Recently I’ve become somewhat obsessed with repetition.  Maybe it’s because I’ve come to use it as a work around for my pig-headed obstinence.  I find that when I do something over and over again, it seems to move from my brain and into my whole body… it becomes part of me.

Every religion known uses repetition of its teachings to assist in fully integrating the wisdom into our fiber.  Maybe it’s a montra, a prayer, chanting, singing, or bowing… the form is irrelevant…Repeition is an age old spiritual practice.

At first, I always love it.  It’s nice to get the hang of something.  Quickly, I hate it.  It feels ridiculous to repeat the same damn thing over and over again.  But if I can stick with it, just past hate I find this incredible space where The wisdom seems to permeate every ounce of me and becomes so unconscious that it’s almost as if it’s flowing thru me, like I’m being someone cleansed of some impurity.

For the next 50 days, we’re chanting the Ratana Sutta 10,000 times.  When I say we, I mean the monks… and me when I happen to make it.  I have a focused intention to mostly make, just not totally make it.

The Ratana Sutta is a Buddhist discourse found in the Pali Canon.  In Pali, the ancient language of Buddha’s time, it is seventeen verses in length.  I would explain the Ratana Sutta simply as the essential characteristics of the people who are committed to add more love to the world.  It’s been chanted for thousands of years as a way to bring health and well-being and our goal of chanting it 10,000 times over the next 50 days is simply an offering to the whole world.. the one that so clearly needs some well-being right now:

 

  1. Whatever beings are here assembled,
    whether terrestial or celestial,
    may all these beings be happy and listen closely to my words.
  2. Pay attention all you beings:
    show kindness to the humans who
    day and night bring you offerings
    Therefore guard them diligently.
  3. Whatever treasure is here or beyond,
    or the precious jewel in the heavens,
    none is equal to the Perfect One.
    In the Buddha is this precious jewel. By this truth may there be well-being.
  4. The calm Sakyan sage found cessation,
    dispassion, the deathless, the sublime;
    there is nothing equal to that state.
    In the Dhamma is this precious jewel By this truth may there be well-being.
  5. That purity praised by the Supreme
    Buddha, called concentration with
    immediate result – that concentration has
    no equal. In the Dhamma is this
    precious jewel. By this truth may there be well-being.
  6. The eight persons praised by the good, these four pairs are the gift-worthy disciples of the Well-gone One – -gifts to them yield abundant fruit. In the Sangha is this precious jewel. By this truth may there be well-being.
  7. With firm minds applying themselves
    to Gotama’s teaching, passionless,
    they reach the goal; plunged in
    the deathless, they enjoy supreme peace. In the Sangha is this precious jewel, By the truth may there be well-being.
  8. As a firm post grounded in the earth
    cannot be shaken by the four winds,
    so is the superior person, I say,
    who definitely sees the Noble Truths.
    In the Sangha is this precious jewel,
    By the truth may there be well-being.
  9. Those who comprehend the Noble Truths
    taught well by Him of deep wisdom,
    even if they are very negligent,
    do not take an eighth existence. In the Sangha is this precious jewel, By the truth may there be well-being.
  10. For one who has attained to vision
    three states are at once abandoned – –
    view of self, doubt, and clinging
    to needless rules and rituals. Freed from the four states of misery He cannot do six kinds of evil deeds. In the Sangha is this precious jewel, By the truth may there be well-being.
  11. Though he might do some evil deed
    by body, speech, or mind,
    he cannot hide it; such is impossible
    for one who has seen the Path.
    In the Sangha is this precious jewel,
    By the truth may there be well-being.
  12. Like woodland groves in blossom
    in the first heat of the summertime
    is the sublime Dhamma that he taught leading to Nibbana, the highest good. In the Buddha is this precious jewel. By this truth may there be well-being.
  13. He, the Supreme Sublime One, Knower,
    Giver and Bringer of the Sublime,
    taught the Sublime Dhamma.
    In the Buddha is this precious jewel, By the truth may there be well-being.
  14. Their past is extinct with no new arising,
    their minds not drawn to future birth;
    Their old seeds destroyed, desires no
    more growing, the wise go out just like
    this lamp, In the Sangha is this precious
    jewel. By the truth may there be well-
    being.
  15. Whatever beings are here assembled,
    whether terrestial or celestial, we salute
    the perfected Buddha, revered by gods
    and men.
    May there be well-being!
  16. Whatever beings are here assembled,
    whether terrestial or celestial, we salute
    the perfected Dhamma, revered by gods
    and men.
    May there be well-being!
  17. Whatever beings are here assembled,
    whether terrestial or celestial, we salute
    the perfected Sangha, revered by gods
    and men.

May there be well-being

By the power of this truth may my sufferings subside

By the power of this truth may my fears subside

By the power of this truth may my illness subside

 

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