Browsing Category "Chanting"
12 Feb
Posted in: Chanting
By    Comments Off on OMG!


During the last week of the retreat at Dharmagiri, we focused on traditional Chan practices (Chinese Zen), which include contemplations and recitations of the well-known (but little understood) Heart Sutra with its famous mantra:
gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha!

(To hear an incredibly beautiful 2-minute recording of this mantra sung by Thanissara and friends, click here.)

Traditional translations of the mantra go something like this:

Gone beyond,
Gone far 
What an awakening,
(Untranslatable Exclamation!!!!)

Kittisaro offered this alternative translation, attributed to his friend and fellow former-monk Paul Breiter:

Everything’s changing,
Everything’s changing,
Everything’s always changing,
And there’s nothing you can do about it,
That’s the way it is,
OH MY GOD!!!!!

10 Sep
Posted in: Chanting, Study
By    Comments Off on What the Heart Hears

What the Heart Hears

As part of my preparation for the month-long retreat in South Africa next year, I’m taking the Dharmagiri online study course. I started it while I was in Chapel Hill, but then I stopped to go on retreat. In the mean time, one of my DPP Dharma Buddies decided to take the course with me, (Yay, Carolyn!) so I’ve gone back to the beginning and started over again. Which is not a problem, since it’s a go-at-your-own-pace kind of thing.

In fact, the program actually encourage going back over and doing things again. Module 1, Lesson 1, begins with the title “A Different Way of Learning.” Here’s what it says:

“Before starting, we again emphasize that our stye of Dharma transmission is informed by monastic Buddhism of the Forest School. In this, the embodiment of Dharma teachings is encouraged through repetitive reflection and practice. The goal of the Buddha Dharma is not intellectual prowess or a transfer of information, but a radical shift of alignment from old patters to an alive connection to ever present Dharma. This shift comes about through allowing the practice and teachings to deeply touch and transform the heart. Ajahn Chah encouraged us again and again to listen to the Dharma with our heart, not just our ears.”

Want something really awesome for your heart to listen to? Check out Thanissara and Kittisaro chanting the Recollection of the Triple Jewel. It’s less than 2 minutes long. And it’s heavenly. Click here.