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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:20 pm 
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Mr. G wrote:
Anders Honore wrote:

If you start hanging out with practitioners who actually devote a lot of time to this mantra, you will hear a lot of stories.


That's not fair...you can't keep us in suspense like that! :lol:


This is the stuff monastics like to gossip about. :lol:

Anyway, if we're telling stories, perhaps I should tell a few of my own instead:

I was never really into Avalokiteshvara when I was younger. As a Zen practitioner who was into wisdom teachings, awakening by one's own efforts and all that jazz, if there were a bodhisattva I liked it was Manjushri. But principally, who needs bodhisattvas on a path where you're supposed to rely on your own effort? Such was my thinking at any rate. Yet, though I was content to let matters lie, it seemed Avalokiteshvara was not content to leave me alone.

At around the age of 20 I went backpacking in south-east Asia. In central Vietnam, I visited a beautiful Thien monastery with my guide. When he heard I was a mahayana Buddhist myself, he was quite impressed and immediately sought out one of the monks for me to talk to since I wasn't just a regular tourist. He came back a bit later on his own and said that the monk had told him master who had lived here, apparently a famous thien master, had moved up north. But if I was interested in seeing him, the monk had written down directions for me to go there once I got to north Vietnam. I took the note and figured I might as well if I am in the neighbourhood.

It just so happened it was about halfway on the way from Halong Bay to Hanoi, so I got off the tourist bus on the way back from Halong and made my way off the charted tourist maps to this place. With the directions I had gotten from the monk, it wasn't hard to find. When I got there I discovered that this was apparently one of the holiest mountains in Vietnam. Some Japanese Buddhists had even sponsored an aerial lift to take pilgrims to the upper, more passable, half of the mountain. I inquired at the bottom of the mountain about the monastery but just got perplexed looks, then took the lift and started walking up the only path there till I got to a small village, asked there and got a few laughs for my question there. There was no such monastery on this mountain or nearby, someone was playing a joke on me they said. I figured there was probably some language confusion and at any rate I might as well just follow the path to the top. It was quite a beautiful walk with several lovely old hermitages and shrines carved and built along the way. Clearly Dharma practitioners had been practising here for a long time.

Once I got to the top, there was predictably no monastery. Just a hermit who lived in a hut there and tended the old shrine and didn't speak English. He was very friendly though and gave me a stick of incense to offer to the multitude of old statues inside the small shrine. After that, he led me close to the top where the most beautiful statue of Guanyin I had ever seen stood among the clouds. Everything just washed away when I saw this statue and I was filled with peace and... gratitude is perhaps the best words towards this statue for reasons I didn't really understand. Since the clouds roll over the peak all the time, there's a lot of moisture in the air and the flask guanyin carried ended in a point from where drops of condensed water would keep dropping into a small cup at her feet. The hermit caretaker gave me the cup to drink from guanyin's flask and then left me there. Then the clouds cleared and I could see for hundreds of miles across the flat terrain these few mountains jutted out of. It wasn't hard to see why they picked this mountain as a holy one. I ended up spending about an hour just staring at this statue enjoying the peace and gratitude it seemed to emanate, before I started the trip back down (by then it was getting dark. When I finally made it down there was no one else left).

It was only later that evening that I started thinking about the oddness of how it happened. Why on earth would a monk give me such specific directions to a place that didn't exist? Yet though the trip had not been at all what I had expected, it had been entirely worthwhile. That was the first time I began to suspect maybe I should begin to pay some attention to Avalokiteshvara. It seemed at any rate, that s(he) wanted my attention.

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"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:44 pm 
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A year or two later, I was spending some weeks in a Theravada monastery in south England called Chithurst. A lovely place with very dedicated practitioners and I had the good fortune that Luangpor Sumedho had agreed to take temporary charge as abbot while Ajahn Succito was in retreat. The style there is of the grandmotherly kindness one, the tough love style where they leave you to your own devices. As long as I followed the basic rules and routines and helped with chores it was up to myself to figure out how to fill the rest of the day with practise.

One day I found myself looking through their library when I came across an old pamphlet. It was an awful photocopy of a text text written on a poor typewriter from some time back in the 60s. A transcription of tape recording a Tibetan teacher (I forget who) teaching westerners how to do deity visualizations on Avalokiteshvara in broken and unpolished English. Remembering how I should perhaps begin to pay more heed to Avalokiteshvara, and with my curiosity peeked at the oddity of the pamphlet in a Theravada monastery, I lay down to read it. It was not an easy read as the letters were hard to make out and the words hard to translate into actual English. And about halfway into it, as is very easy to do when you spend most of the day meditating on one meal a day, I fell asleep.

