Use of Mantras for lay people

Use of Mantras for lay people

Postby Seishin » Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:58 pm

Many of us lay people have been told/heard or read that mantras and mudras are mikkyo and therefore can only be practiced and taught by the ordained. However, I'm confused that some mantras are chanted by laypeople during particular services both in the West and in Japan (like the Fudo Myoo mantra, or the Mantra of Light in Shingon). Is there an "approved" list of mantras that laypeople can utilise, or is it down to the discretion of the teacher, I wonder?

Seishin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikky%C5%8D
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Re: Use of Mantras for lay people

Postby Jikan » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:01 pm

As near as I can tell, Seishin, this is something done at the discretion of the teacher and the temple context in the English-speaking world.
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Re: Use of Mantras for lay people

Postby Tatsuo » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:15 pm

There is something like a list of approved mantras, but afaik only in Shingonshū (I would consider the books, that contain daily recitations as a list of approved mantras, which include the mantras of the thirteen Buddhas (十三仏 Jūsan Butsu*) and the "Mantra of Light" (光明真言 Kōmyō Shingon). But I have never seen something similar in recitation books of Tendaishū, which only include exoteric texts.
Although I have seen mantras drawn on plates besides statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in Tendai temples (for example the mantra of Monju in the Monju-rō at Enryaku-ji).



*Fudō Myō-ō, Shaka Nyorai, Monju Bosatsu, Fugen Bosatsu, Jizō Bosatsu, Miroku Bosatsu, Yakushi Nyorai, Kannon Bosatsu, Seishi Bosatsu, Amida Nyorai, Ashuku Nyorai, Dainichi Nyorai, and Kokūzō Bosatsu.
 
    南無阿弥陀佛
    南無妙法蓮華經
    南無観世音菩薩
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Re: Use of Mantras for lay people

Postby Seishin » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:44 am

Thanks guys. ;)
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Re: Use of Mantras for lay people

Postby Jikan » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:38 pm

Of course nembutsu is always an option for everyone. There are specific formal nembutsu practices that are taken up by ordinands under particular circumstances, but to the best of my understanding anyone who wants to try nembutsu is free to do so.
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Re: Use of Mantras for lay people

Postby adept » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:07 pm

Jikan wrote:Of course nembutsu is always an option for everyone. There are specific formal nembutsu practices that are taken up by ordinands under particular circumstances, but to the best of my understanding anyone who wants to try nembutsu is free to do so.


I must say that this has proven to be an excellent method for me, as a layperson, without yet having met a Tendai teacher face to face.(But thanks to those who have helped me so far :thanks: )
I started out with a shikantaza/walking nembutsu practice (outdoors), walking roughly for the same length of time as sitting.
Now, when I sit for the first portion of my practice, instead of 'just sitting', I find myself silently reciting the nembutsu, in co-ordination with my breathing.
In the short time that I've practiced, I can already see the immense benfits of doing so. :bow:

Namu Amida Bu
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Re: Use of Mantras for lay people

Postby Jikan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:16 am

Excellent!
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Re: Use of Mantras for lay people

Postby Seishin » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:30 pm

Cool Adept :twothumbsup:

Chanting has become my main practice also, and I have to say, I do not feel limited in the amount of chants I can use as a layperson. :thumbsup:

Quality not quantity.
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