Chanting
Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo and Ajahn Ñāṇiko
Upāsikā Day, Jun. 2, 2018
Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California
3 sessions, 30 excerpts, 57:00 total duration
External website

Session 1: Purposes and Practices

Session 2: Pronunciation and Rythym

Session 3: History and Meaning


Session 1: Purposes and Practices – Ajahn Pasanno – Jun. 2, 2018 Download audio (55:40)
[Chanting]

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1. [2:30] Recollection: Ajahn Mun chants for an hour before meditating. [Ajahn Mun] [Meditation] [Devotional practice]


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2. [6:55] Story: The Buddha asks a monk to recite the Aṭṭhakavagga (Snp Chapter 4) (Ud 5.6). [Buddha/Biography] [Monastic life] [Sutta]


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3. [11:16] Story of an Indian Brahman novice at Tisarana Monastery who is adept at chanting. [Culture/India] [Tisarana]


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4. [13:12] Story: Learning the Paṭimokkha. [Pāṭimokkha] [Ajahn Pasanno] // [Ajahn Chah] [Culture/India]

Responses by Ajahn Ñāṇiko, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo and Ajahn Kaccāna.


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5. [19:38] Story: Ajahn Pasanno's mother notices that he chants in tune. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Family] // [Almsfood] [Mindfulness]


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6. [22:54] Story: An elderly Sri Lankan monk chants to calm a wild elephant. [History/Sri Lankan Buddhism] [Animal] [Three Refuges]

Story: Chanting 'Itipi so' 108 times. [Abhayagiri] [Anandagiri]


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7. [40:01] Story: Chanting sustains a long-time disciple of Ajahn Chah living as a businessman in Bangkok. [Ajahn Chah] [Lay life] [Culture/Thailand] // [Suffering]


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8. [42:37] “Can we approach chanting as praying for someone in a difficult situation?” [Christianity] [Devotional practice] [Family] [Health] // [Skillful qualities] [Compassion] [Right Intention] [Merit] [Abhayagiri] [Nature of the cosmos]


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9. [48:20] “How can you use chanting to work with long-term physical pain and other people's healing?” [Pain] [Health] // [Tranquility] [Concentration] [Fear] [Release]


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10. [49:47] “Are there any chants that are inappropriate for laypeople to chant?” [Lay life]


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11. [50:15] “How can you chant to generate energy?” [Energy] // [Postures] [Mindfulness of breathing]


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12. [52:10] “Is there any danger to chanting?”


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13. [52:42] “The fourth precept used to be translated as false and harmful speech. In the new chanting book, it's just lying. Is there a reason for this?” [False speech] [Pāli] // [Right Speech]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 130

Sutta: MN 41: Saleyyaka Sutta


Session 2: Pronunciation and Rythym – Ajahn Karuṇadhammo and Ajahn Pasanno – Jun. 2, 2018 Download audio (57:45)
[Chanting] [Pāli]

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1. [26:13] “Sometimes there's no pause between the words we're chanting. Why?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [History/Early Buddhism]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 129: Five Precepts.


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2. [29:14] “Are the dots under m and n [ṃ, ṇ] that inscrutable non-English sound that was mentioned earlier?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo.

Follow-up: “And that has nothing to do with the pitch going down? That's the carat mark?” [History/Western Buddhist monasticism]


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3. [31:32] Comment: It seems like we stretch out 'saha' in the request for the Five Precepts (Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 126).

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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4. [32:05] “Can you explain the rythym and scanning of the seventh of the Eight Precepts (Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 135)?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. [Eight Precepts] [Entertainment and adornment]


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5. [34:14] Comment: I also get tripped up chanting the fifth precept (Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 130). [Five Precepts] [Intoxicants]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Thai]


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6. [43:09] Story: Ajahn Pasanno spends Vassa on the Burmese border, but can't chant smoothly with two monks of different nationalities. Told by Ajahn Karuṇadhammo and Ajahn Pasanno. [Ajahn Pasanno] [Rains retreat]


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7. [49:37] Comment: We usually chant like that [a simple style] in primary school. It changes when we get to high school. [Culture/Thailand]

Response by Ajahn Pasanno.


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8. [51:33] “Do you have any suggestions for audio support for chanting?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno. [Dhamma online]

Reference: Abhayagiri Chanting Karaoke

Note: The recordings on this website come from the older 2010 Abhayagiri Chanting Book.


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9. [53:59] “Are there any standards for the high and low tone marks?” Answered by Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. // [Thai]


Session 3: History and Meaning – Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Pasanno – Jun. 2, 2018 Download audio (1:18:00)
[Chanting] [Protective chants]

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1. [27:36] “Are the paritta chants not as effective in English?” Answered by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Translation] [Language] [Pāli] // [Devotional practice]


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2. [28:42] “Do you find these chants as resonant here as in Thailand?” Answered by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Culture/Thailand] [Culture/West] // [Faith]


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3. [29:38] “I notice that most of the paritta chants don't have English translations. Is there a place we can find these?” Answered by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Translation] // [Sutta]

Suttas: DN 32: Āṭānāṭiya Sutta; SN 46.14-16: Sick [Sickness] [Factors of Awakening]


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4. [31:29] “Are there books or online resources for the study of Pāli?” Answered by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Pāli] [Dhamma books] [Dhamma online]

Reference: A New Course in Reading Pāli by James W. Gair and W. S. Karunatillake (pdf) [Learning]

Note: Bhikkhu Bodhi's Reading the Buddha's Discourses in Pāli was published in 2020.


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5. [33:14] Comment: There are a couple books that have some parittas in English. [Translation] [Dhamma books]

Reference: The Book of Protection by Piyadasi Thera

Response by Ajahn Ñāṇiko: Suggestion to read the Suttanipāta commentaries available in Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of this text. [Sutta] [Commentaries] [Bhikkhu Bodhi]


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6. [36:34] Story: A monk at Poo Jum Gom dislodges a viper by chanting the Khandhaparitta despite believing that it won't work. Told by Ajahn Ñāṇiko. [Animal] [Poo Jum Gom] [Ajahn Ñāṇiko] [Faith]


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7. [38:17] “Is there a rule of thumb for the pitches for the paritta chanting?” Answered by Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Karuṇadhammo. // [Thai]


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8. [39:53] “The Verses of Sharing and Aspiration translates paccekabuddha as 'The Solitary Buddha is my noble guide.' What's going on here?” Answered by Ajahn Ñāṇiko and Ajahn Pasanno. [Translation] [Buddha] // [Merit] [Teaching Dhamma]

Reference: Amaravati Chanting Book, p. 33