Hearing Heavenly Music Fill The Room

On 9th Sep 2017 was my second time chanting Amituojing (Amitabha Sutra) during a Pureland Practice Fellowship (PPF) session. (See https://purelanders.com/2017/02/03/why-join-pureland-practice-fellowshipWhile chanting about a quarter way through, I heard an amazing ensemble of music. It was like an entourage of musicians playing with different instruments. I tried to ignore it, thinking it could be my imagination, but the music was so distinct. 

I remember my first chanting of Amituojing last month, which was without such music. There was only some simple keyboard background music in the guiding track played, while what heard was very different, (even after re-listening to the track to check later). It was pleasant and majestic, in a celebratory mood of rejoice and welcome. It sounded ancient, unlike modern music. 

I was momentarily distracted and opened my eyes to look around. I saw everyone chanting as though nothing special was happening. (E.g. No one’s phone was ringing.) By then, the music had disappeared. It lasted for three to five minutes. After the PPF session, I asked a family member who was present about the music, but nothing special was heard. There was a sweet smell though. 

Till now, the music lingers on my mind, and I feel rejoice. I know I am not supposed to pine for any auspicious signs, which is a form of greed that can distract from sincere practice. I will only sincerely seek to learn and practise the true Dharma. Hopefully, having my affinity with Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha) deepen, may my Three Provisions grow day by day, for the end journey of reaching his Pure Land.

Namo Amituofo :
Shelly (named changed for privacy) 

[1] ‘Heavenly music filling the sky (or room)’ (天乐盈空 / 天乐盈室) and ‘Extraordinary fragrance filling the room’ (异香满堂) are some, among other common auspicious signs that arise from sincere Pure Land practices, such as Nianfo (念佛) and Nianjing (念经). They are also commonly manifested during moments of departure for Pure Land, as witnessed by the departing and sometimes by support-chanters present.

[2] The ‘symphony’ heard could be from Amituofo’s Pure Land, instead of any heaven. It is called ‘heavenly music’ mainly to differentiate its sublime spiritual nature, versus earthly music’s worldly nature. As in Amituojing, Amituofo’s Pure Land has countless kinds of music that express the timeless Dharma, all playing at the same time in harmony. Being the Land Of Ultimate Bliss, its sounds are of course blissful and magnificent!

[3] With different affinities, different practitioners might resonate with different auspicious signs separately, though sometimes concurrently. They should be regarded as encouragement, that motivate us to continue sincere practice with sincere learning. Signs that appear without any pining for them are the genuine ones, instead of possibly being imaginary. 

[4] Even if an experience is genuine, it is best not to tell too many (other than understanding close family and friends) about it, in case this subtly increases pride and spiritual complacency. As such, the sharing above was with a pen-name. Also, sharing should be detailed, with explanations such as these, to avoid misunderstanding of what auspicious signs mean.

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