Author Topic: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra  (Read 6926 times)

Morning Dew

Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« on: July 14, 2011, 03:58:45 PM »
What is the difference between;

1) O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.

2) May i be happy. May no harm come to me.
May i be free from suffering. May i relax.

3) What is Mu? What is Mu? What is Mu? Mu, Mu, Mu...

4) Bud-dho, Bud-dho, Bud-dho, Bud-dho .....

What is the difference ?

Stefan

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Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 04:47:08 PM »
just words, Smeagol, it's all just words!

It is the intention that counts. The words are just your favorised shell ...

Metta, Stefan




_________________________________________________________



PS.:  :D :D :D  what's that third prayer? no intention to offend anybody, but .... "Mu! Mu! Mu!"  :D :D :D help! ...
anicca

dragoneye

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Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 05:16:08 PM »
http://www.keyr.com/analysis/mumumu.html
(I hope no one gets the wrong idea about me... I do have some things already in me; it's just that Google is so handy) :D
Dragoneye

Morning Dew

Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 07:56:59 PM »
Mu is The most famous Koan practiced in Zen.

So if they are just words i guess me simply writing a few words like Dalai Lama is a Circus Clown wont mean much, no ?

I ask all this to find a way which is to benefit my current Dark situation. Some say practicing Metta can calm dark things down, level them a bit. Disconnect from the dark stuff and invoke more kind stuff.
I ask this because Metta as practiced by the Buddhists does not invoke much in me especially not loving-kindness.

I guess people from Buddhist cultures have no problems invoking such loving feelings via Metta practice. The reason i ask is because i personaly can invoke such feeling if i use a short ortodox christian prayer "Gospodi pomiluj i smiri me" which means "Lord have mercy and calm me down". Im not refering to an outside God entity here but the feeling i get invoked by repeating the prayer.
It is calming, it is warm and caring a kind and loving feeling towards the self. Isnt this the reason why folk practice Metta? Im used to this prayer since the childhood. It means things which mean love and kindness. Isnt that the trick behind Metta Bhavana?

Repeating mantra Bud-dho very likely invokes pleasent feelings in people from Buddhist cultures, no? Once in pleasent feeling it must be easier staying in the present moment and being aware simultaniously of the both, loving-kind feeling aroused and the breathing. I tested it and its possible.

What say you all?


Matthew

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Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 08:36:44 PM »
Dusko,

As Stefan says they are all words, it is the intention behind them that matters. However you ask the difference, I will do my best to explain from my understanding.

What is the difference between;

1) O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness,
King of Peace.

This is a prayer to an outside entity, said to be the one and only son of "God" according to Christian mythology. Christ himself said he was "the son of man", however.

2) May i be happy. May no harm come to me.
May i be free from suffering. May i relax.

This is a typical Buddhist affirmation. It does not have to be Buddhist though. Repeating such affirmations can and does work for some people. There are two affirmations given to me by a wonderful psychotherapist nearly twenty years ago now that I personally find powerful:

"I am happily feeling my way forwards in life", and;

"The World is on my side".

3) What is Mu? What is Mu? What is Mu? Mu, Mu, Mu...

A koan, a riddle, a puzzle with no answer, the purpose of which is to drive the mind in a particular style of circular thinking until something inside bursts.

4) Bud-dho, Bud-dho, Bud-dho, Bud-dho .....

A mantra which some use as an object of meditation and others use as a mystical way of attaining rebirth in their next life with a guarantee of enlightenment.

...
I ask all this to find a way which is to benefit my current Dark situation.

...

The reason i ask is because i personaly can invoke such feeling if i use a short ortodox christian prayer "Gospodi pomiluj i smiri me" which means "Lord have mercy and calm me down". Im not refering to an outside God entity here but the feeling i get invoked by repeating the prayer.
It is calming, it is warm and caring a kind and loving feeling towards the self. Isnt this the reason why folk practice Metta? Im used to this prayer since the childhood. It means things which mean love and kindness. Isnt that the trick behind Metta Bhavana?
.....
What say you all?

