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Sunday, August 25, 2013

CHANTS & MANTRAS

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OM (Hindu mantra-chant)
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Om is the symbol for the whole universe.
 It carries three basic sounds: A-U-M.
These three basic sounds through which all
the sounds have evolved.
So Om is the basic trinity of sound,
the synthesis of all the basic roots.
That's why Om is considered the secret mantra,
 the greatest mantra, because it implies
the whole existence,
it represents the sound of soundlessness,
 the beauty of silence.
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OM represents the music of existence,
the soundless sound, the sound of silence.
OM represents the inner most music of our being,
the inner harmony, the inner humming sound which happens
 when our body, mind, soul are in deep totality, when the visible
 and the invisible, the un-manifest and the manifest, the relative
 and absolute, the-outer and inner are in deep togetherness.

To become one with OM-the music of existence is
 to attain fulfillment.
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"Dies Irae" (Day of Wrath) is a thirteenth-century Latin hymn attributed to either Thomas of Celano of the Franciscan Order (1200 – c. 1265) or to Latino Malabranca Orsini (+1294), lector at the Dominican studium at Santa Sabina, the forerunner of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome.
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It is a medieval Latin poem characterized by its accentua stress and its rhymed lines. The metre is trochaic. The poem describes the day of judgment, the last trumpet summoning souls before the throne of God, where the saved will be delivered and the unsaved cast into eternal flames.
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The hymn is best known from its use as a sequence in the Roman Catholic Requiem mass (Mass for the Dead or Funeral Mass). An English version is found in various Anglican Communion missals.
(From Wikipedia)
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Translation from Latin
 
The day of wrath, that day will
dissolve the world in ashes,
as David and the Sibyl prophesied.
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How great will be the terror,
when the Judge comes
who will smash everything completely!
The trumpet, scattering a marvelous sound
through the tombs of every land,
will gather all before the throne.
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  Death and Nature shall stand amazed,
when all Creation rises again
to answer to the Judge.

  A written book will be brought forth,
which contains everything
for which the world will be judged.
Therefore when the Judge takes His seat,
whatever is hidden will be revealed:
nothing shall remain unavenged.
The day of wrath, that day will
dissolve the world in ashes,
as David and the Sibyl prophesied.
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  What can a wretch like me say?
Whom shall I ask to intercede for me,
when even the just ones are unsafe? 

  King of dreadful majesty.
who freely saves the redeemed ones,
save me, O font of pity.

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Recall, merciful Jesus,
that I was the reason for your journey:
do not destroy me on that day.
In seeking me, you sat down wearily;
enduring the Cross, you redeemed me:
do not let these pains to have been in vain.
Just Judge of punishment:
give me the gift of redemption
before the day of reckoning.

  I groan as a guilty one,
and my face blushes with guilt;
spare the supplicant, O God.
You, who absolved Mary Magdalen,
and heard the prayer of the thief,
have given me hope, as well.

My prayers are not worthy,
but show mercy, O benevolent one,
lest I burn forever in fire.
Give me a place among the sheep,
and separate me from the goats,
placing me on your right hand.
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  When the damned are silenced,
and given to the fierce flames,
call me with the blessed ones.
I pray, suppliant and kneeling,
with a heart contrite as ashes:
take my ending into your care.
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  The day of wrath, that day will
dissolve the world in ashes,
as David and the Sibyl prophesied. 
 .  That day is one of weeping,
on which shall rise from the ashes
the guilty man, to be judged.
Therefore, spare this one, O God.
Merciful Lord Jesus:
grant them peace.
Amen.
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The video below is neither a chant or a mantra,
but as a meditation piece it just seemed to fit.
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"My Sweet Lord" is a song by English musician George Harrison, released in November 1970 on his multi-platinum triple album All Things Must Pass. Also issued as a single – Harrison's first as a solo artist – "My Sweet Lord" topped charts worldwide and was the biggest-selling single of 1971 in Britain. The song was originally given to fellow Apple Records artist Billy Preston to record and was released on Preston's Encouraging Words album, two months before Harrison's version appeared.
The song was written in praise of the Hindu god Krishna,
while at the same time serving as a call to abandon religious sectarianism, through its deliberate blending of Hebrew "hallelujah"s with chants of "Hare Krishna" and Vedic prayer. The recording features co-producer Phil Spector's Wall of Sound treatment and heralded the arrival of Harrison's much-admired slide guitar technique, described by one biographer as being "musically as distinctive a signature as the mark of Zorro".
(From Wikipedia)

