Dharma Talks

 Bodhidharma: On Mind-Watching


XXII. What Is Chanting?

Bodhidharma31: To chant (recite Buddha) is to practice righteous thought.

Imperfect understanding (which is believing that only certain indigent-beings will be enlightened) is unreliable (devilish thinking).

Right thought will necessarily result in true pleasure.32 By unreliable thought, on the other hand, how can we cross over to the other shore?

Buddha33 means to protect oneself from creation of sin by awakening and watching the body and mind.

Thinking is re-minding, that means, re-collecting the conducts of the precepts without forgetting and practicing diligently.

Understanding this significance at last can be called right-thinking, Therefore, you should know well, thought comes from the mind, not from the word.

By the net, fish can be caught. By speaking, the meaning can be captured.

If it has already the name of 'reciting', then one should recite the essence of (thinking of Buddha).

Without the reality of the essence of chanting, it is useless to recite only the empty name. What benefit can result?

Also, remembering and recollecting are far different in name and meaning. Using only the mouth is chanting, doing with the mind is recollecting.

Therefore, reciting comes from the mind. It is the gateway of awakening-cultivation. On the other hand, chanting from memory belongs to the mouth, which belongs to the form of the sound. Attaching to the form of sound and looking for fortune is wrong.

XXIII. Gathered Forms Returning to the Mind

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