The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

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Coyote
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by Coyote » Thu May 24, 2012 11:39 am

Hi everyone.

Now having learnt the basic refuges and homage chants, I am endeavouring to move on to something a little more challenging. I have chosen to memorise the Karaniya Metta sutta in Pali, and also understanding its meaning in English as well. As this is a fairly common chant (as I understand it) if anyone here has any advice on memorisation techniques particular to that sutta, I would be very grateful if you could pass them on.
I will try the method suggested by BKh, although it will be interesting to see how this plays out, as I am not interested in route memorisation as such, but more memorising the chant with an understanding of its meaning in English as well.

Metta,

Coyote
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

BKh
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by BKh » Sun May 27, 2012 5:20 pm

Coyote wrote:I have chosen to memorise the Karaniya Metta sutta in Pali, and also understanding its meaning in English as well. As this is a fairly common chant (as I understand it) if anyone here has any advice on memorisation techniques particular to that sutta, I would be very grateful if you could pass them on.
Excellent. Great choice. One thing to be aware of is that there is a slight variation in the Karaniyametta Sutta between the Burmese/Thai version and the Sri Lankan. So if you tend to spend time with a particular group, then be sure to choose the one they use. And don't be surprised if the people around you chant a few words differently.

It's also good to find a chanting style you like and stick with that as it will probably help with the memorization. With verses, you may find it is enough to make a prompting sheet of just the first letter of each line.
I will try the method suggested by BKh, although it will be interesting to see how this plays out, as I am not interested in route memorisation as such, but more memorising the chant with an understanding of its meaning in English as well.
In the suttas, we often see that an early step of understanding the Dhamma is actually memorizing the Dhamma. Other than sticking around people who had memorized the teachings, this was the only way to ensure that you could do the next steps of reflecting on it wisely and then putting it into practice. So rote memorization is always a part of the process, not just an end in and of itself. This is a very different context from school where rote memorization might simply be a means to answer questions on a test.

I just mention this so there is no confusion that rote memorization means you don't go on to reflect on the teaching and then put it into practice. It might actually be good to discuss just what people mean by rote memorization.

Do let us know how it goes.
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Cittasanto
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by Cittasanto » Sun May 27, 2012 6:35 pm

Hi Coyote,
I do have some pali chanting of various suttas using the Thai pali if anyone would like these and the pali english of the text sent me a message
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

Coyote
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by Coyote » Tue May 29, 2012 8:32 pm

Hi everyone,

Now that I have finished my exams at uni, I have plenty of time during the summer to spend memorising. At the moment I am trying to learn it in English before attempting the Pali.

Coyote
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

BKh
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by BKh » Wed May 30, 2012 1:57 pm

I thought it would be good if this thread could also include passages from the canon about memorization as well as specific things the Buddha encouraged his disciples to remember...

I just came across this passage at the end of the Dhammacetiya Sutta - Monuments to the Dhamma (MN 89):
21. Then soon after he had left, the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, before rising from his seat and departing, this King Pasenadi uttered monuments to the Dhamma. Learn the monuments to the Dhamma, bhikkhus; master the monuments to the Dhamma; remember the monuments to the Dhamma. The monuments to the Dhamma are beneficial, bhikkhus, and they belong to the fundamentals of the holy life.”
It's a lovely sutta, especially good for developing saddha/faith. Unfortunately it is not on Access to Insight.
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Cittasanto
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by Cittasanto » Wed May 30, 2012 7:50 pm

I came accross these on Access to insight, awhile ago, and can not remember exactly where they are from or what page (maybe befriending the suttas??)

"Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will lend ear when discourses which are the words of the Authentic One;
profound in their meaning, transcendent, and connected with emptiness are being recited. We will lend ear, will set
our mind on understanding them, and
shall regard these words as those things worthwhile grasping & mastering
.'
That's how you should train yourselves."

Endowed with six qualities, a person is capable of aligning with lawfulness, upright of skilful mental qualities even
while listening to the true Dhamma. Which six?
"When the Truth & Deportment declared by the Authentic One is being taught, they listen well,
gives ear, apply their mind to understanding, reject the worthless, grasps the worthwhile, and is capable of being
patience to conform with the teaching.

not exactly on memorization, apart from the grasping aspect, but hopefully useful!

I am almost finished rememorizing the Dhammachakkapavatana sutta (only the devas to go through :) ) and did look at the Karaniya metta sutta in english, and I still remember it well!
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

dhammapal
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by dhammapal » Thu May 31, 2012 9:40 am

Hello Bhante,
BKh wrote:There is a good article here on memorizing verbatim text:
http://www.productivity501.com/how-to-m ... -text/294/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I find the method suggested there very helpful. Basically, you convert your text into a string of just the first letters and use it as a recall crutch. So the text I am working on now...
§27. "Bhikkhus, for a faithful disciple who is intent on fathoming the Teacher’s Dispensation, it is natural that he conduct himself thus: ‘The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple; the Blessed One knows, I do not know.’ For a faithful disciple who is intent on fathoming the Teacher’s Dispensation, the Teacher’s Dispensation is nourishing and refreshing."
Would become...
"B, f a f d w i i o f t T’s D, i i n t h c h t: ‘T B O i t T, I a a d; t B O k, I d n k.’ F a f d w i i o f t T’s D, t T’s D i n a r."
The idea is then that you are able to stretch your memory by filling in the rest of the words when you are at the middle stage of the process: sort of know it but not really completely.

