Greetings Fellow practitioners,
I am happy to share with you on this occasion another upgrade and expansion of our Chanting Section – Introducing - 'Three jewels and A Lotus #3'! Once again Christopher Conway has added some lovely, enigmatic soundscapes to some of my chants recorded in 'secret late night pujas' here at Anandagiri. We do have daily formal Pali chanting here at the monstery, but I also occasionally do some more devotional styles of chanting by myself – usually late at night. ☺
As well as the new Chants with soundcapes I am also introducing a new 'Formal Chanting' section as a support to people's chanting practice. Chants Without Music.
Chanting is an important practice in most Buddhist Traditions, as it is a wonderful way to both recollect teachings and/or events from the Buddha's life, as well as gladden and energise the mind and begin to collect it before sitting meditation. A formal practice in and of itself which also primes the mind for sitting quietly.
The main reason that I have produced and shared recordings of chanting with a musical backdrop is that I recognise that it can be difficult to feel in the right kind of mood to meditate after a long day at work, or after a stressful occasion, and so finding relaxing ways to gently incline the mind towards formal practice can be very valid and useful.
Some people sometimes ask me why I have recorded some Tibetan chants and mantras as well as the traditional Pali? Basically it is because the chants and mantras in the Mahayana traditions are often chanted to a pleasant sounding melody which lends itself easily to a musical accompaniment, more so than with the more rhythmic Pali verses. They also tend to be Devotional in mood, which can be a lovely way to recollect and 'lift up' our faith. I believe that many modern people need to cultivate the Faith Faculty further, as it gives rise to important Energy that can be applied to other areas of practice.
Recognising the value of traditional Pali chanting as a formal practice however, indeed a practice that I myself and all of the other monks and nuns at Anandagiri do on a daily basis. And recognising also that not everyone has joined in doing such chanting before. On this occasion we are introducing a section of traditional Pali chants along with a PDF print out as a resource for those who wish to add a chanting session to their daily practice. With no musical accompaniment. Here you will have to be equanimous with what our voices sound like without any modern digital voice production assistance!
I hope that these new chants may act as a support to you and your practice.
With Loving Kindness
Increasing commitment - with love and patience for growing pains
Greetings fellow practitioners,
On this occasion however I am able to share with you a long meandering and multi-faceted reflection which I gave to the community at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in California in the first week of July. The community at Abhayagiri were having two momentous occasions occurring simultaneously, which is why many monks and nuns made the special journey to attend. First was the official inauguration of the extremely well built Dhamma Hall, which has been many years in the making. The second was the official handing over of the abbotship from the resident senior teacher, Luang Por Pasanno, to two of his senior students, Ajahn Karunadhammo and Ajahn Nyaniko, who are both good friends of mine.
Although this reflection was offered specifically to that community, there are some pertinent stories included and the talk does cover themes which are relevant to all sincere spiritual practitioners. Particularly the themes of deepening commitment and determination, developing healthy love and appreciation, as well as being patient and understanding with each other and with change. Listening back to the talk once again I recognise that this may be a different glimpse into 'Ajahn Achalo's' life for many listeners, where I am talking among my seniors, contemporaries and peers in quite a warm and collegial tone, rather than to a group of students. As usual I am not stingy with strength of feeling - so be prepared to laugh and maybe bring a tissue as well!
I hope that something in the talk is useful to you.
Things to Come!
In the coming weeks there will be a significant upgrade to our chanting section, adding four more Chants with Soundscape, as well as traditional chanting without music accompanied by a chanting book in PDF format for interested people to print out and follow along! There will also be a new slideshow of the Chedi building project as a way of sharing this very interesting and auspicious project with you all. It is now approximately 65% completed
With loving kindness
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