I say use what works for you and discard that which does not. May you find solace in your dark night.

With love,

Matthew

ps My laptop has broken and I'm waiting for a spare part, using a tiny low functioning netbook at the moment - which is why I have not been on Skype.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Stefan

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Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 08:39:31 PM »


So if they are just words i guess me simply writing a few words like Dalai Lama is a Circus Clown wont mean much, no ?


What is your INTENTION behind it?
anicca

Stefan

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Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 08:51:16 PM »

I ask all this to find a way which is to benefit my current Dark situation. Some say practicing Metta can calm dark things down, level them a bit


In my experience, this is not true. Metta Bhavana is solely dedicated to others, a result of loving kindness and compassion. And this loving kindness can only spring from a calm mind ... no, a calm heart. Metta Bhavana is an act of selflessness, so per definition you cannot dedicate it to yourself. Repeating the words only is an affirmation, nothing more, nothing less. But it is a good thing to connect to "nice stuff" right now. I will freely confess that in a dark night situation I dug out my old teddybear which seemed the only thing to calm me down then.

Your prayer sounds great to me. As Matthew says: "Use what works for you".

Directing Metta at you, Stefan

PS.: ... if Smeagol had had your wisdom, he wouldn't have spent an eternity under a mountain.  ;)
anicca

Andrew

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Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 02:19:31 AM »

It is calming, it is warm and caring a kind and loving feeling towards the self. Isnt this the reason why folk practice Metta? Im used to this prayer since the childhood. It means things which mean love and kindness.


I'm so glad you can explore these mystical equivalents. They help make sense of your life story. Words and are just grunts and squeaks and humming sounds that we attach meaning to, so the same word can mean different things to you than it does to me or the christian down the street.

Because you know that the world is mind made, these words mean something to you now that they didn't when you were growing up. Back then perhaps you would have imagined jesus with a beard looking down and granting this prayer, now you realise I'm sure that there is no one granting prayers, but rather only the realisation that there is no escaping our karma, no shortcuts, so who can give you peace now? Mindfulness gently resting on your troubled bodymind. There is mercy, grace, compassion but they are not being withheld by anyone, they are acts of faith to forgive yourself. You are this jesus now, coming to terms with suffering and the central role you have in your existence. No one is doing this too you.


I don't want to go beyond myself, as this too shall pass ( ! ), but at the moment I allow myself to imagine mindfulness as hovering just over the back of my head, almost like a halo. This is just the feeling I get when I stop the chatter and take everything in. It is a friend to me and a bit scary. That isn't a buddhist concept, but again it is just words. Affection for mindfulness, affection for our bodyminds which go through the pain of just existing without rest.

St Paul said "It is no longer I who live, but Christ that lives in me" I don't know the bloke obviously, but he was a massive meditator (spent 14 years in the arabian desert making sure he had he understanding straight before coming back to lead the early believers)

Jesus himself as a meditator, it is recorded in the plain text that he often spent all night on mountain tops 'praying to god'. I don't imagine he went up there and blabbed away to the sky all night, not considering that he called himself god; that would be a bit of a weird conversation! "Hi God, how are you? I'm fine God, you really don't have to ask, Well, I don't have much else to talk about considering I am you!"

Whatever helps you have pity and affection for your bodymind, to remove the harshness and judgments and mental punishment.

Knowing you are ignorant greedy hateful does not mean you should put your self through the wringer, that's karma's job. Take refuge in Mindfulness. (Which is loving, compassionate, sympathetic joy, and equanimity)

Take refuge with the same attitude that the ancient sages had.  I Am That.

Sorry , got to run!

Be Well mate
 





getting it done

Mungo

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Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 02:35:35 AM »
"Lord have mercy and calm me down" Im not refering to an outside God entity here but the feeling i get invoked by repeating the prayer.

As Matthew says: "Use what works for you".


