Why Chanting is Not Magic

Chanting is not Magic

Some people talk about this practice as if it is magic. Chanting is not magic. Our circumstances change as we change from within. There is no question that chanting gives us ideas about what to do. When we take action unseen connections are made that we could never have foreseen ourselves. Sometimes it seems like magic when we are not aware of the changes we have made in ourselves.

I know a new person who is working on learning about leadership. She was having a problem with someone under her, who was causing difficulties. As she chanted about the issue, she loosened her control on the project he was working on. The problem disappeared as he assumed responsibility and moved ahead with the project. She said, “I don’t know how it happened.” It seemed like magic to her. But as I listened carefully, it was clear she had let go of micromanaging the project and her co-worker responded well. She had changed, so her circumstances changed.

How do We Make Personal Changes From Within?

First: Chant about an issue. As we align ourselves daily with the Mystic Law, that universal energy, we let go of the lesser side of our nature step by step and gradually come to embody our higher nature.

Second: Listen to those little inner nudges do one thing or another. In the Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra, Vol 2, Daisaku Ikeda says,
”We are in constant exchange and communication with the cosmos, our lives reverberating with it as one living entity.”

Guidance comes through your connection with the universe through those little internal nudges to do this or don‘t do that, and through those ideas that are better than any you would have thought of yourself. That guidance comes with an absolute knowing. Pay attention to that knowing. We all have heard that little voice, but it’s so quiet that it’s easy to ignore, or talk ourselves out of following it.  How many times have you had the feeling you should do something and then not done it?

Third: Take action on those ideas that come with the knowing.

Fourth: Study the daily encouragement available to us. That might be only a paragraph a day. Reading just a little each day allows you to absorb the thought, think about it and then look for opportunities to put it into practice. Our mentor is a living example of how to apply the Buddhist teachings in everyday life.

Fifth: Support others. It’s remarkable how it happens, but when you chant, study and support others you put your life on the fast track of personal development. That’s how to make changes the most quickly.

Personal Experience

Though out my adult life until I started this practice, I tended to be a loner. I regretted it, but I didn’t know what to do to change it. I was working at an agency doing international adoptions and feeling isolated once again, this time at work.  

By then I had been studying Buddhist concepts and knew that our lives come from the inside out. I realized my isolation came from me, and that if I wanted it to change, I had to do something differently. I had the realization, while chanting one day, that I was sitting at my desk in my office but not getting out to say good morning or ask about the lives of other people. I took a deep breath, went against some long term habits. I walked out of my office, and made an effort to say good morning and inquire about what was going on in the lives of my co-workers. One day I realized to my delight, I was no longer isolated.

Even though I had chanted about it, this change wasn’t magic. I received the realization from chanting, but then I changed my behavior and my coworkers responded. By the way, that change transformed the rest of my life. I’m now part of a wonderful community of people whom I love.


1. Chant about the issue
2. Listen to those little nudges and ideas that come with the knowing this is the right thing to do.
3. Take action on those nudges and ideas.
4. Study the encouragement from our mentor.
5. Support others

Please comment and share how you have made changes.  We can all help one another.

  • Sherri says:

    You said our circumstances change as we change from within. Yes circumstances as your relationship with your spouse, boss or your neighbor. But if you are a member of the working poor, chanting will not change those circumstances. Or if you are a quadraplegic living in a nursing home, chanting will not change those. Or if you live in an area where ppl are taxed to death, where poverty is rampant, chanting will not change those circumstances. Or you are disabled, living on minimal disability on poverty level, wanting to get off disability, wanting to work but physically can’t, chanting will not change these circumstances. In each of these circumstances, action can not be taken and chanting will not transform these lives no matter how much they chant.

    • Margaret Blaine says:

      A lot of these are difficult circumstances. What I do know, that if a person has a deep determination and is willing to act on the ideas that come to them through chanting, they will absolutely be guided to something better.
      We are in connection with the universal energy that creates everything. Because we are one with it in our Buddha nature, we have the same characteristics. We are not limited, we are creative and we can find our way around any deadlock.
      In each of these circumstances it seems as though outside circumstances control the outcome. This is an illusion. Outside circumstances do not control us. We are often taught this by people in our society.

