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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:34 am 
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Hello again everyone, sorry if this is the wrong place or if this has been asked before. Perhaps I've been thinking too much into it but I have a horrible habit of going above and beyond what's expected of me. I think this could either be a good thing or bad thing, probably bad. But I need some advice if that's okay :) You see, Lingtrul Rinpoche told me to say "Om Mani Padme Hum" every day. Some of you gave me excellent advice even though it was simple and easy it helped me tremendously with motivation, inspiration, and confidence. Someone told me to put a sticky not on my computer to remember doing it everyday, which surprisingly, worked without me having to put a stick note on my computer because I keep the thought "Sticky note, Dharma Wheel Forums" in my head. Thank you all for your advice by the way!

However.... when I did so, I wondered wait, just once? A hundred times? While I'm doing anything? I did some looking up and someone said that you should say it a thousand times, while another said for 21 minutes. I went with 21 minutes since I don't know how to use the beads my teacher gave me........

First question! How exactly am I supposed to use the beads? Or rather, keep track, do I just keep a piece of paper nearby and mark it accordingly, or is there actually an real way to do it? Dumb question I know, I'm so sorry :(

Second Question- Apparently saying the words over and over again will be almost pointless without meditating on the meaning. I've looked up the meaning and I'm slowly starting to get better at memorizing it although I can't think of them quickly all the time. How do I meditate? Am I ready to meditate yet or do I just say it casually? Surely there's a correct way to do this right...? Or should a beginner just say the words for now?

Third Question-Is there anything specific that I'm supposed to be doing while reciting this? I have absolutely no clue how to meditate because I've never done it in my life. How do I concentrate?

Thank you all for your time. If this wasn't supposed to be here please feel free to delete it. I apologize in advance :D Also someone said something about imagining seeing "Avalokiteshvara"? (I had to google the name) I'm pretty sure I shouldn't worry about that right? Thank you for your advice.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:59 pm 
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I think it would be very helpful for you to get some instruction on Shamatha (mind calming) meditation, to begin with, and work with that, That will clear up a lot of the frenzy. Then, it wouldn't hurt to get some teachings on this mantra as well.

The meaning behind" Om Mani Peme Hung" is quite vast. To recall it all, constantly, is quite a feat for a beginner, so don't worry about it. Just recite the mantra with the intention that by doing so, all beings will benefit.

Don't worry about how many you do, just recite it. If you can keep it in your thoughts as you go about your day, this is a good thing. Consider how it is when you are worried about something, and all day long that worry is on your mind. In the same way, you can keep this mantra in your thoughts, or as people say "in the back of my mind" and recite it when you are walking to your car, or doing the dishes or whatever. If you can recite it verbally as well, all the better. Sometimes you can't do this. Maybe you are in an elevator with a lot of people, and chanting a mantra out loud just isn't practical.

If it convenient to handle the mala (beads) while doing this, just push the beads forward with your thumb over the middle finger, recite one time with each bead. If you want, you can pick one of the syllables as the one on which the bead is counted. Unless you are trying to reach a certain number, such as a million, don't worry about how many you recite. It is more important to do it with some concentration of mind, rather than racking up numbers. That being said, the more the better. If you can recite ten turns of a 108 bead mala, then that is an easy 1,000 + plus 80 extra, for when your mind is distracted!

The teachings refer to developing the enlightened aspects of Body, speech and mind.
The physical action of moving beads is an action of the body. Reciting verbally is an action of speech. Thinking about the mantra, or generating the motivation that all beings be happy, while engaging the mantra, is an action of mind. If you can do all three, that is best. If you can only think mentally & recite verbally, that is good too. If you are not able to verbally recite the mantra or use the mala, but can concentrate fully on its meaning, that is excellent.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:09 pm 
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http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDoQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.namsebangdzo.com%2FChenrezig_the_Lord_of_Love_Bokar_Rinpoche_p%2F5205.htm&ei=gV0eUcrLG_Dy0wH_q4DABA&usg=AFQjCNGOVvWcSa07Id1Z58zbXFFazygX-w&sig2=GLJ1io0LXCfB3-RBdPBv5g&bvm=bv.42553238,d.dmQ

