Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries

Moderator: Mahavihara moderator

rightviewftw
Posts: 2219
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:09 am

I don't remember whole discourses except for a few short ones and am not word perfect in repeating those but I remember a lot of excerpts and lists pertaining to the theory, various definitions, stories and instructions. I find it far easier and more useful than memorizing whole discourses because those things are important for my practice and are the gist of the Dhamma. Repeatedly talking about the same stuff on the forum definitely helped.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectify non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4230
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:18 am

hgf wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:53 pm
im interested in the dhammapada:)
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:32 am
I'm personally shooting for the Dhammapada.
I know a mnemonic technique that will help you, but may I first enquire how much time per day you are able and willing to devote to it?

There are about fifteen-and-a-half thousand syllables in the Pali text of the Dhammapada, so if you memorise five hundred syllables per day (i.e., the equivalent of twenty-nine haikus or three and a half sonnets), then you will have the whole Dhammapada committed to memory in just thirty-one days. Start on All Saints’ Day and you’ll be finished by St. Grwst’s Day.

:woohoo:

But you’ll need to spend an hour and a half a day on it, and in three sessions with at least a 3-hour interval between them: a 45-minute session for writing out the day’s text and preparing the mnemonicons, a 30-minute one for oral recital (first with the text, then with the mnemonicons and finally by memory alone), and a 15-minute one for revision of the verses memorised the day before.

Let me know if you’re interested and have enough time. If you’re interested but don’t have an hour and a half per day to spare, then let me know how much time you do have so that I can make the necessary adjustments.

User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Manopubbangama » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:19 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:18 am
hgf wrote:
Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:53 pm
im interested in the dhammapada:)
Manopubbangama wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:32 am
I'm personally shooting for the Dhammapada.
I know a mnemonic technique that will help you, but may I first enquire how much time per day you are able and willing to devote to it?

There are about fifteen-and-a-half thousand syllables in the Pali text of the Dhammapada, so if you memorise five hundred syllables per day (i.e., the equivalent of twenty-nine haikus or three and a half sonnets), then you will have the whole Dhammapada committed to memory in just thirty-one days. Start on All Saints’ Day and you’ll be finished by St. Grwst’s Day.

:woohoo:

But you’ll need to spend an hour and a half a day on it, and in three sessions with at least a 3-hour interval between them: a 45-minute session for writing out the day’s text and preparing the mnemonicons, a 30-minute one for oral recital (first with the text, then with the mnemonicons and finally by memory alone), and a 15-minute one for revision of the verses memorised the day before.

Let me know if you’re interested and have enough time. If you’re interested but don’t have an hour and a half per day to spare, then let me know how much time you do have so that I can make the necessary adjustments.
I'm interested. :reading:

Of course, like climbing a mountain, were we to do a skype group, we may all have to adjust a bit to everyone's schedule, which may not run as smooth as clockwork.
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Manopubbangama » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:25 pm

Anyone want to start with Magga Vagga?




I can't imagine the entire Buddhist Canon in a more compressed jewel than this.

We could chant it perhaps once a week on skype as a group recital?
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

User avatar
samseva
Posts: 2142
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by samseva » Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:01 am

Please do share the memorization technique in the thread. :smile:

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4230
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:01 pm

Attached is the file for 31-day memorising of the Dhammapada. Tomorrow I'll post instructions on the method.
Dhammapada.pdf
(698.61 KiB) Downloaded 40 times

User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Manopubbangama » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:44 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:01 pm
Attached is the file for 31-day memorising of the Dhammapada. Tomorrow I'll post instructions on the method.

Dhammapada.pdf
Thank you, Bhante.

I will read this, probably will not have the capacity to finish in 31 days due to upasaka schedule.
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4230
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:00 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:01 pm

Tomorrow I'll post instructions
Apologies for the delay. The instruction file is on my laptop, whose battery is unfortunately flat and whose power cable is not working. I'll post the guide next week when the new cable comes.

