How to chant mantra?Posted On: 16 February, 2017
How to chant mantra?
Chogyal Rinpoche: First I like you to understand the source & meaning of the Sanskrit word Mantra. „Man“ refers to mind & „tra“ to a tool; hence Mantra is a tool for the mind. While our mind includes both consciousness & sub-consciousness, „tra“ is like a bridge. As we understand it, the consciousness accounts for about 10% and the sub-consciousness for the remaining 90%.
The world is blessed with thousands of Mantras by Buddhas &Yidams such as Avalokiteshvara, Amitabha, Manjushri, Medicine Buddha, Jambhala and so forth. One might ask: „Why are there so many created?“ „Do we have to chant them all?“ Each of these mantras has a different function, so to say. For example the mantra of Manjushri aims to improve wisdom, Avalokiteshvara´s mantra nourishes compassion and the Medicine Buddha´s helps improving self-healing energies. From this wealth we can choose freely the mantras that serve our needs and wishes and chant it.
In comparison there is a plenitude of drinks, be it soda, coffee, milk or water. Now some drink to relax or to excite, some drink to nourish or to hydrate. Essentially those drinks are at best water with some other elements. What changes us emotionally, after drinking though, is not the beverage in essence. It is the energies within us that are triggered. If we have a robot drinking one of these, it will not change anything for him. From this point of view we can understand that, even though the mantra´s sound holds energy it is working much more due to the potential we all have inside of us
Recently western science started to perceive & explore the potential of the sub-consciousness as aide of self-healing & creative processes. Over a thousand years the east offers a plenitude of tools to explore and improve those. It is up to us to define our aims and we will find the relating mantra to chant.
So why is it that we are asked to repeat the mantra so many times? To understand that, we need to look at the whole process. As we start the chanting, it becomes automated, even more as we start to work with visualisations. Those become more & more clear & precise as we continue to practise. This is imprinting the yidams energies through different channels of perception into the sub consciousness, layer by layer.
It´s like diving for treasures from a boat. It is unlikely that we discover the pearl in the oyster right away, but the deeper we go the closer we get to it. We like to do so with good care and even greater joy.
Now that you understand what a mantra is and how it functions, you will find it easy to be clear about how you like to do the chanting.
1: Be focused, be always focused …doing other things while chanting is not being one pointed.
2: Allow for harmony between mind, speech & acting. Chanting mantras of compassion & swatting the mosquitoes is not so. So be in harmony.
3: The more you suspend your inner critic & build up the confidence in the working of each specific mantra, the easier you will perceive your improvements.