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Welcome to our living archive, documenting and drawing from diverse wisdoms in regards to today's environmental challenges. Hope you have a nice stay!

Buddhist Chants Inspired by Nature

Buddhist Chants Inspired by Nature

Music and Buddhism is a tricky subject and i am in no way an expert. Buddhist "music" is often expressed in chant. The "singing all together" ritual many Christians enjoy in their worship services might be analogized to "chanting all together" in Buddhism. 

Just like Christianity, Islam and Judaism -- Buddhism is culturally, denominationally, and musically diverse (see map below).

 "Shomyo is believed to have originated with Vedic chanting in India, but the actual theory of notes, scales, melodies, and rhythms is believed to be more Chinese than Indian. Shomyo is sung in multiple languages, reflecting its origins in India (using the name bonsan for songs in Sanskrit) and its move through China (kansan) to Japan (wasan). The spread of Buddhist chant in Japan led to the adaptation of local musical styles, the use of local scales, and the evolution of local and sectarian performance of the tradition." 

 Map of Buddhism's three main forms. 

Map of Buddhism's three main forms. 

Boddhisatva Buddhism, shown as Mahāyāna Buddhism above (in yellow), is fundamentally based on a love for Earth’s “numberless sentient beings” as expressed in the Boddhisatva vows

With that in mind, here is a quick catalog of biodiversity related suttas and sutras, many of which are practiced as chant. 

Suttas & Sutras Inspired By Nature

 

"The Heart is the Perfection of Wisdom."
For many Buddhists today, chanting the Heart Sutra is a central part of their practice. Here are a couple of recordings of the Heart Sutra in chant. 

Dalai Lama chanting the Heart Sutra:

English language version of the Heart Sutra:

Sanskrit of the Heart Sutra: 

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--Chris Searles, editor

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