Thanks for your post. It gives me the opportunity to better explain my
perspective on chanting.
>You described that chanting should be sounds with no meaning or chants from
other languages that we don't understand.
I did recommend this and stand by that recommendation.
>But if the chants are in foreign languages, then the people who speak those
languages UNDERSTAND what the chants mean.
I think this is just a misunderstanding of what I meant. I used 'foreign'
is a relative term, not an absolute term. In other words, what is a foreign
language to you (Chinese or Russian) is not a foreign language to a Chinese
or a Russian. Maybe English is a foreign language to them, or maybe the
Chinese language is foreign to the Russian. The point of this is I
recommend that if you use sounds from a language, pick a language that you
don't know, don't speak and don't understand.
>I personally think that knowing what a chant means ADDS to it's value
then taking away.
I believe that is true for you, but I do not agree. The perspective on this
all depends on WHY you are chanting.
I can only tell you why I chant (which I used to do, but now don't do very
often). I chant for the same reason I sit zazen: to experience Buddha Mind.
To experience Buddha Mind I do not need to ADD anything, in fact I need to
SUBTRACT. I need to CEASE (subtract) all my illusions* of DUALITY, which
includes the duality of VALUE/NO-VALUE and most importantly the duality of
SELF/OTHER. These illusions are the products of my RATIONAL MIND, so I need
to STOP its activities.
If I am THINKING about what I am chanting then I am exercising my rational
mind and will not be able to cease my dualistic illusions - and not be able
to experience Buddha Mind.
This is why I chant and this is why I believe you should chant sounds with
no meaning (to you).
Jody: Why do you chant or want to chant? What have you chosen to chant,
* You actually only have to cease attachment to illusions, not illusions
themselves; but that is just a further complexity that doesn't affect this
discussion at this point.
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