Chant Heart’s Love

show me your true colors ~ d nelson

show me your true colors ~ d nelson

Singing humbly
with gratitude and praise
for parents, teachers & ancestors
who have shown me the way
in this life.

May I sing
like a bird
with all my heart,
even if it sounds
like a squawk,
owning my song.

peacock feathers

peacock feathers

Below is a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh about chanting. May we keep him in our hearts as he continues on his path of well-being while recovering in the hospital. (Official announcements at http://plumvillage.org/ .
Below that is a chant, an old prayer, by Jai Uttal, Shri Ram Jai Ram. This piece was recorded for my children radio show, “Shooting Stars” over 10 years ago as an introduction to chanting. Hope you enjoy this short, sweet piece!

“There is a story I would like to tell you about a woman who practices the invocation of the Buddha Amitabha’s name. She is very tough, and she practices the invocation three times daily, using a wooden drum and a bell, reciting, “Namo Amitabha Buddha” for one hour each time. When she arrives at one thousand times, she invites the bell to sound. (In Vietnamese, we don’t say “strike” or “hit” a bell.) Although she has been doing this for ten years, her personality has not changed. She is still quite mean, shouting at people all the time.

A friend wanted to teach her a lesson, so one afternoon when she had just lit the incense, invited the bell to sound three times, and was beginning to recite “Namo Amitabha Buddha,” he came to her door, and said, “Mrs. Nguyen, Mrs. Nguyen!” She found it very annoying because this was her time of practice, but he just stood at the front gate shouting her name. She said to herself, “I have to struggle against my anger, so I will ignore that,” and she went on, “Namo Amitabha Buddha, Namo Amitabha Buddha.”

The gentleman continued to shout her name, and her anger became more and more oppressive. She struggled against it, wondering, “Should I stop my recitation and go and give him a piece of my mind?” But she continued chanting, and she struggled very hard. Fire mounted in her, but she still tried to chant “Namo Amitabha Buddha.” The gentleman knew it, and he continued to shout, “Mrs. Nguyen! Mrs. Nguyen!”

She could not bear it any longer. She threw away the bell and the drum. She slammed the door, went out to the gate and said, “Why, why do you behave like that? Why do you call my name hundreds of times like that?” The gentleman smiled at her and said, “I just called your name for ten minutes, and you are so angry. You have been calling the Buddha’s name for ten years. Think how angry he must be!” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh, Being Peace

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22 thoughts on “Chant Heart’s Love

  1. Sonnische

    Thank you for reminding me that Thay is continuing his recovery even on this part of his path. He is with us still and perhaps helping us understand it will not always be so, in this way at any rate. His words will remain as lights to guide us in the confusion of our own lives. That’s a great illustrative story of his, too! The Sri Ram, Jai Jai Ram chanting was beautiful and the images of the mountains are gorgeous. Btw, I have joined the Rock Blossom Sangha. Thank you again, my friend, 🙏 🌞 Sonnische

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      I appreciate your supportive words, Sonnische!
      After an encouragement, I’m revisiting some of the radio pieces produced for my children’s show. This was a sweet chant by Jai. I’m glad you like it also. Thay continues in the world, beautifully. Certainly in your new sangha 🙂

      Reply
      1. downbythebrook

        Exquisite Peacock! They are truly a gift of Beauty. I didn’t know Thay was ill- I wish him good health and peace- he is truly one of the greatest spiritual teachers ever to come to this Earth. I liked the story about the chanting lady too- makes a valid point!

  2. Vicki

    What an amusing story and so very Buddhist in it’s message. Reminds me so much of my favourite book by Ajahn Brahm. I love the way he relates some of his encounters with both lay people and monks. He always seems to find humour and insight in every moment of his daily living.

    Thanks for sharing the an update of Thay’s progress.

    Reply
  3. bruce thomas witzel

    A beautiful chant and song, a moving poem and a profound story David. As always, the images match. Thank you for the update on Thay’s health, as a I hadn’t check in at plum village recently. I read it to Fran. I look forward to reading Thay’s speech given at the vatican about ending slavery. In peace, love and fellowship – Bruce (& Francis)

    Reply
    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you my friend, Bruce! I’m glad you both were able to get in touch with the update. the slavery piece is moving. thanks for listening to the song, also. perhaps i’ll revisit the hundreds of radio pieces produced for other little gems. wishing you both beautiful thoughts and peaceful moments, david 🙂

      Reply

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