Hearing the Buddha's Name

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Queequeg
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Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by Queequeg » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:24 am

You know, in all the years I've been around this forum, I don't know if I've ever seen a post sharing what we actually do as our main practice. Maybe part of it is the risk of stoking a Nam/Namu debate. Thanks to my mother, this was one of the first sounds I heard, and I can remember laying my head on my mother's lap and hearing a room of hundreds of people reciting the Daimoku. The sound of thousands of voices chanting the Daimoku is still one of the most awesome sounds I've heard.

Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

narhwal90
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by narhwal90 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:58 pm

Ah daimoku in a group is great when everyone makes the harmony and keeps pace. Other times its heavy lifting when the loud/fast guy shows up lol. I like the groups of 20-ish, with the leader on mike but only loud enough to keep the cadence.

I first heard it thru a high school friend, the immediate effect was to pause the dialog in my head.

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Queequeg
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by Queequeg » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:37 pm

narhwal90 wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:58 pm
only loud enough to keep the cadence.
That's where the taiko drum comes in useful. At temples this is the common practice. At Kitayama, the drum is so big and loud, the first time my son heard it he was startled. LOL
I first heard it thru a high school friend, the immediate effect was to pause the dialog in my head.
Svaha!
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by Queequeg » Tue Aug 28, 2018 5:25 pm

Who knows who comes and reads these threads, and who knows how long it will be here...

The Daimoku, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo literally translates as, "Homage to the Sublime Dharma of the White Lotus Scripture". More colloquially, it means something like, "I declare my devotion/refuge in the Lotus Sutra".

As explained by Zhiyi (Tendai Daishi), the entirety of the Lotus Sutra is contained in the five Chinese characters of its title (the Daimoku), 妙法蓮華経 Myoho Renge Kyo. The Lotus Sutra, in turn, is the source and repository of all the Buddha's teachings, powers, results, and reality. As the Buddha declares: "To sum up, in this sutra I have clearly revealed and taught all the teachings of the Tathāgata, all the transcendent powers of the Tathāgata, all the treasure houses of the hidden essence of the Tathāgata, and all the profound aspects of the Tathāgata."

The teaching of the Lotus Sutra is described as the Vajra Chalice Precept Saicho (Dengyo Daishi). This precept cannot be broken. The reason is that the Vajra Chalice is another name for the True Aspect of Reality, and reality cannot be broken. Reality is unavoidable and irrepressible. When we take refuge in the Lotus Sutra, we take refuge in reality. Reality, the Tathagata, is the ultimate teacher, the Buddha.

Reality is also described as Buddhanature. In the Lotus Tradition we speak of the Threefold Buddhanature - The Complete Cause, or reality itself that is indivisible with our Mind, which in turn mutually possesses all reality, all the ten realms, including Buddhahood; The Direct Cause, or wisdom innate in all reality enabling us to know reality, and the Conditional Cause - the moment to moment process by which our experience unfolds toward awakening. When we are resolved to open ourselves to reality, awakening naturally unfolds. When we ignorantly or stubbornly cling to incorrect views, we suffer because reality being irrepressible demolishes everything that does not accord. We experience this as suffering - losing what we cling to, being forced to confront realities we wish to avoid.

NMRK is the practice of bringing ourselves into accord with reality, resolving to perpetually resist the impulse of our innate darkness, fundamental nescience, that prompts us to retreat from reality, and instead maintain a vigorous openness to reality.

Nichiren described the Daimoku as an amulet tied around the necks of ordinary beings so that we can always be close to the Buddha, his wisdom, and his teaching and never lose our connection. The True Aspect of Reality is the ultimate teacher, the Buddha, the Tathagata, that can only reflect Truth. If we are mistaken, reality has a way of correcting us until we catch on. There are no secrets in the Buddha's name. Sometimes, it'd be nice if it was wrapped in fictions, but the Medicine of the Lotus Sutra is always unadulaterated, never sugar coated, always immediate, always real, never divisible from the details of our life as its actually lived here and now in muck of the world, the muck of our lives.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

markatex
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by markatex » Tue Aug 28, 2018 9:33 pm

The one SGI meeting I've ever been to was 20 years ago, so I didn't think they used drums, but wasn't entirely sure. Anyway, here is the former head priest at the Portland NShu temple chanting the Dharani chapter and the daimoku, with the mokusho. She's doing it all fairly slowly here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWGJjPQgK14

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Queequeg
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:21 pm

I guess I should clarify - I've never even seen a taiko drum in SG halls and have only observed that cadence is kept by someone on a mic.

I've only seen drumd in temples. Shoshu uses drums. I think that is standard in temple services.

This summer I visited some Nichiren associated temples - Tanjoji, Seichoji, Jissoji, Hota Hommonji, Kitayama Hommonji and observed or participated in services at Tanjoji, Hota Hommonji, and Kitayama Hommonji. In the past I've seen services at other temples. Just based on my limited observations, different temples perform services differently. Confirms that there is no set ritual, except they all have the Daimoku in common.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

narhwal90
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by narhwal90 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:34 pm

SG in the US uses taiko drums very occasionally, only for special events & large meetings. In the community centers its microphones and PA. For example I wouldn't be surprised if the 50k Lions festivals this fall use taiko drums. SG in Japan might use them more often, but I've never been there. My local community center has a set of DIY drums in storage, made out of tires- I think they were made for a particular event and haven't been used since to my knowledge.

markatex
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by markatex » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:29 pm

The taiko is the big one, right?

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Queequeg
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by Queequeg » Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:51 pm

They vary in size. Some are really big, some are what I'd consider not too big...

Image
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

markatex
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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by markatex » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:22 pm

^^Yes, that’s what I thought it was. That one looks big to me, and the ones I’ve seen are large compared to the other drums used (the mokusho and the uchiwa-taiko, or “fan drum”).

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Re: Hearing the Buddha's Name

Post by KanseCapon » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:31 am

If I may, here is another video of chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. It is a Nichiren Shu video of Odaimoku chanting accompanied by mokusho.

https://youtu.be/3QFbMhEi_qg

It's just over 15 minutes long - a nice length for daily practice.

May we purify our minds, limit our desires, learn to be content, feel free to experience the quiet unassuming joys of life, and learn to abandon all attachments formed in the mind. May the merit accumulated through our chanting spread throughout this world and the ten directions, so that it will bring unending benefit to all. Namu Myoho Renge Kyo!

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