      But with Buddhist practice you find the locus of power that is within each of us. You will find that if you chant about an issue seeing what you want as the end goal, then follow through with ideas that come to you that you will find a way out of situations that seem impossible. When you start a dialogue with the universe, the ideas you are given will work in your situation.

      There is one important consideration. You must focus on what you want, not keep dwelling on the circumstances you don’t want.

      I’ve known people who have come out of homelessness and poverty. I’ve known others that have found ways, perhaps different before, to live with a disability and still be able to contribute.

  • Sherri says:

    My experience is that majority of individuals in aforementioned dire circumstances will have a deep determination and do about anything to change those circumstances, what you refer to as a deadlock. But it is extremely difficult to believe the locus of control is within when your whole life is controlled by others – be that financially, emotionally and/or physically. I have told them to focus on what you want, the outcome wanted not the ongoing circumstances. But fear is also a part of their lives- fear of the present and the future, fear of having less (quite possible) fear of taking the wrong action, pudding someone off and being cut off , of trying and failing, of having even less, of being disabled and homeless! So how does one chant to change such circumstances, how many hours a day, for example? What if someone has been chanting but ideas on actions do not come? Is that an indication there is no action to be taken that will change difficult circumstances. One client is severely disabled, on disability for many years, unable to work and has pain +++. At time of injury, rules stipulated at retirement age would receive pension based on salary in effect at retirement. That is, there would be career progression even while on disability. Rules were changed unbeknowst to him which now state will receive pension based on salary at time of injury. This means will be greatly reduced and as a result will lose home etc. So his focus is on getting the anticipated pension which would greatly enhance his life, outlook etc. But what action can he take? Does the locus of power really lie within him? How do I convince him if he chants and focuses on the outcome he wants it will happen. This is a person to whom not much positive has happened.

    • Margaret Blaine says:

      Hi Sherri,
      I would have him chant for a positive resolution to his problem. And see what comes,one step at a time. Ideas don’t just come during the chanting time. They may come from other people or something you hear or read during the day. If you are chanting about something, anything which comes up regarding your area of concern may be important. I worry that he has made the decision all is lost, and so won’t listen to what he is getting. He also needs to be open to the fact that the solution may come about in ways he has never considered. He won’t know how it is going to happen, so don’t stratagize while chanting. Also difficult issues may take some time. Never give up.

      While he is chanting and during the day, have him focus his mind on a positive resolution to his situation, every time one of the fears come up. And they will. The reason it is so important to practice that discipline is because of the simultaneity of cause and effect. When we dwell on certain thoughts, we have set a seed in our lives for a future effect. Because of this we can become proactive and work at setting positive seeds to produce positive results. I think of it as creating an invisible archectectural (sp?) drawing with our thoughts that is going to manifest some time in the future. What do we want to create, our fears or what we want. When I have chanted about issues where I was fearful, I sometimes had to remind myself of that 50 times a day and deliberately refocus my mind over and over. And, it worked.

      I would have him chant until he feels satisfied. Some people chant for hours when it is an important issue. Others don’t. it depends on the individual.

      You might like to look up determination into Faith into Action.

      I’m glad he has your support. You both have mine. Let’s both chant for him. What is his name? In our district, if someone is facing a big hump and needs a boost, a number of people will get together and chant for that person. That can be a big help.


  • Sherri says:

    To clarify, the anticipated pension is the pension he would have gotten if he had not been injured, the one he understood he would receive. currently he lives on small disability payments; with the changes he will get even less. He is afraid, feels a burden, useless, often wishes he would die. This is an intelligent, educated person who could contribute to the world in a positive way

  • Niri Naidoo says:

    hi Margaret,

    I am a newcomer.

    I must admit I have read, printed and highlighted many a article thus far. As a newcomer I still getting to grips with the concept of Buddhism, the Mystic Law, etc.

    I am finding it easier though to be able to relate with the comment page. Seems more user-friendly (down-to-earth).

    Will continue being intrigued.

    thank you.

    • Margaret Blaine says:

      Glad you like it. It’s a marvelous practice. I have a book called Your Path to Unshakeable Happiness it is written for newcomers. It was vetted by people in my writing critique group who knew nothing about Buddhism, and encouraged me to keep it down to earth.

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