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Buddhist Chant Remix with the Venerable Yogetsu Akasaka

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In Buddhist tradition, chanting often serves as a means to prepare one’s mind for holy communion, meditation, or for certain sacred rituals and ceremonies. In Japan, it is typically accompanied by three types of musical instruments: the mokugyo, the keisu and the taiko. Without using any of these traditional instruments, 37-year-old Japanese Zen Buddhist monk, the venerable Yogetsu Akasaka, is creating a sensation on social media. Only using his vocals and a loop station, his beatbox rendition of the Buddhist Heart Sutra chanting has gone viral and garnered over two and a half million views since May 2020. Donning his ceremonial Buddhist robe, the venerable Yogetsu Akasaka aims to help heal the world and spread the Buddhist Teachings through his unorthodox style of sutra chanting. Let’s now listen to a segment from the Day 69 livestream of the venerable Yogetsu Akasaka themed “Everything’s Getting Better.” In this performance, he played a handpan in addition to the usual beatboxing. The unconventional beatbox renditions of sutra chants allow the venerable Yogetsu Akasaka to introduce the spiritual Teachings of Buddhism to the younger generation. The richly layered sounds generated by looping his vocals create a peaceful ambiance, transporting listeners to a place of spiritual calmness, a much needed respite in our chaotic times. We will now share with you Day 70 of his livestream performances entitled, “Music for Meditation.” We thank the venerable Yogetsu Akasaka for his creativity and innovation in sharing spiritual Buddhist chants with the world. May your beautiful music continue to uplift and comfort people, in the Buddha’s loving embrace.
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