Why Chanting is #NextLevel Mindfulness

(Photo above by Lisa Fotios / Unsplash)

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a subtle, yet profound way to recognize our inner Buddha each day.

Mindfulness meditation has become a well-known, scientifically proven way to reduce stress and improve focus. It can lead to a healthier, more enjoyable life, which of course is really awesome.

The meditation techniques made famous by popular meditation apps bring to life thousands of years of Buddhist tradition, which is truly an achievement. There are meditations for sleeping, relaxing, even for playing sports better. Each sounds amazing, but the deeper benefits of Buddhist practice extend to believing in yourself against all odds, mending painful relationships, fighting illness and developing compassion for others who are different from us.

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is #nextlevel mindfulness meditation since it goes so much deeper, yet is somehow just as convenient.

When Shakyamuni Buddha (or Siddhartha as he’s sometimes known) shared his teachings thousands of years ago in India, he wanted to help ordinary people uncover the greatness of their own lives, in essence, their Buddhability.

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is #nextlevel mindfulness meditation since it goes so much deeper, yet is somehow just as convenient. Chanting gives you the life force to challenge the parts of your life that need changing.

As Buddhists, we chant daily for however long we choose, focusing specifically on our goals and dreams. How does this work? Maybe, while chanting, we ask ourselves, why do I always end up in toxic relationships? Through chanting, we may see that part of ourselves that doesn’t believe that we’re good enough to attract a wonderful person. Once we recognize what is holding us back, we can address and change it, and open an exciting new door in life.

Stylist Aleali May with her palms pressed together chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with prayer beads in her hand

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is an expression of the message of Shakyamuni’s Lotus Sutra—that we already have unlimited courage, wisdom and compassion within. Through chanting, we bring out and strengthen our inner core, so that we can help ourselves and others too.

While in mindfulness meditation we focus mostly on ourselves, chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo encourages us to zoom out and make a decision to help those around us. Why? Because deciding to work for the happiness of others is central to the Lotus Sutra. In reality a Buddhist practice exclusively centered on ourselves doesn’t get us too far. When we can link our personal challenges to our desire to help others, that’s when we really begin to break through.

How does this work? If we are challenging a serious disease and decide, I have to overcome this to show everyone that such a diagnosis doesn’t define you, we can pull the deepest strength from our lives. Backing up our personal goals with a wish to inspire others brings out the strongest motivation to win.

Chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is a subtle, yet profound way to recognize our inner Buddha each day. Once we see that, we can change anything.

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