I actually said that once, when I was getting rolling on learning how to stay in a chanting practice in a continuous way. There was some person, a sales person of some kind, trying to give me some negative feedback about something. I was so involved in staying in a chanting mind space that I did say that,
“Don’t bother me, I’m chanting.”
I wasn’t trying to be rude, but I liked where I was and didn’t want to be bumped out of it. I don’t think I ever said it out loud again to anyone, but I certainly have said it silently. If you truly come to place of constant chanting, there isn’t much that can shake you from it.
It all started before I even became a student of Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha, I had read a book called “Zero Limits” by Joe Vitale. I haven’t always been crazy about his approach to things, but I will be eternally grateful for this book which launched my forgiveness life. It was about a man named Ihaleakala Hew Len, who practiced a Hawiian technique called Ho’oponopono. This included holding someone or something in your awareness and saying,
“I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me. Thank you. “
That’s all. Eleven words that truly heal and change lives. Mr. Vitale spent quite a bit of time with this man, and the concept was astonishing to him, as it is to many people. Challenging also for him, was that you don’t say it one time, but continuously. Hew Len points out, that which requires forgiveness, (let’s call it karma) is bottomless and endless, and so must be our forgiveness practice. It is a fascinating book, as is this man’s story.
Ihaleakala Hew Len took a job at a facility for the criminally insane with an extreme level of violence, despair and dysfunction. The staff were fearful and depressed, the inmates seemingly irretrievable. He took the job as therapist on the agreement that he would not start until noon, and would see no patients. They were so desperate that they accepted his terms, and he went to work. What he did was to look at the records of the patients, note their crimes and stories, and say “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.” for him this covered everything, true regret, a plea for forgiveness, gratitude, and love. He never engaged with any of the patients. In time, with this practice, the atmosphere in the place lightened, the patients began to respond to therapy, the staff stabilized. In the end the facility closed down, because there were no more patients, they had all gotten well enough to be released and go on with their lives. This is true and verifiable. Such is the incredible power of love and forgiveness.
“The purpose of life is to be restored back to Love, moment to moment. To fulﬁll this purpose, the individual must acknowledge that he is 100 percent responsible for creating his life the way it is. He must come to see that it is his thoughts that create his life the way it is moment to moment.The problems are not people, places, and situations but rather the thoughts of them. He must come to appreciate that there is no such thing as “out there.”
Ihaleakala Hew Len
Another takeaway, is that he teaches that this works because we are all connected, if one is harmed, all are harmed. If one is healed, all are healed. We are all responsible and fully involved in all actions that take place anywhere, anytime. He happily and with no attachment simply loved and forgave everything and everyone. A man to emulate. Mr. Hew Len was a student and follower of Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, a native Hawaiian Kahuna who brought the teaching of Ho’oponopono to him.
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” Buddha
Master Sha teaches, what you chant is what you become. The message seems clear, whatever we hold in our consciousness, we become. Whether it’s high frequency mantras or songs, Ho’oponopono, or the monkey mind stream of judging, complaining, and wanting, it’s what is going to out-picture in own life. It is gradual, of course. Patience and persistence win the day.
My own experience with chanting has been totally positive. I started with 5 whole minutes at a time, and that was a stretch. The ego/mind doesn’t like it, because it takes attention away from the ego experience. It wants to go on keeping you unhappy in the past and in the future and will throw everything at you to shove you off the chanting path. Gradually I’ve worked up to many hours a day. I would like to tell you that I am chanting continuously, but I’m not there yet. When I do, things go well. Almost the instant I stop I hear the chatter coming in, so it has to be a committed effort all the time to stay in that practice and consciousness. If something comes at me that seems big and negative, an illness, an argument, a little depression… I chant as loudly as I can in my head until I right myself and things settle. It really works.
There are ways to remind ourselves.
Wear an object that reminds you to chant, beads that you can count, a necklace, a watch with an alarm, anything that has meaning.
Instruct your mind to help you. We are taught that everything has a soul, and that we can speak to any soul. Give your mind a soul order, an intention, to remind you every 5 minutes to check and see where your thought process is. The mind needs a job, give it one.
Set triggers for yourself, and use distractions as ways to re-center yourself. If someone turns on the tv, ah! Time to chant. Garbage truck…chant. Someone is interfering with your practice…chant. And so on.
Don’t underestimate the power of habit, and use it. So entirely establish chanting as a way of being that it feels strange and naked not to be doing it.
Fidget. It burns calories, and you can train yourself to chant with every foot twitch or hair twirl.
What to chant? It is entirely individual, though it must have a certain purity and high frequency to bring positive momentum.
I mostly chant 10 Da. The 10 DA (DA is Chinese for great, or greatest) are the ten ideal spiritual qualities; love, forgiveness, compassion, light, humility, harmony, flourishing, gratitude, service and enlightenment. Or any one of those qualities. I chant the names of my spiritual fathers and mothers, Buddhas, and more. Anything that keeps our being resonating with love, wholeness, joy, peace. Why not chant for wealth! Health, freedom, relationship, beauty…absolutely no reason why not.
Start training your entire being to chant…you won’t regret it.
Kristin Strachan compassionbuddha.net