Yes, I brought up this repetition phenomenon in my first post.  I used an
example Catholic Hail Mary's, but it would, as you point out, eventually
apply to anything repeated over and over and over and over...  

I'm anxious to see what Jody responds as to her expectations vis-à-vis


From: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf
Of Edgar Owen
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 6:49 PM
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [Zen] Test of Character


Some good points. One comment. Actually I think the idea of chanting even if
the words are in your language is to repeat something so many times that its
rational meaning disappears, one stops thinking about the meaning, and only
the sounds remain, so that the intention is as you suggest to subtract
rational thought from consciousness. So I don't see any real disagreement
between your and Jody's approach. As you say it is whatever works.


On Aug 26, 2008, at 11:19 PM, <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:


Thanks for your post. It gives me the opportunity to better explain my
perspective on chanting.

Jody wrote:
>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,
and why?


* 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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