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Mantra practice

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:20 am
by Tesoda
Hi!
I practicing korean zen and i startid to practice with a mantra. I started to take the mantra everywhere in everyday life, so and came up fears whether is right or wrong? Can be your practice more important than the person who do you believed yourself?

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:49 pm
by Larry
Hi Tesoda. I'm sure Keith, for one, would be delighted to answer your question. But you might like to clarify or rephrase your final sentence.

:namaste:

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:15 pm
by KeithA
Tesoda wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:20 am
Hi!
I practicing korean zen and i startid to practice with a mantra. I started to take the mantra everywhere in everyday life, so and came up fears whether is right or wrong? Can be your practice more important than the person who do you believed yourself?
It depends on the tradition. This is definitely a question for your teacher.

In Kwan Um Zen, a western Zen tradition with Korean roots, we are taught to pay attention. That means if I am driving my car, best to just pay attention to driving my car, rather than keeping the question, repeating the mantra, etc. That's really no different from any other kind of distracted driving.

If you are doing something mundane like sweeping the floor, that's a good opportunity to pick up the mantra again.

This advice is primarily aimed at lay people. Monastics, due to the simpler life, have an opportunity to practice one-pointedly more often. This is the value of retreats for lay people.

Chogye Zen (the main Buddhist order in Korea) teaches keeping the question at all times, because that is a strictly monastic organization.

_/|\_

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:37 pm
by Tesoda
Thanks! As i'm practicing with gate, gate mantra lot of emotion, role and forgotten memories came up, it is little an afraiding process. Possible that mantras have really great power like this?

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:01 pm
by KeithA
Tesoda wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:37 pm
Thanks! As i'm practicing with gate, gate mantra lot of emotion, role and forgotten memories came up, it is little an afraiding process. Possible that mantras have really great power like this?
Sure. Sometimes things come up that we haven't looked at before. I spent a whole weekend retreat crying during every break. It was a relief actually. Something just let go.

Of course, if you don't feel relief, you should talk to someone other than a random person on the internet. We are very much in "bring this to your teacher" territory. And hopefully, your teacher will recommend professional help if your emotions seem to be out of your control. It's a fine line between regular practice stuff and more serious issues. Please take care of yourself.

_/|\_

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:20 pm
by Tesoda
Thanks Keith for the helpful answer! :)
May i have another question? I regularly practice prostrations. What is the proper approach? Just being in the movement or may i offer these practice to somebody?

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:15 pm
by KeithA
Thanks for doing the prostrations! All your practice helps you, helps your Sangha and helps the world1

It is really up to you how you keep your mind while doing prostrations. It's your practice. I use a mala (beads for counting mantras and prostrations) and do the same practice I would do while sitting, walking, etc. There is also a tradition where each bow is accompanied by an exhortation or vow. There is a blog post here that explains what that might look like.

Note: I just realized I am posting in the Teacher's Space. Please understand that while I am a low level "teacher" within my Sangha, I have not received inka or transmission. I am just a struggling practitioner, like anyone else.

_/|\_

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:23 pm
by Tesoda
i feel your answer is a great help to me! Thanks struggling practicioner :)

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:06 pm
by Larry
KeithA wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:15 pm
Note: I just realized I am posting in the Teacher's Space.
Sorry if I tricked you in :lol:

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:40 pm
by KeithA
Larry wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:06 pm
KeithA wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:15 pm
Note: I just realized I am posting in the Teacher's Space.
Sorry if I tricked you in :lol:
No worries...

We have a cushion designated for the abbot at the New Haven ZC. Unfortunately, we don't have an abbot! Our former abbot, while still very active, wanted to step away from the responsibilities for work reasons. So, when someone sits on the cushion, we joke that if they want to stay on that cushion, they have to become the abbot!.

No takers, as of yet..

:117:

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:46 pm
by KeithA
Tesoda wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:23 pm
i feel your answer is a great help to me! Thanks struggling practicioner :)
You are very welcome. It's natural to have lots of questions at first. Sooner or later, it's best to just settle on something and do it 100 percent.

As an old friend said:

Practice and see what happens.

There is an old story we tell often in Kwan Um. In it, there is line that I love:
"I don't know anything about chanting. So I just chanted."
Ko Bong's Try Mind

_/|\_

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:29 pm
by Tesoda
Just can't stop questioning :) If I'm practicing mostly alone. Do you suggest singing alone? if yes, how should i make this a part of my practice?

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:48 pm
by Tesoda
And another: When the "story" goes in my head and i deeply into it, and i see myself as a character (always changing) what is the right approach? Try to be in the moment and don't identify myself with the role? Mantra can be a tool to come back in the moment in everyday situations?

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:28 pm
by KeithA
Tesoda wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:29 pm
Just can't stop questioning :) If I'm practicing mostly alone. Do you suggest singing alone? if yes, how should i make this a part of my practice?
Sure, why not?

Click here and check out simple daily practice. It's just 15 minutes a day and helps develop the habit of practicing daily.

I have chanted many times by myself in the temple. Now, we have more practitioners, so that hasn't happened in long time. That's what happens when you practice and don't get wrapped up on how many come and go. We recently added morning practice, so, once again I am chanting alone. :107:

Just practice and see what happens...

_/|\_

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:31 pm
by KeithA
Tesoda wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:48 pm
And another: When the "story" goes in my head and i deeply into it, and i see myself as a character (always changing) what is the right approach? Try to be in the moment and don't identify myself with the role? Mantra can be a tool to come back in the moment in everyday situations?
All forms of meditation use a very simple technique:

Notice a lack of attention. Return to a state of attention.

When you notice the story, return to the mantra.

Over and over....

Be patient, be persistent and be kind to yourself.

_/|\_

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:27 am
by Tesoda
Thanks :)

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Mon May 07, 2018 7:25 am
by Tesoda
Practicing with a mantra a new question came up.

I just picked up a mantra and practiced with it and it helped me really to streghten my practice. Accidentely i found another mantra what i'd like to try. I feel it has got a different energy and i just feel it more suitable to me now. The question is Whether stick to the old mantra or you may try another mantras for longer periods experimenting?

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 2:57 am
by KeithA
It's a fine line between jumping from practice to practice and moving to something useful. In the end, It's your practice. I would just be mindful of the tendency to get bored versus usefulness of establishing a rhythm of practice.

_/|\_

Keith

Re: Mantra practice

Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 1:04 pm
by bokki
just had 2 delate. sry