Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

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Dhammanando
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Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Dhammanando » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:59 pm

One more point: in the first session some people find it easier if they copy the text and mnemonicons first, leaving the oral recital (stage 2) until last. Try both and see what works for you.

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samseva
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Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by samseva » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:17 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:59 pm
[...]
Thank you, Bhante. I will start using this technique for my chanting for sure.

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Manopubbangama
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Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Manopubbangama » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:03 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:59 pm
One more point: in the first session some people find it easier if they copy the text and mnemonicons first, leaving the oral recital (stage 2) until last. Try both and see what works for you.
Thanks again, Bhante.

Still working on this.

Its amazing how many people truly have Dhammapada memorized, makes me wish I had heard it on the radio as a kid instead of the silly songs I still have memorized from that time period.
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

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Manopubbangama
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Re: Memorizing Suttas - Methods?

Post by Manopubbangama » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:41 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
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.
Thanks for the material, Bhante.

:namaste:
Sabbe Sankhara Anicca - Sabbe Sankhara Dukkha - Sabbe Dhamma Anatta

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