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book....it contains complete instructions and will answer many of your questions.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:31 pm 
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Thank you so much, both of you. :D Your advice is very helpful and is extremely appreciated. I'll try to pick up that book sooner or later, I have about 17 books right now and I'm still only on the first one! :( That book is a must get though, thank you again! =) Also, PadmaVonSamba, I don't recall the entire meaning just the general idea (6 syllables, 6 realms, like say Om being for generosity and cleansing pride, I'm jut studying that small chart,, nothing big for now)

"The teachings refer to developing the enlightened aspects of Body, speech and mind.
The physical action of moving beads is an action of the body. Reciting verbally is an action of speech. Thinking about the mantra, or generating the motivation that all beings be happy, while engaging the mantra, is an action of mind. If you can do all three, that is best. If you can only think mentally & recite verbally, that is good too. If you are not able to verbally recite the mantra or use the mala, but can concentrate fully on its meaning, that is excellent."

I didn't know that, thank you for teaching me =D That's actually really interesting. I think I'll go ahead and recite 10 turns of the beads, your advice was extremely helpful to me, thank you so much =) I'm probably gonna go look up a video just to be sure I do it right though real quick.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:15 pm 
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The Mani mantra is the condensed expression of the Buddha of Compasssion, Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit, Chenrezig: Tibetan). What does that mean? On one level the mantra and the power, lovingkindness, wisdom and all the qualities of Avalokiteshvara are completely contained in the mantra. They are inseparable. On another level, when we recite the mantra we are awakening these qualities in ourselves.

You can silently recite the mantra or almost silently recite the mantra (this is usually recommended). Almost silently means that you actually do recite the mantra vocally but it can't be heard even by a person standing next to you almost as if the sound were inaudible beyond your collar (so you are sort of whispering in a sense but not with a secretive intention). Then at times (once a day maybe) you stop, sit down and recite the Mani mantra undistractedly (or as undistractedly as possible) just doing that and just focusing on the sound of the mantra. You could also focus on the infinite compassion of Avalokiteshvara but I don't want to add anything to what your teacher suggested. Since you will ask your teacher later how to use the beads, just set a time of 5-10 minutes or even less for this. It would be very difficult to do this for 21 minutes now.

Kirt

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:41 am 
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kirtu wrote:
The Mani mantra is the condensed expression of the Buddha of Compasssion, Avalokiteshvara (Sanskrit, Chenrezig: Tibetan). What does that mean? On one level the mantra and the power, lovingkindness, wisdom and all the qualities of Avalokiteshvara are completely contained in the mantra. They are inseparable. On another level, when we recite the mantra we are awakening these qualities in ourselves.

You can silently recite the mantra or almost silently recite the mantra (this is usually recommended). Almost silently means that you actually do recite the mantra vocally but it can't be heard even by a person standing next to you almost as if the sound were inaudible beyond your collar (so you are sort of whispering in a sense but not with a secretive intention). Then at times (once a day maybe) you stop, sit down and recite the Mani mantra undistractedly (or as undistractedly as possible) just doing that and just focusing on the sound of the mantra. You could also focus on the infinite compassion of Avalokiteshvara but I don't want to add anything to what your teacher suggested. Since you will ask your teacher later how to use the beads, just set a time of 5-10 minutes or even less for this. It would be very difficult to do this for 21 minutes now.

Kirt


Thank you for your reply, Kirtu. :D I think you are all right, reciting it silently makes a lot more sense and seems a lot easier. Also, I tried doing it for a really long time and it's a lot harder than it looks. 5-10 minutes sounds much easier, but I just fear it wouldn't be enough. I'll take your word for it though because my teacher didn't specify much.

