Q: Rinpoche please, what is your advice about reciting mantras during the day when we can?
A: The mantra, of course we all have this kind of perception that the more we accumulate, the more benefit we get. We have this kind of very positive perception. And we still have to believe in that in order to carry on with our positive motivation, nothing to change there.
But when you are chanting the mantra, don’t chant too fast, because most of us when we do chanting, we recite so fast. Fast and the speed, it doesn’t do anything to the benefit of sentient beings, especially when you’re trying to accumulate your own practice. So speed is not something that is required. Calmness and the sharpness of the mind is you need. Sharpness of the mind, not the paranoia sharpness, but sense of sharpness of your mind and recognizing your own surroundings, and yet at the same time seeing your improvement and seeing your own obstacles, not the external obstacles, but your own internal obstacles, which is like negative emotions and then yourself also analyzing the negative emotion itself, the perception towards that, and having a deeper understanding to yourself is so much more important.
So when you are chanting a mantra….. in Taranatha’s teaching it’s saying that if you’re doing a meditation or Shamatha or Vipashyana practice, like a shi-ne practice, and then you should start with the shorter syllable mantra. Start with a shorter syllable mantra like green Tara ‘om tare tuttare ture soha’, （Chenrezig ）‘om mani padme hum’, you know, like the short syllable mantra. And then focus on the longer syllable mantra, and then focus into 2 arms deity. Then focus into 4 arms, 6 arms, 10 arms, thousand arms. Try to increase in terms of numbers, in terms of vastness and the capacity, so it has to come together. Not capacity comes later and your ambition comes first. So you have to get along and find a balance.
So if you’re trying to chant, any mantra that is good. What is recommended is that don’t chant with extreme speed, that’s number one. And number two, don’t try to show off to other people that how many mantras you have accumulated. That’s number two. Number three, don’t be proud of your dedication that there’s some great return should be coming anytime soon. Don’t have that, either. Because it’s opposite of what we are doing. And then, the fourth is that if you’re chanting mantra, focus on a shorter syllable, and then gradually increasing to a longer syllable. And then the vastness of the visualization can be multiply based on your capacity, gradually guided by your own teacher.
With love and respect from Kalu Rinpoche
10th Nov. 2019