Sunday, January 06, 2008

How Do You Break Mantra?

A few years ago, people started setting mantras to music, and then publishing CDs. This became quite common in the Chinese community, where people like to use them as a sound track in homes and shops. There are also popularized versions of various mantras in almost every genre from hip-hop to classical. Some lamas and tulkus have become recording artists.

There are divergent views on this practice, ranging from absolute horror to open acceptance.

There are also a number of people who strongly disapprove of publishing sadhanas, images, and mantras on the internet. Their disapproval is particularly directed to the promulgation of images and mantras associated with "secret" teachings.

I am not discussing or expressing my personal views herein; nevertheless, I want to propose that there are many sides to every story.

There is an open hand and then there is a closed hand. The one is a gesture of benevolence, the other is a fist. There is a generous heart and then there is a closed heart. I think if you go talk to one hundred lamas, you are going to get one hundred different opinions -- none of which are right and none of which are wrong.

Intention shapes the character of our actions -- intention and awareness. I cannot presume to look into the hearts of others and assay their intentions and awareness, and neither should you. Instead, we should look into our own hearts and spend our time assaying what we find there.

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