Jul 20, 2010

The Physics of Chanting

By Emily Maroutian

Thank you for your wonderful contribution Emily!

"When I first heard about the SGI practice of chanting, “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,” I was skeptical and doubtful that it would actually “cause” anything to happen. After all, what could repeating a few words do anyway? However, I was open-minded enough to try it. 



I sat on my bed, closed my eyes and began to chant. I chanted for about five minutes and I immediately began to feel my body vibrate from the sound my vocal cords were making. I experienced a tingling sensation in the palm of my hands and the rhythm of the chant made my body rock back and forth. My body’s physical reaction to the chanting frightened me and so I stopped. Does this really work? I thought. But how can it? Then it suddenly hit me! Physics!

Physics’ current theory of everything, String Theory, dictates that the entire universe is made up of tiny vibrating strings. The underlining fundamental make-up of all things, including you and I, are minuscule invisible strings. Much like the strings on a guitar, they vibrate and play notes. Moreover, since sound is a vibration, not only is the entire universe vibrating but it is also playing a symphony.

So how does chanting work? When an opera singer hits a high note, she can break glass from across the room without ever touching anything. In physics, this is called resonance. Her vocal note and the glass’s vibrational note resonate and that causes the shattering effect.


You and I are constantly vibrating through our being. We attract (law of attraction) into our lives whatever it is that harmonizes with our note (law of harmonic vibrations). This is why you can meet someone and feel as though you have known them forever; both of you are harmonizing. They resonate with you and you resonate with them.

We can also repel opposing vibrations (law of repulsion) and keep away situations and people that are vibrating on opposite levels. This is why people who have been in our lives for a long time can suddenly decide they want to move on. Our shift has repelled them because our vibrations don’t harmonize.

If this is the case, then let them go and have faith that it’s all for the best. If you are shifting positively and people are dropping out of your life, let them go. You can’t hold back growth and transformation by holding onto someone who “needs” to leave. Holding on might require that you have to shift into a level that is unhealthy or negative. It may take time, but they will return once they can harmonize with you once again.

When we chant something as powerful and beneficial as “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,” we shift something within our being, which then alters what we attract into our lives. We alter the level in which we are vibrating on and that attracts a different level of people, things and situations.

In the same way, when we are depressed and carrying around self-pity, we vibrate on a level that attracts things that keep us feeling depressed. It also attracts more reasons, situations and issues that make us continue to pity ourselves. It is the Karma that we create and recreate over and over again.

If we were to chant, “I hate my life.” repeatedly, we would attract and harmonize with people and situations that reinforce that statement. We also reinforce it with our thoughts, emotions and our whole being.

Our environment will support our being regardless of how positive or negative we are. So we must not only chant “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,” but we must become it as well. Our being must vibrate on the level of “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.” Our lives must align with it in order for its true power to be unleashed in our lives and our environment.

Who we are is the biggest cause in our lives. Anyone at anytime can change their note. It begins with “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.” When we shift, our environment shifts. Every member of SGI knows this through experience, now there is a physical explanation of how it works.

Resonance, String Theory and the laws of attraction and harmony are what come into play when we devote ourselves to the mystical law of cause and effect through sound and vibration. Nichiren understood this hundreds of years before science discovered it. Now I understand it as well. Through this understanding, we can have faith that when we chant we are aligning ourselves with the highest good in the universe.

My experience with chanting was very positive and life changing. Even though I chanted for only about five minutes, it only took a matter of four hours for my environment to respond to my request. After that experience, I began chanting everyday and continued to receive the same level of response from my environment. 



We chant because it begins with our words and moves through our thoughts, feelings, actions and being. Then it resonates in our environment and then the world. But it begins within us. The more we gather and the more we chant, the more energy we feed into our goal of a peaceful loving world. So never forget fellow Buddhas that the universe is playing a beautiful symphony in which you and I are notes. And when we all gather, we make beautiful music together."


Bobby L said...

What a amazing post! I love it!

Lotus Flower said...

Thank you. Emily's contribution was wonderful!

Buku said...

In the midst of these four mountains and four rivers is a flat area no broader than the palm of one’s hand, and here I

have built a little hut to shield me from the rain. I have peeled bark off trees to make my four walls, and wear a robe made of the hides of deer that died a natural death. In spring I break off ferns to nourish my body, and in autumn I gather fruit to keep myself alive. But since the eleventh month of last year the snow has been piling up, and now, into the first month of the new year, it goes on snowing. My hut is seven feet in height, but the snow outside is piled up to a depth of ten feet. I am surrounded by four walls of ice, and icicles hang down from the eaves like a necklace of jewels adorning my place of religious practice, while inside my hut snow is heaped up in place of rice.

Even in ordinary times people seldom come here, and now, with the snow so deep and the roads blocked, I have no visitors at all. So at the moment I am atoning for the karma that destines me to fall into the eight cold hells, and, far from attaining Buddhahood in this present life, I am like the cold-suffering bird. I no longer shave my head, so I look like a quail, and my robe gets so stiff with ice that it resembles the icy wings of the mandarin duck.

To such a place, where friends from former times never come to visit, where I have been abandoned even by my own disciples, you have sent these vessels, which I heap with snow, imagining it to be rice, and from which I drink water, thinking it to be gruel. Please let your thoughts dwell on the effects of your kindness. There is much more I would like to say.

With my deep respect,