Chanting meditation is a method of practice that focuses the mind that is distracted among the myriad things into the one pointed mind by reciting a simple phrase or Sutra. Because the mind of a beginning meditator is not settled, chanting meditation is a very efficient method to calm down one’s mind.
In our temple, we chant the phrase 'Namu-Amita-Bul', 'Namu-Amita-Bul' means to Return to Amita Buddha, the Buddha of infinite light and life, which is within us all. We also chant Il Won Sang Vow a Won Buddhist Vow composed by Master Sotesan and The Heart Sutra, a traditional Mahayana Buddhist Sutra.
Chanting can seem strange at first, especially if you are unfamiliar with it, but with practice it becomes a familiar and special part of your meditation practice. It can be particularly useful to quiet and focus the mind before sitting meditation. Listening to chanting can also be very relaxing as you go about your day and to calm your mind before sleeping.
The Method of Chanting Meditation
- First straighten your back, neck and head and settle your energy. Do not swing or shake your body.
- Do not make your chanting voice either too loud or too soft, but keep it at a level appropriate to your energy.
- Concentrate on your own voice of chanting itself.
- When you chant, let go of each and every thought and maintain a relaxed mind.
- To get hold of the mind, keep a rhythm with a wooden gong or mocktak or you can use meditation beads.
- Chanting constantly reflects the original state of your Buddha nature. You may enter Samadhi, a higher level of mediation, if you have one-pointedness while chanting.
The Benefits of Chanting Meditation
- Rash and flighty behavior will gradually disappear.
- The activities of the six sense organs will become orderly.
- The suffering of illness decreases and your face becomes smoother.
- The power of memory improves.
- The power of endurance grows.
- Attachments disappear.
- Perverse states of mind change into right states of mind.
- Your self-nature's light of wisdom will shine.
- You will be gratified by ultimate bliss.
- You will gain freedom in birth and death.