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Buddhist Meditation is the music created for or inspired by Buddhism and part of Buddhist art. Chinese Buddhist Music utilizes a rich variety of musical instruments during chants and hymns. Since these instruments are used in the propagation of Buddhist teachings, they are collectively named Dharma instruments. Instruments such as the gong, large bell (ch. qing), large drum (ch. gu), wooden fish, small cymbals, large cymbals and Chinese tambourine punctuate both Chinese folk and Buddhist Music. In modern practice, Chinese Buddhist Music is frequently accompanied by a variety of Chinese orchestral instruments, piano, or traditional European symphony orchestras.
Buddhist melodies are characterized as being strong, but not fierce; soft, but not weak; pure, but not dry; still, but not sluggish, and able to help purify the hearts of listeners. By listening it, you can enrich and reenergize your hearts, reach the most remote places and overcome the limitations of time and distance, as well as differences in cultural backgrounds and nationalities.
11 soul-stirring Buddhist melodies are included in Buddhist Meditation:
1. Great Compassion Mantra
The Nīlakantha Dhāranī is popularly known as the Great Compassion Mantra in English, is a Dhahran of Mahayana Buddhist origin. It was spoken by the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara before an assembly of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, devas and kings. It is often used for protection or purification.
Amitābha is a celestial Buddha described in the scriptures of the Mahāyāna school of Buddhism. Amitābha possesses infinite merits resulting from good deeds over countless past lives as a bodhisattva named Dharmakāra. "Amitābha" is translatable as "Infinite Light," hence Amitābha is often called "The Buddha of Infinite Light."
3. Quan Yin
Guanyin is the bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists, usually as a female. Quan Yin is the goddess of compassion, and also revered by Chinese Taoists as an Immortal. She fulfilled needs in Chinese religious life similar to those answered by Mother Mary in western culture. Whenever help is needed, Lady Kuan Yin can manifest her calm, loving presence. Quan-yin is the embodiment of Compassion and Wisdom.
4. Manjusri Mantra
Manjusri is a bodhisattva (emanating enlightened being) in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions of Buddhism. Manjusri is the bodhisattva associated with wisdom, doctrine and awareness. Chanting the Manjusri mantra: "Om A Ra Pa Cha Na Dhīh" is believed to enhance wisdom and improve one’s skills in debating, memory, writing, explaining etc.
5. Om Mani Padme Hum
The mantra is particularly associated with the four-armed Shadakshari form of Avalokiteshvara. The Dalai Lama is said to be an incarnation of Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara, so the mantra is especially revered by his devotees and it is commonly carved onto rocks and written on paper which is inserted into prayer wheels, said to increase the mantra’s effects.
6. Medicine Buddha Mantra
Like Tibetan Buddhists, Chinese Buddhists recite the mantra of the Medicine Buddha to overcome sickness. The Medicine Buddha Mantra is held to be extremely powerful for healing of physical illnesses and purification of negative karma.
7. Sakyamuni Buddha Mantra
Shakyamuni (the sage of the Shakyan Clan) is the historical Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama. He is the supreme teacher and founder of Buddhism. Shakyamuni's mantra is a play on his name. Muni means sage. Maha means great. So the mantra reads "Om wise one, wise one, greatly wise one, wise one of the Shakyans, Hail!"
8. Ksitigarbha Mantra
Ksitigarbha is a bodhisattva primarily revered in East Asian Buddhism, usually depicted as a Buddhist monk in the Orient, he is known for his vow to take responsibility for the instruction of all beings in the six worlds. The effect of this mantra is producing the "Samadhi Realm of Adamantine Indestructible Conduct."
9. Shurangama Mantra
The Shurangama Mantra is a popular mantra synonymous the practice of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. And it is also extensively references Buddhist deities in East Asia. It is often used for protection or purification for meditators and is considered to be part of Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana or Shingon Buddhism in Japan.
10. Ten Small Mantras
In Chinese Buddhism, Ten Small Mantras were finalized by the monk Yulin, a teacher of the Shunzhi Emperor for monks, nuns, and laity to chant in the morning.
11. Prajnaparamita Mantra
Prajnaparamita is the paradigmatic enlightened goddess in Buddhism. She is the transcendent wisdom of selflessness or freedom, the realization that liberates from all suffering. Prajnaparamita Mantra is called the mantra of "Highest Knowledge", "Supreme Mantra", "the Mantra of great insight", "the Unsurpassed Mantra" and the "Unequaled Mantra". It is said to be the Mantra of truth as there is no deception. It eases or removes all suffering.