How does sutra-chanting generate virtues?

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2018-02-28 11:54:38
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Chanting sutras generates virtues if you keep your mind corresponding with the Three Jewels. Retflect upon your state of mind and your thoughts when not chanting sutras, and you’ll understand it better. Visualizing what you are chanting and concentrating on the separate words are two methods of chanting sutras; the former is intended to cultivate wisdom while the latter enhance concentration; either one is fine.

Q: Master, how does sutra-chanting generate virtues? Should I visualize what I'm chanting, attempting to understand the sutras' meaning, or should I concentrate on the chanting itself? Various answers to this question confuse me. Master, please show compassion and instruct me. 

A: Chanting sutras generates virtues if you keep your mind corresponding with the Three Jewels. Retflect upon your state of mind and your thoughts when not chanting sutras, and you’ll understand it better. Visualizing what you are chanting and concentrating on the separate words are two methods of chanting sutras; the former is intended to cultivate wisdom while the latter enhance concentration; either one is fine.


Q: Greetings Master! Buddhism stresses the importance of praying. How do we understand "pray", Master? 

A: To pray is to look up to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, make our minds resonate with theirs, and then create pure and virtuous karma through our actions and speech that correspond with the Dharma. If we pray sincerely and earnestly, we will see hope in difficulties and find a way out of predicaments. So, praying is more about cultivating our own mind than asking help from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. 


Q: Master, what should I do when I feel confused and lost? 

A: Confusion comes from self-doubt, which is displayed in two forms: doubt whether you have taken the right path or not, and doubt about your own ability. In the first case, you need to contemplate what your original aspiration is. If you just go with the stream yet never consider the purpose for what you are doing, you need to take a break and think it over; if you realize you are gradually deviating from your original aspiration, then you need to adjust and change your course of actions; if nothing is wrong with your aspiration, then encourage yourself to be braver in face of difficulties. 

In the second case, you feel confused even on the right path, because you lose confidence and think many things are beyond your capability. Under such circumstances, don't be depressed; instead, be cheerful, for you have realized the bottleneck in your progress and here is a chance to improve yourself. Consult others modestly, adjust your previous mindset, and try earnestly to challenge and change yourself, gradually you will step out of the predicament. 


Q: Master, how do I settle my mind? 

A: Your mind will rest in peace and remain undisturbed if you have full conviction in karmic effects and sound judgment on your own behaviors. 

Editor:Bella Liu
Tags:sutra-chanting, virtues, praying, confusion

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