There is only one thing that you will take with you from this world into your next life, your karma. Good or bad karma will go with you. So it would make sense to build as much good karma as you could before you die, and since you have no idea when that time might come you should strive every day to live as it is true, that you are dying. Most people in the world are caught up in trying to live a better life; living to live is just not what this life is meant for. It’s only true that as soon as you are born you began to die, so to live like you are dying, preparing moment by moment for your end makes more sense. All you should be concerned with in this life is building all the positive karma you can and others well being, which in itself also builds good karma.
There are many schools in Buddhism that will teach you different ways to erase your bad karma but there is one thing they all agree on that does the trick and that is chanting the compassion or Avalokiteshvara mantra, daily. Avalokiteshvara is the Bodhisattva of infinite compassion, chanting the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum” is the Mahayana teaching on how to erase your negative karma and build unfettered good karma. Each repetition of the mantra is said to invoke that spirit of the Bodhisattva and develop within you compassion, as well.
This is how it works:
Each day set aside about 30 minutes to practice this mantra chant aloud. Sitting in the traditional lotus or half lotus position one can chant this mantra to the sound of another chanters voice or a recorded, lead monk’s voice. You can also chant alone which is eventually how you want to be able to do. But for beginners, the above is recommended. Chanting 108 times, any mantra will invoke the power of the mantra.
So chanting Om Mani Padme Hum 108 times you will call upon compassion but at 30 minutes of chanting nonstop, you can be sure to bypass 108 times. But the idea is that you want to chant the mantra as many times as you can in this amount of time.
This mantra is so powerful that if one completes the mantra 10 times a day it is said that the merit the person gains has the ability to end the suffering of every sentient being that he or she touches or even breathes on. In fact, the very water that this same person swims in will become healing waters causing all bad karma and suffering to end for the one that also swims in the water.
Every sentient being that lives in this water will have an end to their suffering as well. As an ideal practice using the mantra of Avalokiteshvara, you should chant Om Mani Padme Hum every day for about 30 minutes at a medium speed. While in chant you should envision one of Avalokiteshvara’s forms in your mind and concentrate on compassion. Thinking of the suffering that the three lower realms of beings are experiencing will generate compassion within you for these beings. This mantra is actually practiced by all schools of Buddhism; it also makes a great individual practice.
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