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Libera Me
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Líbera me ("Deliver me") is a Roman Catholic responsory that
 is sung in the Office of the Dead and at the absolution of the
dead, a service of prayers for the dead said beside the coffin
 immediately after the Requiem Mass and before burial. The
 text of Libera Me asks God to have mercy upon the deceased
 person at the Last Judgment. In addition to the Gregorian
 chant in the Roman Gradual, many composers have written
 settings for the text.
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Líbera me, Dómine, de morte ætérna, in die illa treménda:
Quando cœli movéndi sunt et terra.
Dum véneris iudicáre sǽculum per ignem.
Tremens factus sum ego, et tímeo, dum discússio vénerit, atque ventúra ira.
Quando cœli movendi sunt et terra.
Dies illa, dies iræ, calamitátis et misériæ, dies magna et amára valde.
Dum véneris iudicáre sǽculum per ignem.
Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine: et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Deliver me, O Lord, from death eternal on that fearful day,
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved,
When thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
I am made to tremble, and I fear, till the judgment be upon us, and the coming wrath,
When the heavens and the earth shall be moved.
That day, day of wrath, calamity, and misery, day of great and exceeding bitterness,
When thou shalt come to judge the world by fire.
Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord: and let light perpetual shine upon them.
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Buddhist Chanting - Nothing But Everything
Japanese
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Shingon Teaching
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Shingon is a form of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism, it is also called Shingon Mikkyo. This school was founded in 804 AD by Kukai (Kobo Daishi) in Japan. The teachings of Shingon are based on the Mahavairocana Sutra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra, the fundamental sutras of Shingon. Through the cultivation of three secrets, the actions of body, speech and mind, we are able to attain enlightenment in this very body. When we can sustain this state of mind, we can become one with the life force of the Universe, known as Mahavairocana Buddha. The symbolic activities are present anywhere in the universe. Natural phenomena such as mountains and oceans and even humans express the truth described in the sutras.

The universe itself embodies and can not be separated from the teaching. In the Shingon tradition, the practitioner uses the same techniques that were used over 1,200 years ago by Kukai, and have been transmitted orally generation after generation to the present. As Shingon Buddhists, there are three vows to observe in our lives:

May we realize Buddhahood in this very life.

May we dedicate ourselves to the well-being of people.

May we establish the World of Buddha on this earth.

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Becoming a Buddha in This Very Life
 (Sokushin Jobutsu)

 The unique feature of this Shingon Teaching is that one does not become a Buddha only in his mind, nor does one become a Buddha after one has died. It means one is able to attain perfection of all of the qualities of a Buddha while one is yet living in his present physical body. An essay on the Bodhicitta (Bodaishin-ron) says: "One speedily attained great Awakening in the very body born of mother and father." According to the Shingon tradition, all things in this universe -- both physical matter, mind and mental states -- are made up of some six primary elements. These six primary elements are: earth (the principle of solidity), water (moisture), fire (energy), wind (movement), space (the state of being unobstructed) and consciousness (the six ways of knowing objects). Buddha as well as ordinary human beings are made up of these six elements, and in this sense both Buddha and human beings are basically and in essence identical. When we realize this truth, then our actions, our words, and our thoughts will undergo and experience of faith which will cause them to be correct and purify their surroundings. This living, physical body will be able to achieve Buddhahood.

Salvation and Enlightenment
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 Shingon Buddhism grants salvation and enlightenment to human beings who would otherwise be caught in the cycle of birth and death. Once a person is able to enter the gate of this faith, he/she will be able to receive that salvation and guidance of many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is a religion in which that person will be fortunate enough to be able to recite the mantras that are the Buddha's own words. Kobo Daishi explained two points as its special characteristics:

1. Attainment of enlightenment in this very body.

2. The present moment that clearly teaches the content of enlightenment.
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He explained these two aspects throughout his writings like, "The Meaning of Becoming a Buddha in This Body," "The Ten Stages in the Development of the Mind," "The Meaning of the Secret Samaya Precepts of the Buddha." It is a blessings of Shingon Buddhism to make it possible to come into direct contact with the practices leading to salvation. Shingon discipline The Shingon Teachings are broad and profound, and require strict discipline to put into practice. If we do not personally practice them in our daily lives of faith, then this treasure will become a useless possession. In actuality, we must manifest the teachings and practice of becoming a Buddha in this body in concrete form. The form of this faith is the developing one's mind into higher stage and engaging in discipline. There are various meditation techniques in Shingon traditions including the practice for gaining secular benefits for others by using mantra chanting and mudra hand signs as well as seeking enlightenment in this very body for oneself.

