Saturday, November 30, 2013

How to become a Mantra Reciter


After hearing a mantra from somebody who has the transmission, one learns and memorizes it. Short mantras like OM MANI PADME HUM or NAMO AMIDA BUTSU are easy but to become skilled at mantras, take something longer, at least 20 syllables, for instance the mantra of FUDO MYO-O or the 100-syllable mantra of VAJRASATTVA or the DAI HI SHIN DARANI (the Great Compassionate Heart Dharani).

Once it is memorized, begin repetitions on a daily basis. Every syllable needs to be clearly pronounced. However, sometimes you may experience getting tongue-tied & mush-mouthed, thus garbling the mantra. In such cases, employ a well-known technique used by radio announcers-in-training:

First, take a moutful of 10 marbles and practice reciting the mantra this way  until it becomes smooth and clear. For the next session, remove one marble and practice with a mouthful of nine.  Then eight, and so on until the last marble is removed.  When you have lost all your marbles, then you are certified as a Mantra Yogin!




Anonymous said...

I always wondered if there was a direct relationship between mantra reciting mantra and loosing my marbles ; )
You mentioned mantra and dharani in this post. Although mantra can vary in length they usually seem to be shorter than a dharani. I was hoping you could tell us what the difference was between the two.

Unknown said...

The only difference scholars find is that dharanis are usually (but not always) longer. And as mentioned above, longer recitations can offer better focus and concentration and insight into one's own mind.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for talking about the difference between Mantra and Dharani. I recently heard someone say that the Heart Sutra(Hannya Shingyo)was a Dharani. I don't remember anyone calling it a Dharani before this year but but I see how it could be. What do you think about that?

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