Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.
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SarathW
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Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:12 am

Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

It is customary for a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk to give some chanting before a Dhamma talk.
This is generally done by giving five precepts after taking the three refuges.
When I was young I used to hate this introduction.
Now I noticed many Western monks completely overlook this traditional ritual.
Some just shortcut it.

Now I feel giving an introductory chanting is a very important part of the Dhamma talk.
I like to know your opinion and the history of this tradition.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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binocular
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Re: Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

Post by binocular » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:02 am

I don't know the history of this tradition, but I think it is very helpful, as it puts the following Dhamma talk (and the whole sessions with the monk/at the temple) into proper context.

Without such proper contextualization, it's all too easy to think of the Dhamma talk in too abstract, too academic, or other inappropriate terms, and thus miss the point.

SarathW
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Re: Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:54 am

it's all too easy to think of the Dhamma talk in too abstract, too academic, or other inappropriate terms, and thus miss the point.
Agree.
This is what I see with some Dhamma talks given by some Western monks.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:08 pm

In the Thai forest tradition which I am most familiar with, the dhamma talk normally comes after puja, which includes chanting by everyone who wants to take part. This is the preliminary homage to the Triple Gem, or else the full recollection and supreme praise. On festivals and special events, there may be paritta chanting. If the monks are away from the monastery visiting and give a talk, I think they usually begin with chanting. I've never requested an individual talk, so I don't know what happens then. As they are all in the same tradition, the Westerners and Thais do the same practice regarding chanting.

I have also noticed with Sri Lankan monks that they chant before dhamma talks. The Sri Lankan monks I know are less used to dealing with Westerners, and tend not to explain so much about the chanting - they just do it. As far as I can remember, the Sri Lankans are more keen on refuges and precepts at such times.

As for my opinion, I like chanting a lot, and believe it to be beneficial. The only problems I have are the differences between different traditions, which leads me to chant at the wrong time! :embarassed:

dharmacorps
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Re: Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

Post by dharmacorps » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:51 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:08 pm

As for my opinion, I like chanting a lot, and believe it to be beneficial. The only problems I have are the differences between different traditions, which leads me to chant at the wrong time! :embarassed:
I have this "problem" too-- the difference between dhammayut chanting and the more familiar to me mahanikaya is slight, but there. I just try not to chant too loudly because I will stick out!

I have really gotten more into chanting the last few years and have found it a great benefit to my meditation and overall practice.

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binocular
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Re: Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

Post by binocular » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:19 pm

An older post, relevant to the topic:
mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2015 7:33 pm
Hi Bhante,
Subharo wrote:I've mentally struggled a long time to try to understand the Buddha Puja as being something other than completely daft.
Do you mean food offerings in particualar or Puja in general?

Despite being a Westerner, I find the various rituals very helpful. As Ajahn Sumedo observes:
Ajahn Sumedho: I personally like rituals. They are quite pleasant to do; they are calming. One does them with a group of people. It is doing something that is pleasant, together and in unison. The intention is always good: to radiate kindness and to chant the teachings of the Buddha in Pali. It tends to uplift and inspire the minds of many people. That is its only function as far as I can tell.

I think ceremony makes life much more beautiful. I have seen Dhamma communities which do not have ceremonies. They are a bit gross, actually.

RW: Gross?

AS: Gross. People just do not have a sense of etiquette, a kind of refinement, a lovely movement, a sense of time and place that one has when one understands the value of precepts and ceremonies. They have their beauty.
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 20#p310828
As I see it, the rituals are simply an aid to implementing the instructions in suttas such as:
"There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones recollects the Tathagata, thus: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.' As he is recollecting the Tathagata, his mind is calmed, and joy arises; the defilements of his mind are abandoned, ...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... all-Buddha
:anjali:
Mike

SarathW
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Re: Chanting before a Dhamma talk?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:05 pm

:goodpost: Bompcular
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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