And in the dream, I was Avalokiteshvara, or rather Avalokiteshvara was me, just as prescribed in the pamphlet. Actually it was far more than that, since I was not just dreaming of Avalokiteshvara being me, I experienced the mind of Avalokiteshvara as it if were my own with a lucidity far clearer than waking life in this dream as well. Words can't really describe the state of such a mind because it is so vastly more profound than what we could even imagine is possible. What we might feel as compassion can really only be described as a drop compared to the ocean of love he feels for all of us. Looking back on it now, it is elevating to recall that in the eye of Avalokiteshvara, each and every one of us are the most special and worthy of beings, for whom the entire universe ought to be dedicated only to our own salvation as kings and queens of the cosmos. He loves us so much and wishes us to be happy with such zeal that if it were not tempered with an endless patience for doing whatever it is we have to do before we are ready to wake up at our own leisure, I imagine one would be crushed by it. But he is patient and utterly fearless at the prospect of so many sons and daughters to help for such a long time. This fearlessness and sheer goodness of heart manifests itself as a childlike and completely natural innocence and joy, though an innocence that can not be tainted by anything. The happiness of Avalokiteshvara is all about the joy of love for other beings, a happiness and joy that is so deep and shining that you simply wouldn't have thought it was possibly for a mind to be so happy and beautiful. There are many many more aspects to the mind Avalokiteshvara but that is all I can put in words and I am sure I only experienced the fragments my mind was capable of perceiving.

And then I woke up. I had no doubt that it was more than just a dream since the mindstates I experienced were so profound they could never be cobbled together by the random pieces of subconsciousness that might otherwise be made into dream states and it was itself more lucid than waking life in many ways. I didn't feel particularly changed by it. In hindsight, I reckon he simply wanted to show me 'this is what is possible when you penetrate to the path, this is how bodhisattvas work'. Then I got up and went to do some walking meditation.

It was after this and knowing in the heart what a true friend, brother, mother and father Avalokiteshvara is, that I decided to have Om Mani Padme Hum tattooed on my right arm as a symbol to share with the world.

There are other stories too, but I reckon I should save some for a rainy day. :jumping:

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"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Awesome stories Anders. Thanks for sharing.

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    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Mindfully Invoking Kannon's Power

by Ryokan Ara

Although I was born into a lay family, shortly after I turned ten years of age I was sent to a temple in a town about twelve kilometers (seven miles) away and became a young priest in training.

The main object of worship in that temple was a statue of the Thousand-Armed Kannon, so I was awakened every day before dawn and made to read the Kannon Sutra aloud in front of this statue of Kannon. There were several Kannon festivals every year, and on those days the women of the parish would gather at the temple in the morning and prepare food; a lively luncheon would follow the memorial services.

Read More Here...

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Significance and Benefits of Six-Syllable Mantra Recitation:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/79774816/Sign ... Recitation

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    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:52 am 
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Ever had a visualization take on a life of its own? I was running the beads the other day and doing my usual Avalokittyshvara visualizations. The mental image began to glow with a soft radiant golden light, the figure of Avalokiteshvara popped out into three dimensions and I was drawn into the light. No ecstatic experiences or anything, but it was kinda trippy. This happened while focussing on his compassion, the nature of it.

btw thirty days 'nip free.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:39 pm 
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Wow! Strange experience!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:25 pm 
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I get them from time to time. And you know what they say about these things beings distractions? It's true, they can be be terribly distracting.

Nonetheless, I gave it a little thought and there was a lesson in it. As I said, there was no bliss or elation or overwhelming compassion associated with the experience, so it was like getting in the right neighbourhood without really finding the core. So I take it as a sign that I'm moving in the right direction, but still well off the mark and on I go.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:13 am 
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Reviving an old topic, but...

Just now I finished reciting 1 mala of Om mani padme's hum and my legs and knees started buzzing and it was very strange. I've had this happen before while chanting daimoku but this was really, really intense and I kinda got scared and stopped. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:41 pm 
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Om Mani Padme Hum is a recitation for Padmasambhava or Avalokiteshvara?

And if you have more storys to share...it would be nice to read :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:28 am 
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Among other things, mantras sometimes feel very much like moods to me. In my fully subjective impression, "Om Mani Padme Hum" always evoked a certain timeless venerable calm in my soul.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:40 am 
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Lots of physical stuff, enough that I don't even pay much attention to that any more.

On a good day: no more subject and object, a feeling of rest, and some perceptions of space and light, I have once felt something that might have been "real" bodhicitta on some level, but maybe i'm fooling myself. Normally truth is I have to fake it until I make it. (outside of actual visualizations)

On a bad day: guilt and/or fear of not being worthy to be bothering with all this Buddhism stuff in the first place, which I try (occasionally with success) to turn into compassion.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:42 am 
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No feelings brought up in me, or by reciting any other mantra for that matter.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:55 am 
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Quote:
Om Mani Padme Hum is a recitation for Padmasambhava or Avalokiteshvara?


The latter. (Padmasambhava's is Aum Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum.)

I too would appreciate hearing more stories.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:48 am 
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Thanks Alfredo! Now that you said that I got a click in my head, since I already knew that recitation too :)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:51 pm 
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this is my favourite avalokitesvara sadhana. i am getting deeper into it and the peace and compassion and love and the understanding of others suffering is getting more profound doing the sadhana. and i feel peace even the next day after doing it.

it is my favourite sadhana. no doubt.

http://drubwangrinpoche.preciousteachin ... dhana.html


you can also find HH Dalai Lamas explanation of the meaning of the mani mantra down at the bottom of the sadhana.

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If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo


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