Shingon Discipline
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The followings are some of the major forms practiced by many practitioners: Susokukan (Basic meditation to find one's own breathing pace) Gachirinkan (Moon Disc meditation) Ajikan (A syllable meditation) These practices are gateways into understanding the nature of Reality. Through these gateways we can experience many states of consciousness and as our skill develops we begin to have real insight into the nature of the unproduced state. Through these meditations we can experience the flow of energy from this state into this physical plane of existence. However, this state cannot be experienced without correct understanding of its doctrine and the guide by an authentic teacher.
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Seicho Asahi.
Northern California Koyasan Temple
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Avalokitesara mantra

Oṁ Mani Padme Hūṁ / Om Mani Padme Hum

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Avalokiteshvara (or Avalokitesvara) is a Bodhisattva who represents compassion, and his mantra also symbolizes that quality. Avalokiteshvara means "The Lord Who Looks Down
 (in compassion)".
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There are various forms of Avalokitesvara (Chenrezig in Tibetan). The four-armed form is shown here. There is also a 1000-armed form — the many arms symbolizing compassion in action. And in the far east, Avalokiteshvara turned into the female Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin.
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Om, as I’ve explained before, has only a mystical meaning — suggesting primordial reality. Mani means jewel, while Padme means lotus. Hum, like Om, has no conceptual meaning. Overall, the mantra is suggestive of the bringing together of the qualities of wisdom (the lotus) and compassion (the jewel).

Just as the lotus can exist in muddy water without being soiled, so wisdom can exist in an impure world without becoming contaminated.
The mantra is often “translated” as “Hail to the jewel in the lotus” but the Sanskrit simply can’t mean that. The central element, manipadme, seems properly to be a name, Manipadma (“The Jewel Lotus One”) with the -e ending signifying the vocative case, meaning that Manipadma — is being invoked (“O Jewel Lotus One”). If this is the case, assuming that the mantra is in classical Sanskrit, then Manipadma would have to be a feminine figure, but it’s unknown which figure that would be!
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And the Dalai Lama points out that just as a jewel can relieve poverty, so the compassionate mind takes away the poverty of unhappiness that exists in the world and replaces it with the wealth of wellbeing.
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This is probably the best known Buddhist mantra. I swear I remember hearing it chanted on an episode of the BBC Sci-fi series, Dr Who, when I was a young kid back in the 1960s, and even before that, in the 1940′s it featured on an American radio show called the Green Lama.
(From a YouTube description - author unknown)
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And last, but not least, the title cut from the
CD ADIEMUS - Songs of Sanctuary, composed by Welshman
Karl Jenkins, and performed by the London Philharmonic
Orchestra with a number of vocalists.
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Here's the "concept" from Wikipedia:
Each Adiemus album is a collection of song-length pieces featuring harmonised vocal melody against an orchestra background. There are no lyrics as such, instead the vocalists sing syllables and 'words' invented by Jenkins. However, rather than creating musical interest from patterns of phonemes (as in scat singing, or in numerous classical and crossover compositions), the language of Adiemus is carefully stylised so as not to distract the listener's attention from the pitch and timbre of the voice. Syllables rarely end in consonants, for example. In this respect it is similar to Japanese and several other languages. The core concept of Adiemus is that the voice should be allowed to function as nothing more than an instrument, an approach that has become something of a trend in recent choral writing (compare, for example Vangelis's score for the film 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), or "Dogora", a symphonic suite by French composer Étienne Perruchon). The word Adiemus itself resembles the Latin word 'adeamus' meaning 'let us approach' (or "let us submit a cause to a referee").   Jenkins has said he was unaware of this.   Perhaps even more appropriately, the song title also resembles two forms of the Latin verb 'audire' (to hear), i.e. 'audiemus' (we shall hear) and 'audiamus' (let us hear).
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