I don't mind the chanting. In fact, when I am at home I often play U Ba Khin's chant of the Tikapatthana during meditation or SN Goenka chanting the Atanatiya Sutta or the Satipatthana Sutta. But I do understand that some people find the chanting really difficult to deal with.
During the (introductory) ten-day courses the 2-hour session before breakfast which includes approx 1 hour of chanting is optional. One can stay in one's room to meditate during that session. There are opening and closing chants for the three group sits during the day and the chanting in those one hour sits only last for a few minutes each.
During the long courses there is less chanting. The two-hour session before breakfast does still have chanting but unless your in the hall (most people prefer to meditate in their bedroom or their pagoda cell) then you don't hear it. And there is only one group sit during the day which one has to attend and there is virtually no chanting during that sit.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725
(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •
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