User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Manopubbangama » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:11 pm

The pdf is excellent. :anjali: thank you.
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

User avatar
mettafuture
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:13 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by mettafuture » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:31 am

I usually memorize things through a lot of repetition: hearing or reciting it over and over again.

Apparently, the technique explained in this video is a better approach. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks promising.


User avatar
Manopubbangama
Posts: 171
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:17 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Manopubbangama » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:26 am

mettafuture wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:31 am
I usually memorize things through a lot of repetition: hearing or reciting it over and over again.

Apparently, the technique explained in this video is a better approach. I haven't tried it yet, but it looks promising.

Mettafuture, thanks for sharing. :namaste:
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

User avatar
mettafuture
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:13 pm

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by mettafuture » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:09 am

Manopubbangama wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:26 am
Mettafuture, thanks for sharing. :namaste:
You're welcome.

:namaste:

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4230
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:46 pm

Sorry again for the delay. I’ve finally got a new power cord.

I shall now describe the memorisation procedure for the first day. The material to be memorised comprises the preliminary homage, text title, chapter title and verses 1-12, making a total of 490 syllables.

This is the text:
namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

khuddakanikāye dhammapadapāḷi

1. yamakavaggo

(1)
manopubbaṅgamā dhammā
manoseṭṭhā manomayā
manasā ce paduṭṭhena
bhāsati vā karoti vā
tato naṃ dukkhamanveti
cakkaṃva vahato padaṃ

(2)
manopubbaṅgamā dhammā
manoseṭṭhā manomayā
manasā ce pasannena
bhāsati vā karoti vā
tato naṃ sukhamanveti
chāyāva anapāyinī

(3)
akkocchi maṃ avadhi maṃ
ajini maṃ ahāsi me
ye ca taṃ upanayhanti
veraṃ tesaṃ na sammati

(4)
akkocchi maṃ avadhi maṃ
ajini maṃ ahāsi me
ye ca taṃ nupanayhanti
veraṃ tesūpasammati

(5)
na hi verena verāni
sammantīdha kudācanaṃ
averena ca sammanti
esa dhammo sanantano

(6)
pare ca na vijānanti
mayamettha yamāmase
ye ca tattha vijānanti
tato sammanti medhagā

(7)
subhānupassiṃ viharantaṃ
indriyesu asaṃvutaṃ
bhojanamhi cāmattaññuṃ
kusītaṃ hīnavīriyaṃ
taṃ ve pasahati māro
vāto rukkhaṃva dubbalaṃ

(8)
asubhānupassiṃ viharantaṃ
indriyesu susaṃvutaṃ
bhojanamhi ca mattaññuṃ
saddhaṃ āraddhavīriyaṃ
taṃ ve nappasahati māro
vāto selaṃva pabbataṃ

(9)
anikkasāvo kāsāvaṃ
yo vatthaṃ paridahissati
apeto damasaccena
na so kāsāvamarahati

(10)
yo ca vantakasāvassa
sīlesu susamāhito
upeto damasaccena
sa ve kāsāvamarahati

(11)
asāre sāramatino
sāre cāsāradassino
te sāraṃ nādhigacchanti
micchāsaṅkappagocarā

(12)
sārañca sārato ñatvā
asārañca asārato
te sāraṃ adhigacchanti
sammāsaṅkappagocarā
To aid in its memorisation three mnemonicons, A, B and C, will be used.

Mnemonicon A: The first syllable of each word.
Mnemonicon B: The first letter of each word.
Mnemonicon C: The first syllable of each line.

Instructions

Session One, ca 45 minutes.

