So, I am a Fukushi, yes? I have spent my life listening to people chanting. I honestly can’t quantify the amount of buddhist meetings I have attended. Let’s try anyway. Between meetings, activities and home visits, I do an average of 2-3 buddhist functions a week. Let’s use 2 to make a very conservative estimate (also to take holidays into account). That is about 100 functions a year. I was born in 1985, so that’s around 3000 functions. Not bad. So I can honestly say I have been to THOUSANDS of buddhist meetings. Fab.
Many (and by that I mean MANY) of those are lilac activities, a fair amount of which (especially in the past year) have consisted in me chanting at the front of a butsuma for, say, three hours. That gives you plenty of opportunities to observe the different ways people chant. Most of the time, there’s a great person leading and the daimoku flows like a majestic river, or runs like a herd of white horses galloping in the clouds. Marvellous transformation then ensues.
Unfortunately, other times, our life state is not that brilliant and we are distracted by people’s quirky ways of chanting or the things they do as they chant.
CAPTAIN OBVIOUS TO THE RESCUE: please take the following with a pinch of salt. It’s not meant as slander, just as honest fun. If it offends you, don’t read.