A question of music appreciation

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noisemonkey
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A question of music appreciation

Postby noisemonkey » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:26 am

hiya

I'm trying to help a friend of mine write his uni dissertation which is about how music brings people together and was wondering if you could point me in the direction of sutras/Gosho that are relevant? I've had a look through the Gosho and Lotus Sutra but mainly music is mentioned as an offering to the Buddha rather than what my mate is looking for. All info appreciated :)

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Nosta
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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby Nosta » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:02 pm

I tought that Buddha advised against music and dancing if you were a monk or a lay person trying to follow the Path.

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby zamotcr » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:20 am

Nosta wrote:I tought that Buddha advised against music and dancing if you were a monk or a lay person trying to follow the Path.

A lay following the path should follow only the 5 precepts, with that is enough for lay practitioners. Some people will take more, but that is only optional.

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby Ayu » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:06 am

Maybe in the times of Buddha Shakiamuni the music was not uplifting very much. ;)
In the sutras music is regarded as something disturbing for the peace of mind. But this addresses to the people who search for peace in the forrest and who reduce the sensual input...
I think, how people get together nicely by making music together, feeling good, this is not a teaching in the sutras. For well-being Buddha taught how to renounce.

But on my way i do music also, because i'm able to and people like it.
:smile:
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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby DGA » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:38 pm

Direct your friend to the topic of Shomyo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sh%C5%8Dmy%C5%8D
DGA's PhD dissertation, a history of "mindfulness," is available here:

https://www.academia.edu/25482900/WHAT_ ... _OF_STRESS

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:19 pm

My take on the negative view of music/entertainment etc. is that it's one thing to watch a play, view a of piece of art, or listen to music as just passing entertainment, kind of like casual sex or something solely to rev up the senses, really just for shallow fun. I can see trying to avoid that kind of thing in terms of music, especially for a renunciate, it seems pretty much mandatory.

For us who are not renunciates, it's a different thing to view of piece of art, music, theatre etc. as something that depicts a truth of some kind, conventional or otherwise..seen in that light, I don't think it's bad thing at all. Like anything though, it's less about what you are viewing or listening to (though I don't know, can you find truth in Justin Bieber or Katy Perry?), and more about your relationship to it.

On the original question, I think to answer it we need to know what you mean by "bringing people together".
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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby Nosta » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:33 pm

Johhny, I agree with you! Your toughts are showing the other side of my view. When I explained myself I was not giving the complete view, because I was just centering in the renounce for mundane life.

Thanks for your post :)

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby Admin_PC » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:09 pm

I have to wonder if the negative views of music and dancing are extra-stressed due to dealing with the "competitors."
Krishna dancing with the Gopis (cow-herding girls who serve him in bhakti) out in the forest, under the stars is a big running theme in the Puranic faiths.
Also, Shiva serves as the Cosmic Dancer (Nataraja) - dancing the dances of creation & destruction, and Shiva & Kali appear in stories having dance competitions - these are big themes in Shaivism.
I could see them abstaining from any dancing as to avoid association.
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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby illarraza » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:39 am

PorkChop wrote:I have to wonder if the negative views of music and dancing are extra-stressed due to dealing with the "competitors."
Krishna dancing with the Gopis (cow-herding girls who serve him in bhakti) out in the forest, under the stars is a big running theme in the Puranic faiths.
Also, Shiva serves as the Cosmic Dancer (Nataraja) - dancing the dances of creation & destruction, and Shiva & Kali appear in stories having dance competitions - these are big themes in Shaivism.
I could see them abstaining from any dancing as to avoid association.


Nichiren Daishonin taught that the Bodhisattvas of the Earth emerged dancing for joy.

illarrazza

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby noisemonkey » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:09 pm

illarraza wrote:
PorkChop wrote:I have to wonder if the negative views of music and dancing are extra-stressed due to dealing with the "competitors."
Krishna dancing with the Gopis (cow-herding girls who serve him in bhakti) out in the forest, under the stars is a big running theme in the Puranic faiths.
Also, Shiva serves as the Cosmic Dancer (Nataraja) - dancing the dances of creation & destruction, and Shiva & Kali appear in stories having dance competitions - these are big themes in Shaivism.
I could see them abstaining from any dancing as to avoid association.


