pm

At the Dhagpo Kündröl Ling monastery they give the drupla six weeks to finish the entire ngondro accumulations. :jawdrop:

On the subject of mental recitations, I personally find that they are lot slower than verbal recitations but then I can shoot off my mouth at a mile a minute!
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Blue Garuda » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:19 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:At the Dhagpo Kündröl Ling monastery they give the drupla six weeks to finish the entire ngondro accumulations. :jawdrop:

On the subject of mental recitations, I personally find that they are lot slower than verbal recitations but then I can shoot off my mouth at a mile a minute!
:namaste:


Yes, knocking off ngondro in the shortest possible time would not seem to be adhering to the 'spirit' of it.


With verbal recitation, the mind is engaged as well, so does your mouth operate faster than thought? Surely that's not possible - even for you! LOL :)

I think that verbal recitation runs the risk of the mind wandering while chanting. I've not found that to be possible with mental recitation - but I am really,really bad at multi-tasking. ;)
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby mudra » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:07 am

Pero wrote:
heart wrote:Quality is a lot more important than quantity but quantity don't necessary mean you lose quality.


Sure, no disagreement here.

Yeshe wrote:Certainly, mental recitation does allow for more rapid accumulation and for greater accuracy - I don't recall mispronouncing etc. when doing so.


Yeah but I think that in a way it can be also more difficult.


Again no disagreement with quality over quantity, but I do have an objection to simply reciting mentally. According to the instructions I received, the practitioner should actually recite the mantra verbally so that he/she can hear the mantra him/herself. It should be discreet, but audible to oneself at least.
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Pema Rigdzin » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:16 am

mudra wrote:Again no disagreement with quality over quantity, but I do have an objection to simply reciting mentally. According to the instructions I received, the practitioner should actually recite the mantra verbally so that he/she can hear the mantra him/herself. It should be discreet, but audible to oneself at least.


Definitely. The point is to simultaneously practice with body, speech, and mind, and thus simultaneously purify all three. Actually vocalizing mantras is said to have the effect of purifying all manner of past negative speech and obscurations of speech.
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Mr. G » Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:36 pm

kirtu wrote:
mr. gordo wrote:I came across a couple of biographies of Honen where it says he was doing 60,000 nembutsu's a day...and they never mentioned anything about being in a retreat.

60 nembutsus in a minute
3600 numbutsus in an hour
61,200 nembutsus = 17 Hours

:shock:

It also said that towards the end of his life, he could see Amitabha. I could imagine why.


Honen's example is wonderful.

Kirt


I also read that towards the end of his life, he was reciting 70,000 nembutsu's a day. :o
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Re: Mantra Recitation - Do You Do Enough?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:03 pm

Yeshe wrote:Yes, knocking off ngondro in the shortest possible time would not seem to be adhering to the 'spirit' of it.
I was actually thinking how awe inspiring that is, as it's taken me close to two years (and a couple of bouts of tendonitis) to do just the prostrations! The thing is that if one can do it with perfect mindfulness (highly unlikely) or with a semi-distracted mind (more than likely) then how quickly (or slowly) one does the accumulations won't really effect their overall effectiveness, just the time frame of the (in)effectiveness.


With verbal recitation, the mind is engaged as well, so does your mouth operate faster than thought? Surely that's not possible - even for you! LOL :)
Well that is the crux of the issue, when verbalising I go faster because I don't need to be so mindful whereas when I do them mentally I have to be more mindful, and thus I am slower!
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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