Proper recitation for nembutsu

Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby gordtheseeker » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:31 pm

Hello

I have been doing some nembutsu and I do struggle with the 'Amitabha Buddha'. It's almost like a tongue twister for me. I see some use 'Amida Buddha' or 'Amida Butsu'. Just curious if there is any difference between them. I would like to use Amida as it's much easier to recite.

Thanks! :sage:
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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby RikudouSennin » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:57 pm

I prefer to use Namu Amida Butsu, because of the way it flows, ive been chanting sanskrit mantras for years and i just like the flow of the nembutsu. I use to experiment with Namo Amitabha Buddhaya, thats a pretty good flow if u like the sanskrit.

I like the japanese because of Bodhisattva Honen.

But this is my experience, try and see what u like best.

My 2cents

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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby kirtu » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:45 pm

Namu Amida Butsu (Japanese) = Namo Amitabha Buddha (Sanskrit)

In Sanskrit there is also Namo Amitabhaya. Some may be able to comment on the possible Sanskrit variations.

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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby PorkChop » Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:00 am

gordtheseeker wrote:Hello

I have been doing some nembutsu and I do struggle with the 'Amitabha Buddha'. It's almost like a tongue twister for me. I see some use 'Amida Buddha' or 'Amida Butsu'. Just curious if there is any difference between them. I would like to use Amida as it's much easier to recite.

Thanks! :sage:


Pronunciation shouldn't be an issue.
I like the Chinese versions: "Omitoufo" or "Namo Amitoufo", but at my temple we practice longer, slower, rhythmic chant of "Namo Amitabha Buddha".
The longer version feels a little more natural right now because that's how we practice.
108 repetitions for me, is more than double the amount of time for 108 repetitions of "Omitoufo", probably longer.
Not sure either method is better in the short term, but the longer method seems like it may take longer (more repetitions) to get to single pointed concentration & beyond.
Ultimately, all of them are equally valid, so it doesn't really matter - though some day I may mix it up.
I know nienfo/nembutsu/Buddha-name recitation is not quite the same as a mantra, but I think this story from Lama Zopa Rinpoche fits the situation:
http://www.zimbio.com/Buddhism/articles/CfFLpwH8cq6/Chanting+Mantras wrote:A HERMIT AND A MONK:

A monk visited a hermit, who lived alone on an island doing retreat. The hermit had given himself three years to complete chanting ten million of the powerful six-syllable mantra of the Compassionate Buddha. The hermit had been told that attaining this level of practice would awaken his yogic powers. The mantra was "OM MANI PADME HUM".

The monk listened as the hermit did his mantra and, with the best intention in the world, leaned over to him and whispered:

"I think you have got the pronunciation wrong. This mantra should be chanted this way..." and he proceeded to demonstrate. The hermit listened attentively and then watched as the monk walked back to his boat to leave the island.

Ten minutes later when the boat was halfway across the river the monk heard his name being called, and looking around, he spied the hermit and heard him call:

"Listen to this, have I got it right now?" and the hermit proceeded to chant the same mantra but with the monk's intonation. Astounded, the monk turned around and saw the hermit walking on the water next to his boat. In that instant he realized that the hermit's faith and sincerity had given his mantra recitation far more power than he had realized.
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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby gordtheseeker » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:52 pm

Thanks guys! Great info. Much appreciated. :)
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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby Seishin » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:45 pm

I like the Japanese personally. "Namo Amida Butsu" should sound roughly "nah-moh Ah-mee-dah Boot-soo" :smile:

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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby gordtheseeker » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:24 am

Thanks guys! Appreciate it greatly!

I have been liking Namu Amitābhāya. Although I am not quite sure on sure on pronuciation. Is it ah-meh-tah-bye-yah?
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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby PorkChop » Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:22 am

gordtheseeker wrote:Thanks guys! Appreciate it greatly!

I have been liking Namu Amitābhāya. Although I am not quite sure on sure on pronuciation. Is it ah-meh-tah-bye-yah?


nah - mu . ah - mee - tah - bah - yah
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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby gordtheseeker » Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:00 pm

Thank you Porkchop! :namaste:
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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby cj39 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:09 pm

The Jodo Shu uses "Na Mu Ah Mi Da Bu" while Shin Buddhism tends to use the shortened version, "Na Man Da Bu". I tend to go with the former though in times of stress, the latter is also helpful.
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Re: Proper recitation for nembutsu

Postby shaunc » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:42 pm

Yesterday on youtube I heard a girl with an amazingly beautiful voice. She was chanting the chinese version "namo amitoufo". Since I heard her I've been practising it that way. It's my understanding however that it doesn't really matter in what language or tone you chant, the important thing is to do it.
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