Nichiren Daishonin taught that the Bodhisattvas of the Earth emerged dancing for joy.

illarrazza



which Gosho or Sutra translation is that from? :thanks:

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby dude » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:48 pm

...and if persons...
should with reverent minds make offerings
of flowers, incense....or if they employ persons to make music
striking drums or blowing horns or conch shells
playing pipes, flutes, zithers, harps,
balloon guitars, cymbals and gongs
and if these many kinds of wonderful notes
are intended wholly as an offering
or if one with a joyful mind
sings a song in the praise of the Buddha's virtue
even if it is just one small note
then all who do these things have attained the buddha way


- Lotus Sutra

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby Ayu » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:26 pm

dude wrote:...and if persons...
should with reverent minds make offerings
of flowers, incense....or if they employ persons to make music
striking drums or blowing horns or conch shells
playing pipes, flutes, zithers, harps,
balloon guitars, cymbals and gongs
and if these many kinds of wonderful notes
are intended wholly as an offering
or if one with a joyful mind
sings a song in the praise of the Buddha's virtue
even if it is just one small note
then all who do these things have attained the buddha way


- Lotus Sutra

Thank you :namaste:
:smile:
"We're fascinated by the words - but where we meet is in the silence behind them."
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

:meditate:

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby dude » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:44 am

noisemonkey wrote:hiya

I'm trying to help a friend of mine write his uni dissertation which is about how music brings people together and was wondering if you could point me in the direction of sutras/Gosho that are relevant? I've had a look through the Gosho and Lotus Sutra but mainly music is mentioned as an offering to the Buddha rather than what my mate is looking for. All info appreciated :)



Nichiren does quote Confucius in one Gosho passage as having said that music and propriety are fundamental, and the proper norms should be established on those before lesser rules of conduct are addressed.

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby robby » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:09 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:My take on the negative view of music/entertainment etc. is that it's one thing to watch a play, view a of piece of art, or listen to music as just passing entertainment, kind of like casual sex or something solely to rev up the senses, really just for shallow fun. I can see trying to avoid that kind of thing in terms of music, especially for a renunciate, it seems pretty much mandatory.

For us who are not renunciates, it's a different thing to view of piece of art, music, theatre etc. as something that depicts a truth of some kind, conventional or otherwise..seen in that light, I don't think it's bad thing at all. Like anything though, it's less about what you are viewing or listening to (though I don't know, can you find truth in Justin Bieber or Katy Perry?), and more about your relationship to it.

On the original question, I think to answer it we need to know what you mean by "bringing people together".


Also, what about devotional chanting and singing? AFAIK, that is common to all Buddhist Schools. Also, monks on a meditation retreat in the forest were taught, by the Buddha, to chant the Metta Sutta to still the tree pretas that disrupted their jhana.

I suspect the proscription was about sensuous music coupled with various forms of intoxication, sensual dancing, sexual misconduct, gambling, and so on. I doubt the Buddha would have issues with music that lifts the spirits and brings out our better natures.

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby maybay » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:07 pm

noisemonkey wrote:hiya

I'm trying to help a friend of mine write his uni dissertation which is about how music brings people together and was wondering if you could point me in the direction of sutras/Gosho that are relevant? I've had a look through the Gosho and Lotus Sutra but mainly music is mentioned as an offering to the Buddha rather than what my mate is looking for. All info appreciated :)

Well Buddha repeatedly advised seclusion, not coming together. I haven't seen much in favour of music in the scriptures. For a monk I think all rhythm, harmony and melody are ideally avoided. The orchestral chanting of Tibetan monks lacks rhythm and harmony, and mostly comprises percussion and blaring shawms. The instrument of solace in most religious traditions is a bell of sorts.
Wouldn't it be better to examine the effects of music in its larger context as part of ritual? Apart from the lone songs of a yogi, music never occurs outside ritual.
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby robby » Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:17 pm

maybay wrote:Well Buddha repeatedly advised seclusion, not coming together.


I think that is true for the Pratyeka (solitude); which is a practice for those in between Buddha Sasanas, or where there is no Dharma Dispensation. Also, solitude in a tranquil place is recommended jhana meditation; which is big part of practice for Shravakas. However, the three refuges are not the Buddha, the Dharma, and Solitude. In addition, the teachings were originally not put into writing' -- they were spoken and heard. Also, there is no need to cultivate the Brahma Vihara or Kshanti if one's practice is solitary.

