lazy wrote:I have been instructed by Bhikshunis that the proper way to recite is to be mindful of each syllable, and that's it. You 'just recite'. No false thoughts, no conceptualizations or contemplations. The only thing you should be doing is reciting. I have almost no experience doing this, but from what I have observed within myself, if I am able to totally commit to reciting, the effect is quite amazing.
PorkChop wrote:At its heart, Buddha Name recitation is a mindfulness practice. Such practices either take the form that you mention of pure, non-discriminative awareness; or they take something as object. In the sutras it's typically referred to as Buddhanusmrti - buddhanussati - nianfo - nembutsu; which can be translated as "mindfulness of Buddha" or "Buddha remembrance". In some sutras this means thinking on the qualities of the Buddha. In the prajna-paramita sutras, they define it as precisely the type of bare awareness practice you are doing. In the Amitayus Visualization sutra, they teach progressive stages of visualizations one can use while reciting the Buddha's Name (starting with the setting sun). In Shin the practice typically involves remembering to be grateful for the work of the Buddhas to help us escape cyclic suffering and the Great Compassion that supports us always. Ultimately, all the different methods lead to Enlightenment.
I'll do my best.lazy wrote:Could you talk in more detail about being "mindful of the Buddha", and the different things one can be doing internally in this regard?
lazy wrote:What qualities of the Buddha are reflected on, and how do you reflect? i.e. bringing forth a sense of awe/thankfulness/etc.
lazy wrote:As a humorous aside, I never understood Hua T'ous (meditation topics) for the longest time, because the question I was given was "Who is mindful of the Buddha?" and my thought was "I dunno", I didn't realize that the question was supposed to point to me, because I didn't consider myself to be mindful of the Buddha.
lazy wrote:Could you talk a little more about visualizations too? For the last few says I've been spending at least a couple hours reciting the Buddhas name, so it might be good to get some more depth in this area, I'm a total noob here.
lazy wrote:That's a lot to work with, I'll blend this into my practice.
lazy wrote:I find that if I'm visualizing with intention, the imagery manifests on its own.
lazy wrote:Basically, I get a rough idea of the practice (instructions + intent) then freestyle it.
PorkChop wrote:My biggest issue is the strength/intensity of the imagery. I can picture the setting sun with my mind's eye, but if I grasp onto it or if I try to see it with my eyes, it disappears. This is why I've never had much confidence with visualizations and a big reason why I never really felt comfortable in Vajrayana (visualizing the nectar and all that). I never know if I'm doing it right. I guess if I treat it like trying to remember the image of my wife's face or my son's face, then I'm probably not too far off. Unlike you, I don't really have a teacher close by, so it ends up being easy to get lost in the woods. Something more abstract like gratitude or certain qualities are much easier.
Mother's Lap wrote:Look into shamatha meditation, Kamalashila's Bhavanakrama and Alan Wallace's The Attention Revolution and Stilling the Mind should help.
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