Buddhist Chanting

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Meditation as It Relates to Buddhist Chanting and its Effects on Stress
Grace Lee, Annmarie Martin, Priscilla Yung, Rozlin Feliciano, and Antonesha Cook
Brenau University

Meditation as it Relates to Buddhist Chanting and its Effects on Stress
The purpose of this paper is to explore the physical benefits of the practice of Buddhist Chanting as it relates to the human body. Describing and analyzing the mechanics of chanting and how it can be utilized to relax the human body will show this practice to be an effective approach to release negative stress. Buddhist chanting brings the mind, spirit and body together to achieve a healthy state of meditation. The definition of chanting from Webster’s dictionary is “to produce musical sounds
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As an individual continues to age, the frontal-cortex of the brain starts thinning, resulting in the degradation of the grey matter responsible for language, cognition, and emotional processing (Yale University, 2005). Nenbutsu and Sutra are two forms of Buddhist chanting techniques that activate the left and right parts of the frontal cortex, allowing the brain to grow and thicken the grey matter (Yale University, 2005). With this mental exercise, the brain’s size can increase and thus enhance cognitive performance. Likewise, the physical benefits of the Buddhist chanting techniques extend beyond the brain and improve the health of the whole body. Most people who begin practicing this technique for health reasons also eventually experience the spirituality aspect of meditation by themselves as a natural product of practice. Although the ultimate goal is to reach Nirvana (paradise), which is spiritual ecstasy, the practical health benefits of this practice can include controlling migraines (Large, 2003) and boosting the immune system (Creswell, Myers, Cole, & Irwin,…show more content…
According to Prebish, in 1994 is when the biggest wave of Buddhism hit America (Prebish, 1998). The Beastie Boys recorded their song “The Bodhisattva Vow” as a tribute to the Buddhist wave that was approaching America quickly (Prebish, 1998). Meditation is what America accepted as the feature that immediately ties into Buddhist chanting (Wallace, 2008). Mindfulness is intended to be adapted into everyday life to ensure full awareness and relaxation within the body (Wallace, 2008). While America adopted the chanting and relaxation portion of the Buddhist culture, America has refused to adopt a few things (Wallace, 2008). Wallace (2008) discusses that America being a predominantly Christian culture, the view of rebirth that is acknowledged in the Buddhist culture is not accepted in Western civilization. Buddhist chanting is becoming more of a common theme throughout America, but Americans generally only acknowledge the relaxation effect and not religious

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