Thank you again :)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:49 am 
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You can do multiple short sessions throughout the day instead of one long session.
:namaste:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:18 pm 
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Do you need to use a mālā, or can you simply recite it over and over until it becomes ajapa japa? And what rhythm or "speed" of recition is recommended?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:48 pm 
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gregkavarnos, I didn't know that, that makes it much MUCH easier. Thank you :)

Jainarayan, I'm not really sure, I think that's why I'm finding it really difficult. My teacher gave me a mala, but didn't say anything about it really, he simply handed it to me. No one taught me how to use it either unless you count the internet. Later on, he told me to to recite it every day, but he didn't specify anything. In almost his exact words, "Say it every day and it will be very good for you." I try to not say it very quickly because I can't think about it that quickly. I'm very confused to be honest.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:01 pm 
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The reason I ask is because with Vedic mantras, breathing rhythm is not the goal, saying the mantra is. I didn't know if it was different for Tibetan mantras. I timed myself @ 3 seconds per repetition of om mani padme hum. Yes, I watched the seconds on my watch as I chanted. I am so obsessive-compulsive. :crazy:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:27 am 
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Breathing rhythm is not important in most Buddhist mantras irrespective of tradition (I have seen one exception). Just repeat the Mani normally and naturally. If you take a look at YouTube videos you will see that it is either sung or often recited so fast that it is nearly incomprehensible. Anywhere in between is fine. The mantra itself has a kind of purification effect.

Kirt

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:48 am 
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Thanks Kirt, that what I thought, wasn't sure. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:02 am 
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The thing about the mala is that while your mind is cultivating Bodhicitta (good advice above), your voice/speech is reciting the mantra, and your hand is moving a bead. That way all three are engaged at the same time and it helps reduce distraction. For example, you may space out and forget what you are doing then notice that thing in your hand and that is a reminder.

There are a lot of different instructions for how to use a mala, and what kind of mala to use, and these vary according to the kind of mantra one is doing. In our tradition the default mode is to hold the mala in the left hand and pull the bead toward you with your thumb [different than the above poster]--but it is obvious these kind of things are relative level teachings, so for now I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I use an electronic counter these days myself.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:48 pm 
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Yudron wrote:
I use an electronic counter these days myself.


:twothumbsup:

They are great! Also good for using in public (like going for walks, etc.) when we don't want to fiddle with a mala. Dharma for the modern times for sure! :tongue:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Hello Lucent,

Some have offered some good and sensible advice here. I'll add a few suggestions. If you really feel that you have a connection to this mantra, then I would take some time to accumulate in a concentrated practice, ie. just sitting and focusing on and feeling the mantra.

As well, I would encourage you to also recite this mantra silently over the course of the day as well whenever possible. Nobody has to know! This is very beneficial. I have heard mantra being translated as "mind protection", and one aspect of this is that while you are focusing on the mantra, there is less chance of your mind slipping back into its normal habits.

Terma


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:41 am 
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If it has a purification effect then I really need to say it a lot. XD

@Yudron, thank you for the explanation that makes a lot of sense. I suppose I should wait for my teacher to teach me before I attempt anything. I might get me one of those counters, it sounds really handy. :)

@Terma, thank you very much for the advice. It's greatly appreciated :) I need to say it more then because I really need the extra help :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:47 am 
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Lucent wrote:
If it has a purification effect then I really need to say it a lot. XD

@Yudron, thank you for the explanation that makes a lot of sense. I suppose I should wait for my teacher to teach me before I attempt anything. I might get me one of those counters, it sounds really handy. :)

@Terma, thank you very much for the advice. It's greatly appreciated :) I need to say it more then because I really need the extra help :D


Yes, look for a good lama.

But,

No, don't wait to start reciting the mani. :thumbsup:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:23 am 
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Hi,

Long ago I was told the mantra Om Mani Padme Hung, frees one being from the karmic cycle of rebirth, in each of the six realms, with every repeat.
So, repeating it a lot, frees lots of beings from suffering, which brings a lot of good karma to you.