I also agree with what Matthew and TMO have said - "Use what works for you" and "it is the intention behind them that matters". I also admire the way you use your prayer and understand the feeling that comes from you. Words can have powerful meanings. Does the intention come from the definition of the word itself or by these feelings that are brought out? While it is nothing unique to me, I used to, as a kid, take a word and repeat it in my head over and over and was intrigued by the way it turned into a nonsensical sound. It lost all its meaning. If I repeated someones name it did the same thing but if I repeated my own full name it usually had a feeling of nervousness and dread as most of the time when I hear my name called it is because I have been blamed for something.

I was listening to a talk recently and there was an interesting point brought up. The presenter said that he does not like using the word suffering but prefers to use stress. It was said that the word suffering can be romanticized which I found interesting. I see whole artistic movements have been based on suffering poets, musicians (especially country and emo) and writers. How many "stressed out" musicians have made it big. When I see the big cranes outside my work with the cables holding huge loads I never think that they are suffering but they are under huge stresses. Stress is tight and constricting but when released there is relief and have found doesnt contain as much personal drama. But hey, these are just my words, words that may turn into bitter orange wax in your ears. So as The Wombats say - Lets dance to Joy Division and celebrate the irony.

http://www.sweetslyrics.com/521619.The%20Wombats%20-%20Lets%20Dance%20To%20Joy%20Division.html

This below is the closest I have to a prayer and gives the same inner feeling as yours.

I was regretting the past
And fearing the future…
Suddenly my Lord was speaking:
 “MY NAME IS I AM.” He paused.

I waited. He continued,
 “When you live in the past,
 with its mistakes and regrets,
 it is hard. I am not there.

 My name is not I was.
 “When you live in the future,
 with its problems and fears,
 it is hard. I am not there.

 My name is not I will be.
 “When you live in this moment,
 it is not hard.
 I am here.

My name is I AM.”


Take Care Mate.
You can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep

Namaste

Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 03:08:44 AM »
agreed with everyone here, use what works.  If that's from the outside, okay.  If it's something you come up with, okay.  whatever works.  If you have to talk to the air for an hour, do that.  all the languages we use are gonna fade away one day so use whatever is closest to what is needed right now.

also maybe sometimes the music playing and making art or exercise is prayer.. so that works too
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 03:27:22 AM by Cole »

Jeeprs

Re: Difference between Prayer, Metta, Koan and Mantra
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 06:59:19 AM »
When I sit, I bow three times, and  I say the Namo three times:

namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambhuddasa

That is it, in terms of recitals.

I have been meaning to learn the Metta Bhavana but haven't done it yet.

As far as 'mu' goes, this is the 'negation of mental concepts', the gateless gate, and so forth. It is also the symbol for emptiness and not-knowing. There is not much more that can be said about it.

As far as prayers and invocations are concerned, I think it is probably not something to generalize about. They are very particular to each person.


Stefan

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Self pity: the ring that should be thrown into the fire
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2011, 08:48:26 AM »
When people see Jesus nailed to the tree, they say "what a guy, how cool he endures his suffering". But that's just a painting in the church. A romanticised picture painted or carved by people who did not understand at all.


... he does not like using the word suffering but prefers to use stress. It was said that the word suffering can be romanticized


 :)  I think that's a core point.

Suffering is clinging to stress. And here's where the doom loop starts, because suffering is a stress by itself, which makes you suffer because of suffering: "Oh am I suffering. And that makes me suffer! And this suffering makes me suffer as well, so there's already three sufferings, they build up, omg, that's horrible and makes me suffer even more." Self pity, that is ... the original highway to hell.

Guys, there is stress and pain, but we (as meditators) don't want to get rid of it! We want to get rid of the craving-aversion-coin. Suffering means aversion of pain, suffering means craving for relief. Actually it is the suffering that makes us suffer. A doom loop.

Metta, Stefan
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 08:51:20 AM by The Marvellous Omannobazong!!! »
anicca

 

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