Pausing sadhanas

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dharmafootsteps
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Pausing sadhanas

Post by dharmafootsteps » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:10 pm

I'm wondering how many people when practicing alone will pause their recitation to really engender the meaning of a particular section in their mind. Is this common/recommended?

I was thinking about the fact that if we have memorised a sadhana we can pretty much do it in our mind only. I don't mean reciting it mentally, but rather just going through the stages mentally, visualising, supplicating etc. The potential of mind is vast, so it's still possible really get into the practice this way. One can spend as long as they need on each part to really deeply engender refuge, bodhicitta, devotion, do confession, purification and so on.

However I understand the benefit to integrating the voice in the practice through recitation and mantra, and the body through mudra. My thought is that, at least in my case (and I'd imagine many Westerners) when we do a sadhana straight through, reciting at a standard pace, the recitation is the kind of "rate limiting" factor i.e. how long it takes us to recite dictates how long we spend on each part. For those of us who aren't very much expert in a particular practice, and in Tibetan language, that might not be long enough to really engender the meaning a particular section - refuge, bodhicitta and so on in the mind, or to do the visualisations for that matter. It seems that rather than the voice being what dictates the pace of a sadhana, it should really be the mind. Hence pausing to continue working with a section with your mind when needed.

Obviously this doesn't work in group practice when we have to go at the same pace, but seems to make sense to me when alone.

Any thoughts? Does this make sense? I haven't heard teachers suggest this, but wondering if anyone else has.

philji
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by philji » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:23 pm

This is very interesting. I have heard from one of my teachers that when practicing sadhana alone, YOU are the boss and yes you can pause and spend time on each section . When in a group obviously one goes along with the group pace.
I think in this way one can really integrate the practice into one's being.

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heart
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by heart » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:59 pm

dharmafootsteps wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:10 pm
I'm wondering how many people when practicing alone will pause their recitation to really engender the meaning of a particular section in their mind. Is this common/recommended?
I do this all time. Recently I started reciting in English and that makes it even easier to ponder the meaning of the text you recite (of course, when practicing with Tibetans I do it in Tibetan).

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

Simon E.
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by Simon E. » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:41 pm

Yes it’s good..it’s like allowing a little time for digestion when eating.
In my case I have to be vigilant in case it leads to wool spinning and distraction. But that’s me. :smile:
“Why don’t you close down your PC for a while and find out who needs your help?”

HH Tai Situ.

dharmafootsteps
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by dharmafootsteps » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:51 pm

Great thanks, good to know I'm not totally off base.

English recitation isn't something I've tried before. I like the idea of mixing that in occasionally though. Will give it a shot.

pemachophel
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by pemachophel » Mon Aug 26, 2019 3:47 pm

Absolutely you should pause and contemplate various sections. When you're doing it in a group, you have to follow the flow of the group, but alone, now you're doing it to get the fullest effect.

For 10 years of more I've been doing all my practices in Tibetan and English. Takes longer, but I find I get more out of it rather than just Tibetan. At my center, this is also how we do things for all pujas and recitations. When I visit other centers, if it's all in Tibetan, that's also no problem.
Pema Chophel པདྨ་ཆོས་འཕེལ

zerwe
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by zerwe » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:19 pm

Absolutely, when time allows this is very beneficial and allows to get into the essence of various aspects of the practice. And, it is certainly better than flying through with a mere recitation to fulfill a practice commitment.
Shaun :namaste:

smcj
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by smcj » Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:28 pm

I'm wondering how many people when practicing alone will pause their recitation to really engender the meaning of a particular section in their mind. Is this common/recommended?
Yes.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Sonam Wangchug
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:21 pm

We are supposed to be meditating on the meaning of the words as we are chanting them in Vajrayana meditation, so yes it's good ..

This is one reason in some practices there is a slow placed melody, when one can chant and simultaneously match the words of the text with our mental practice, it is more profound.

Garchen Rinpoche mentioned once about how the melodies really carry blessings, and how he noticed a vast difference once between just chanting through a Sadhana, VS doing it with the appropriate melody, and the change in the mind that it can bring.
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:52 pm

The Lama I do group practice with regularly varies both the tempo of the melodies, and how long we spend on the various pauses indicating different sections etc.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

Terma
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by Terma » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:51 am

Absolutely.

While I do like group practice, it is daily practice which I feel we can get much deeper into providing we have the time. Though sometimes I do have to "rush through" practice a little as a trade off for family life, I find if I can really pause at certain parts of the sadhana it is so helpful, in fact my teacher(s) really suggests doing so.

In fact when I first began ngondro, I was pretty interested in the accumulations (as a lot of us probably are when we are just getting out if the gate). But as time went on, I found myself trying to sacrifice a mala's worth, let's say, in order to really get the most out of it so-to-speak.

Thanks for the thread, it is a good reminder to slow things down a bit sometimes!

dharmafootsteps
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by dharmafootsteps » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:40 am

Great, thanks all.

Good to see I wasn't way off base. I was actually just overthinking things as usual :D

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weitsicht
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by weitsicht » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:11 pm

Maybe to round it up with quotes from "Being Guru Rinpoche" by James Low:
(…) That's one of the reasons why I myself don't like to do these tantric rituals with anyone else, because I like to do them in a way that makes sense for me. This means, if I do part of the practise and I don't like how I've done it, I do it again, and I can do it again, until it becomes real for me.
[...] It's part of being in a sangha and practising together, but if you are going to use the dharma directly for your own transformation, it is very important to examine your own situation, to see what your own rhythm is, and that will change from day to day. When you do this you can then bring the practise into a direct relationship with your own experience.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

Terma
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by Terma » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:01 am

:good:

There is certainly a certain dynamic in practicing in a group environment and can be quite powerful at time in my opinion. However, this quote is a great find, because we need to find a way to make our practice more "personal" for us, especially if we are not fluent in Tibetan or whatever language the liturgy is being chanted in a group setting.

Sennin
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Re: Pausing sadhanas

Post by Sennin » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:34 am

Hevajra Root Tantra says:
  • Like the steady flow
    of a stream of water
    and the steady flicker
    of the tip of a lamp flame.
"One should always recite mantra, purifying the body."
--Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

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