Hello Bill, You wrote :I agree with you that chanting does serve the same purpose as counting breaths. They're both used to quiet the mind - the rational mind. This is why I am still curious at your belief that knowing its meaning would better serve this purpose. For me, knowing its meaning while chanting, and worse yet appreciating that meaning, does not serve to quiet your mind. 'Knowing' and 'appreciating' are functions of your rational mind, and as long as you continue to know and appreciate, your rational mind is not quiet. Referring back to your first paragraph, 'images' and 'compassion' are also products of your rational mind. As long as you visualize images or feel compassion your rational mind is not quiet."
I suppose at first this was true that I was not quieting my mind by thinking about the chant OM MANI PADME HUM. Now it is more like a comfortable place rather then a thought. It is like finding a comfortable position before meditating. Lighting incents does the same thing. It puts me in a state of mind to meditate. I certainly don't have a traditional approach to Buddhism. I have not been lucky enough to be part of a Sangha except online. I just keep learning as much as I can. I am reading a history of Asia and I am interested to learn the path buddhism took from India to china to Korea and to japan and beyond. As Buddhism travels it changes from culture to culture and I think that as it travels to the west, it will change here too. I suppose I just try to stay with the basics. JODY ------------------------------------ Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are reading! Talk about it today!Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Zen_Forum/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: [EMAIL PROTECTED] <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/