Chanting, Flowers and Possible Origins
I found what seems to be a perpetual flower source and have been doing chanting on a regular basis. I have been inviting other monks to join me in my kuti and it now looks as though I may have two regulars.
One of the faults of Pa-Auk or Myanmar in general, according to most foreigners, is the chanting style. This is because they have a pronunciation scheme that is different from all other countries. All countries vary a little bit, but not as much as Myanmar. Of course, now that fault is removed:-)
Chanting in Pāli gives us a chance to reflect on many different Buddhist concepts and develops a wholesome mind on a regular basis. I have grown to like the reflections in The Nauyana Evening Chanting Book out of habit. Before, I had mentioned the flowers as impermanent. In Sri Lanka it is common to have flowers as in this picture with only the heads plucked and put on a plate as a mandala design. One can focus on impermanence or use it as a meditation kasina object of colour. The flowers will usually be dry and wilted on the next day. It is my belief that Tibet may have mimicked this tradition with coloured sand since they do not have flowers, and that is why they intentionally destroy it later. (Just a guess about what the original tradition was no matter what it is now).
At the end of the reflection of the flowers becoming bad colour, smell, and shape we say…
Sabbe sankhārā aniccā. All formations are impermanent.
Sabbe sankhārā dukkhā. All formations are suffering.
Sabbe Dhammā anattā. All Dhamma is non-self.