1. Go to a quiet place at a time when you’re unlikely to be interrupted. Recite the refuges and precepts, dedicate your person to the Buddha:

Imāhaṃ Bhagavā attabhāvaṃ tumhākaṃ pariccajāmi.

and then make an adhiṭṭhāna to give the session over wholly to the task of dhamma-dhāraṇa, remembering the purpose of it:
Kathañca, bhikkhave, anupubbasikkhā anupubbakiriyā anupubbapaṭipadā aññārādhanā hoti? Idha, bhikkhave, saddhājāto upasaṅkamati, upasaṅkamanto payirupāsati, payirupāsanto sotaṃ odahati, ohitasoto dhammaṃ suṇāti, sutvā dhammaṃ dhāreti, dhatānaṃ dhammānaṃ atthaṃ upaparikkhati, atthaṃ upaparikkhato dhammā nijjhānaṃ khamanti, dhammanijjhānakkhantiyā sati chando jāyati, chandajāto ussahati, ussāhetvā tuleti, tulayitvā padahati, pahitatto samāno kāyena ceva paramasaccaṃ sacchikaroti, paññāya ca naṃ ativijjha passati.

“And how is final knowledge achieved by gradual training, gradual practice, gradual progress? Here one who has faith [in a teacher] visits him; when he visits him, he pays respect to him; when he pays respect to him, he gives ear; one who gives ear hears the Dhamma; having heard the Dhamma, he memorises it; he examines the meaning of the teachings he has memorised; when he examines their meaning, he gains a reflective acceptance of those teachings; when he has gained a reflective acceptance of those teachings, zeal springs up in him; when zeal has sprung up, he applies his will; having applied his will, he scrutinises; having scrutinised, he strives; resolutely striving, he realises with the body the supreme truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom.”
(Kīṭāgiri Sutta)

2. Read the text through as many times as is necessary for your recital to be fluent. There are a few words that you may stumble over at first. In particular when pronouncing kāsāvamarahati, vantakasāvassa and kāsāvamarahati make sure that you’re pronouncing the long and short vowels correctly. If you need help with the pronunciation, listen to Bhikshu Bodhijñāna’s reading:

.


The pace of your recital should be somewhat slower than normal conversational speed – roughly that of T. S. Eliot reciting the Four Quartets:

.


Note that your aim at this stage should be solely that of attaining correctness and fluency rather than that of memorising anything.

3. Once your recital is fluent take a sheet of paper and copy out the text in full from the pdf file that I posted earlier. Do this very slowly, repeating each word aloud four or five times as you write it.

4. Then take another sheet of paper and copy out Mnemonicon A, reciting the full word as you copy each syllable:

.
Mnemonicon A.jpg
As you copy, try to remember what the full word is without looking at the text. If you can’t, then cheat by looking at the text, but always try to exert your memory first.

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4230
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:48 pm

5. Pause, take a deep breath and close your eyes for a minute or two to clear your head. Read the whole text again and then copy out Mnemonicon B using the same procedure as for Mnemonicon A.

.
Mnemonicon B.jpg

User avatar
Dhammanando
Posts: 4230
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:44 pm
Location: Ban Sri Pradu Rubber Forest, Phrao, Chiangmai

Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:49 pm

6. Pause and read the whole text again as in stage 5. Then copy out Mnemonicon C, this time attempting to recite the whole line after writing each syllable. As in stage 4 try to rely initially on your memory alone and cheat only when necessary.

.
Mnemonicon C.jpg
7. Transfer the merit of your dhamma-dhāraṇa to all beings.


Session Two, ca 30 minutes.

1. Read the full text.

2. Recite the text using Mnemonicon A, cheating only when necessary.

3. Do the same using Mnemonicons B and then C.

4. Recite the full text using your memory alone.

If you should fail, then don’t increase the time beyond 30 minutes, but rather try reducing the workload on subsequent days (e.g. by one verse per day) until you find how much you can comfortably manage. As you become more skilled at memorising you will find that this amount will gradually increase. For most people it will eventually plateau at about 2000 syllables a day, at which rate it is possible to memorise the whole of the Dīgha Nikāya in about eight months.

Session Three, ca 15 minutes.

1. Recite the material that you memorised the day before. Try at first to do this from memory alone. If you fail, then try doing it using Mnemonicon C. If that fails (though it shouldn’t!) then use Mnemonicon B, and if that fails, then Mnemonicon A, before reverting to memory alone.

2. Recite the material that you memorised three days before.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: gonflable and 21 guests