How does offering music work?

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Tenma
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How does offering music work?

Post by Tenma » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:58 am

When one offers music via playing a bell, drumming, singing, gongs, bowls, horns, flutes, strings, etc. how does one offer it? Offer the instrument and visualize it resonating divine sounds? Play the instrument and recite mantras while doing so (or recite the mantras before or after playing?)? I have an upcoming violin solo (Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole Mvt. 4), so there will be lots of intense practice. In the meantime, how can I offer music to the tathagatas or bodhisattvas like Yangchenma? There are lots of commentary on water, light, food, and incense offerings, but there's a lack of musical stuff.

cjdevries
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Re: How does offering music work?

Post by cjdevries » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:26 pm

I believe I've read that you can offer the sense pleasure you get from something to the Bodhisattvas.

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Vasana
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Re: How does offering music work?

Post by Vasana » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:57 pm

You can offer any pleasant thing your senses encounter to the objects of refuge. Just the thought of offering what is pleasing to your senses can be enough or you can imagine you are personally playing for them more elaborately and imagine the music directly being heard by these clairvoyant and clairaudient objects of refuge. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas known when we're recalling them. Intention is key. Or you can visualise offering goddesses with instruments if that's more your style.

Your teachers will likely have more to say on this topic, whether it's done elaborately or not.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

Malcolm
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Re: How does offering music work?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:08 pm

Tenma wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:58 am
When one offers music via playing a bell, drumming, singing, gongs, bowls, horns, flutes, strings, etc. how does one offer it? Offer the instrument and visualize it resonating divine sounds? Play the instrument and recite mantras while doing so (or recite the mantras before or after playing?)? I have an upcoming violin solo (Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole Mvt. 4), so there will be lots of intense practice. In the meantime, how can I offer music to the tathagatas or bodhisattvas like Yangchenma? There are lots of commentary on water, light, food, and incense offerings, but there's a lack of musical stuff.
That's what the bell is for.

Tenma
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Re: How does offering music work?

Post by Tenma » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:42 am

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:08 pm
Tenma wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:58 am
When one offers music via playing a bell, drumming, singing, gongs, bowls, horns, flutes, strings, etc. how does one offer it? Offer the instrument and visualize it resonating divine sounds? Play the instrument and recite mantras while doing so (or recite the mantras before or after playing?)? I have an upcoming violin solo (Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole Mvt. 4), so there will be lots of intense practice. In the meantime, how can I offer music to the tathagatas or bodhisattvas like Yangchenma? There are lots of commentary on water, light, food, and incense offerings, but there's a lack of musical stuff.
That's what the bell is for.
And if one has other instruments like a violin (or a drum)? Or their voice?

Tenma
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Re: How does offering music work?

Post by Tenma » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:43 am

Vasana wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:57 pm
You can offer any pleasant thing your senses encounter to the objects of refuge. Just the thought of offering what is pleasing to your senses can be enough or you can imagine you are personally playing for them more elaborately and imagine the music directly being heard by these clairvoyant and clairaudient objects of refuge. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas known when we're recalling them. Intention is key. Or you can visualise offering goddesses with instruments if that's more your style.

Your teachers will likely have more to say on this topic, whether it's done elaborately or not.
So I don't have to try to multitasking between trying to recite "Om Ah Hum" or some complex prayer while the violin is at my chin or singing some tune?

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Vasana
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Re: How does offering music work?

Post by Vasana » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:01 am

:juggling: of course not.

If you were playing music for your guru, you would just play the music as an offering. The same is true for offering sense pleasures in daily life. You can perform an offering mudra or offering mantras if you like but that would be inappropriate in most public settings. You could perform this mudra in your mind if it helps but it isn't necessary. The same for visualizing light and sound reaching them. If circmsumances permit a more elaborate practice is fine (maybe when practicing alone) but you can also simplify it too.

Mindfulness of the Buddha, and the objects of refuge and intention to offer along with bodhichitta intention is what constitutes the offering. Even if our offering isnt perfect, the intention makes it pure. In the beginning this may seem like a lot of concepts to imagine but once you are used to it you can do it all in a fingersnap or ideally without concepts of subject, object or offering

The second you encounter a nice sunset or fleeting aroma or taste, you can just remember the intention to offer and know that they know you're offering. It's a great way to gather merit and recall the qualities of the objects of refuge in the day.

Depending on your understanding of om ah hung, the sound you're offering is also part of om ah hung. But to keep it simple for now, just play as best you can with the sincere intention at the beginning that what you are about to play is an offering. When you feel you are playing well and don't find thoughts a distraction you can simply just remember and feel that you're offering again and then rejoice in this also.
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

tatpurusa
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Re: How does offering music work?

Post by tatpurusa » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:14 am

Tenma wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:58 am
When one offers music via playing a bell, drumming, singing, gongs, bowls, horns, flutes, strings, etc. how does one offer it? Offer the instrument and visualize it resonating divine sounds? Play the instrument and recite mantras while doing so (or recite the mantras before or after playing?)? I have an upcoming violin solo (Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole Mvt. 4), so there will be lots of intense practice. In the meantime, how can I offer music to the tathagatas or bodhisattvas like Yangchenma? There are lots of commentary on water, light, food, and incense offerings, but there's a lack of musical stuff.
The practice of offering music originates from India. There, in classical hindustani (especially dhrupad) or karnatic music each raga is considered the manifestation, the "sound body" of a divinity. They are more than just offerings or invocations: they have the same power like bija mantras.
Classical Indian music is considered a tantric practice and was developed very intensively during the Buddhist period before the muslim invasions.

Malcolm
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Re: How does offering music work?

Post by Malcolm » Sun Jan 19, 2020 1:08 pm

Tenma wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:42 am
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 10:08 pm
Tenma wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:58 am
When one offers music via playing a bell, drumming, singing, gongs, bowls, horns, flutes, strings, etc. how does one offer it? Offer the instrument and visualize it resonating divine sounds? Play the instrument and recite mantras while doing so (or recite the mantras before or after playing?)? I have an upcoming violin solo (Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole Mvt. 4), so there will be lots of intense practice. In the meantime, how can I offer music to the tathagatas or bodhisattvas like Yangchenma? There are lots of commentary on water, light, food, and incense offerings, but there's a lack of musical stuff.
That's what the bell is for.
And if one has other instruments like a violin (or a drum)? Or their voice?
You can use a symbol, generally a small conch shell in the line of offerings.

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