Moreover, the path / vehicle of Bodhisatta / Bodhisattva;' which is generally stressed in Mahayana, definitely involves interaction with others. Jan Nattier has suggested that Mahayana was originally a synonym for the Bodhisattvayana. On topic, I think there is reason why devotional practices and rituals so often involve music and singing. Also, why Mantras and Devotional Chanting are such a big part of most actual, traditional, real world branches of Buddhism.

Sound conveys emotion and feeling in a powerful way. It can make us feel stressed, blissful or calm. Also depressed or joyous, sensuous or spiritual, bored or energetic, hostile or kind, restless or patient, cruel or compassionate, and so on. I have noticed a similarity between the tone of the Great Compassion Mantra and good Blues Music. Both are lamentations of sorts, but there is profound empathy and also a sense of victory over emotional pain and suffering -- the courage to honestly face the pain and still overcome. The shared joy of victory over suffering and evil is further celebrated in joyful devotional hymns, such as Jaya Mangala Gatha.

Sound is especially important in Nichiren Buddhism. The primary practice IS devotional chanting. Ritual is like the main course, not a mere side dish or extraneous desert,

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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby Dharma Bum » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:27 pm

Sound also appears to be quite important in Tibetan Buddhism. Ref. the book Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism by Lama Anagarika Govinda, which goes into some detail on this matter.

As an aside, there is quite a bit of generally instructive material in that book, to which Nichiren Buddhists can certainly relate. I personally have no experience with any of the Tibetan Dharma traditions, but found the observations on the power of matra practice to be quite consistent with my own experience. In fact on many occasions I will substitute Om Mani Padme Hum for Nam Myoho Renge Kyo - another six beat mantra that is quite effective in concentrating the mind.
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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby rory » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:56 am

Dharma Bum wrote:Sound also appears to be quite important in Tibetan Buddhism. Ref. the book Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism by Lama Anagarika Govinda, which goes into some detail on this matter.

As an aside, there is quite a bit of generally instructive material in that book, to which Nichiren Buddhists can certainly relate. I personally have no experience with any of the Tibetan Dharma traditions, but found the observations on the power of matra practice to be quite consistent with my own experience. In fact on many occasions I will substitute Om Mani Padme Hum for Nam Myoho Renge Kyo - another six beat mantra that is quite effective in concentrating the mind.


you don't sound like a Nichiren Buddhist then if you'd chant that; at that point why not Amida's name if it really doesn't matter.
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The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby Dharma Bum » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:38 pm

You know Rory, I never really thought of it that way, but you may be right. If the definition of a Nichiren Buddhist is someone who only chants the Daimoku of the Lotus Sutra, to the exclusion of all other practices, then I am not (strictly speaking) a Nichiren Buddhist.

The odd thing is that I am not in the least put off by this accusation. Oh well, such are the hazards, I suppose, of venturing off on the independent path. Eclecticism creeps in and dogma falls by the wayside. This is sort of liberating in a way. Thank you for that.

PS - here's a real bit of heresy: I have a couple of teles and a strat in the same room as the gohonzon, and often play in front of it. It's all sounds that come from the heart.
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Re: A question of music appreciation

Postby robby » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:06 pm

rory wrote:
Dharma Bum wrote:Sound also appears to be quite important in Tibetan Buddhism. Ref. the book Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism by Lama Anagarika Govinda, which goes into some detail on this matter.

As an aside, there is quite a bit of generally instructive material in that book, to which Nichiren Buddhists can certainly relate. I personally have no experience with any of the Tibetan Dharma traditions, but found the observations on the power of matra practice to be quite consistent with my own experience. In fact on many occasions I will substitute Om Mani Padme Hum for Nam Myoho Renge Kyo - another six beat mantra that is quite effective in concentrating the mind.


you don't sound like a Nichiren Buddhist then if you'd chant that; at that point why not Amida's name if it really doesn't matter.


That is an interesting question. I chant Daimoku and the Chrenrezig Mantra, but each one for a different purpose. Those purposes are complementary; they do not conflict. I do not chant Nembutsu, because it's stated purpose of rebirth in Sukhavati conflicts with the purpose of my practice.


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