Sanskrit - Sounds like = Ohm Man-knee Pad-may Whong
Tibetan - Sounds like = Ohm Mah-knee Pem-may Whong (Pem-may is like calling to your mother).

A mala should have a bell and dorje, each with 10 counters, attached between the 21st and 22nd beads, on each side of the lama bead, the big one (or extra one) at the bottom, center.
When counting, the mala is normally held in the left hand at the level of the heart, and one of the beads immediately next to the guru bead is used to register the first mantra.
The thumb acts as a vajra hook and draws the blessing of the mantra towards you.
When you finish saying 108 mantras, you push one counter (1 of 10) down, toward the bell, when 10 are down, push them up and push one counter (1 of 10) down towards the dorje.
So, when you have done 10 x 10 x 108 mantras = 10,800 mantra repeats.
Do this 10 times = 10,800 x 10 = 108,000 repeats, the minimum goal, for each mantra you learn.

If you don't have a lot of time, you can you can chant 21 repeats.
You know when your done, when you feel the bell or dorje, making it easy to count even in the dark.
No matter how many you say, when you finish, remember to dedicate the merit, of the recitations, to be used for the enlightenment of all sentient beings. (Never for just yourself.)
This is like putting them into a bank.
You won't lose the benefit of saying them, if you get angry, for example.
If you don't dedicate them, and you get mad and yell or worse, you lose all the merit of them, plus a whole lot more.




More information.

The benefits of reciting the mantra Om Mani Padme Hung

It is mentioned in the tantras that by reciting this mantra, you will achieve the four qualities of being born in the Amitabha Buddha pure land and other pure lands; at the time of death, seeing Buddhas and lights appearing in the sky; the devas making you offerings; and never being reborn in the hell, hungry ghost or animals realms. You will be reborn in the pure land of Buddha or as a happy transmigratory being. "When one who recites ten malas a day goes swimming, whether in a river, an ocean or some other body of water, the water that touches that person’s body gets blessed. It is said that up to seven generations of that person’s descendents won’t get reborn in the lower realms. The reason for this is that due to the power of mantra, the body is blessed by the person reciting the mantra and visualizing their body in form of the holy body of Chenrezig. Therefore, the body becomes so powerful, so blessed that this affects the consciousness up to seven generations and has the effect that if one dies with a non-virtuous thought, one is not reborn in a lower realm. Thus, when a person who has recited ten malas of om mani padme hum a day goes into a river or an ocean, the water that touches the person’s body gets blessed, and this blessed water then purifies all the billions and billions of sentient beings in the water. So it’s unbelievably beneficial; this person saves the animals in that water from the most unbelievable suffering of the lower realms. When such a person walks down a road and the wind touches his or her body and then goes on to touch insects, their negative karma gets purified and causes them to have a good rebirth. Similarly, when such a person does massage or otherwise touches others’ bodies, those people’s negative karma also gets purified. Such a person becomes meaningful to behold; being seen and touched becomes a means of liberating other sentient beings. This means that even the person’s breath touching the bodies of other sentient beings purifies their negative karma. Anybody who drinks the water in which such a person has swum gets purified." ~Lama Zopa Rinpoche~



Malas

Some believe that the energy of accumulated mantras is stored in the mala, one of the many reasons malas are cherished by those who use them.
Bodhiseed malas are considered appropriate for counting all kinds of mantras, prayers, prostrations and circumambulations.
Other types of stone, seed or coloured bead are used because of their association to a particular deity or form of practice.
Crystal or conch shell beads are particularly appropriate for prayers linked with Chenrezig; sandalwood is valued for pacifying; bone can be used for wrathful practices. Tibetans also prize malas made of coral, lapis, turquoise and carnelian; these beads are often added to malas as extra spacers.
Beads such as the dZi stone are amongst the most sought after of all Himalayan beads and are also added to malas as dividers.(Many fakes, be extremely careful about these.)


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