On Chanting

“The object of chanting is to experience the self as sound. We have kept the old texts to emphasize that the practice of chanting is about sound, not about the meaning of the texts. Of course the meaning is important. It is simply a separate area of study.
The technique of chanting is to maintain the erect posture of sitting so that the sound will not be hindered in its passage. Holding the chant book up so that we don’t bend our heads down also helps keep us open. Swallow the sound down into the belly so that it inundates our whole body. Chant at whatever tone is comfortable for you, as this is not an exercise in harmony. Chant with energy, so that your ancestors, wherever they are, will hear you clearly!” — Sandy Gentei Stewart

You’ll find the chant book under the right front corner of your cushion. We start with the chant on page one, the Heart Sutra, and end with the chant on page eight, The Four Great Vows. Each chant begins with the jiki jitsu chanting alone the first few syllables, the ones in boldface, and continues with the group chanting the rest of the chant, accompanied by a drum to keep time. In between the chants shown in the book the jiki jitsu will chant solo chants called ekos.
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