There is a tool on that page that will create this version. On this page: http://www.downes.ca/memorization.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is just the tool. If you want you can do a "save as" for that page and keep it on your computer.
I'm using An Approach to Extended Memorization of The Tipitaka Adopted from Dr Andrew M. Davis,
to memorize Snp4.14 Tuvataka Sutta (10 lines so far (out of 41) with one new line each day):
Snp 4.14 transl. Thanissaro wrote:"I ask the kinsman of the Sun, the great seer, about seclusion & the state of peace.
Seeing in what way is a monk unbound, clinging to nothing in the world?"
"He should put an entire stop to the root of objectification-classifications: 'I am the thinker.'[1]
He should train, always mindful, to subdue any craving inside him.
Whatever truth he may know, within or without, he shouldn't get entrenched in connection with it,
for that isn't called Unbinding by the good.
He shouldn't, because of it, think himself better, lower, or equal.
Touched by contact in various ways, he shouldn't keep conjuring self.
Stilled right within, a monk shouldn't seek peace from another from anything else.
For one stilled right within, there's nothing embraced, so how rejected?"
Tuvataka Sutta (Sutta Nipata 4.14)
With metta / dhammapal.

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Sekha
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by Sekha » Thu May 31, 2012 11:38 am

There has been some work done in order to help people memorizing in Pali (or English with Pali words) the instructions that the Buddha repeated the most in the suttas. Each Pali word has a bubble with its definition in it. The list is far from being exhaustive, but it is getting completed slowly:

http://www.buddha-vacana.org/formulae.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

There is also this page for the Dhammacak':
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samy ... 6-011.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This sutta is interesting to memorize because it has a definition of each factor of the 8-fold path:
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samy ... 5-008.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This one has an exposition of paticca samuppada with a definition of each term:
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/samy ... 2-002.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This one is very easy and very useful to memorize for anyone wishing to have a successful meditation practice:
http://www.buddha-vacana.org/sutta/angu ... 6-118.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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James the Giant
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Re: Aditthana – Memorize the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

Post by James the Giant » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:25 pm

Best wishes in your endeavour!
I seem to remember that sutta is a nice one to chant, there are some good repeated passages that form a nice rhythm.
During the rains retreat at Bodhinyanarama we chanted it most evenings for a few months, and by the end I could do it without reading from the book. Interestingly I could chant it with others, but not by myself. By myself I always got lost.
May your memory be well exercised :anjali:
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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Ben
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Re: Aditthana – Memorize the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

Post by Ben » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:32 pm

Well done KB on your aspiration. I have also thought about memorizing the Dhamma Cakka Pavatana, but because of work and family responsibilities, I was convinced I didn;t have the time. You might want to check out the sutta memorization challenge thread, and please feel free to either merge this thread with it or begin diarising in that thread. I will be very interested to know how you progress.
with metta and best wishes.

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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gavesako
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Re: Aditthana – Memorize the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

Post by gavesako » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:29 pm

It is much easier to memorize a discourse like this while chanting together (sam+gayana) in a group. There is a rhythm to the chant and when you need to stop to take a breath, others continue chanting. Group recitation has been the way the Sangha has preserved the Suttas for centuries.
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Aditthana – Memorize the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:10 pm

Ben wrote:Well done KB on your aspiration. I have also thought about memorizing the Dhamma Cakka Pavatana, but because of work and family responsibilities, I was convinced I didn;t have the time. You might want to check out the sutta memorization challenge thread, and please feel free to either merge this thread with it or begin diarising in that thread. I will be very interested to know how you progress.
with metta and best wishes.

Ben
I'll merge it Ben, thanks for the heads up. I'll keep you posted! Mettaya!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: Aditthana – Memorize the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:29 pm

gavesako wrote:It is much easier to memorize a discourse like this while chanting together (sam+gayana) in a group. There is a rhythm to the chant and when you need to stop to take a breath, others continue chanting. Group recitation has been the way the Sangha has preserved the Suttas for centuries.
Bhante,

Yes, I understand this completely. This is why I'm using the recording of Dhamma Ruwan. I wish I had a group with whom to recite but their is only my lay group here. Thank you!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1 ... 279&v=info
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com

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Cittasanto
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Re: Aditthana – Memorize the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:31 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:
gavesako wrote:It is much easier to memorize a discourse like this while chanting together (sam+gayana) in a group. There is a rhythm to the chant and when you need to stop to take a breath, others continue chanting. Group recitation has been the way the Sangha has preserved the Suttas for centuries.
Bhante,

Yes, I understand this completely. This is why I'm using the recording of Dhamma Ruwan. I wish I had a group with whom to recite but their is only my lay group here. Thank you!
Hi Khalil,
where is your OP?
I was going to have a look at the link in it.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Khalil Bodhi
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Re: The Dhamma Wheel Memorization Challenge

Post by Khalil Bodhi » Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:48 pm

Hi Everyone,

Just in case anyone was wondering, my aditthana is still going strong. To help myself I have put together a lst of resources in Pali and English to help me not only memorize the Dhammacakkappavattana sutta but, dare I say, to understand it. I have actually decided to pay to host the files in case whoever is serving them up now goes under later. Please let me know if you have more to add and I will update the page accordingly: http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com/daily- ... ana-sutta/
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=1 ... 279&v=info
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com

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