“A-um” is the name of the Buddha…

Munen mushin is the name of the Buddha. When you open your mouth wide [to breath], you say ‘na’ and when you close your mouth while expelling air, you say ‘mu’; and next, when you open your mouth you say ‘a’, when you close it, ‘mi’, when you open it again, you say ‘da’ and when you close it again, you say ‘butsu’. In this way, breathing out and breathing in three times are the same as the Buddhist invocation “Namu Amida butsu” [and is also] symbolic of the lettres a and um [=om]. The sound ‘a’ is produced when you open your mouth, and the sound ‘um’ when you have it closed.  So one can say that when your mind is empty – ‘munen mushin‘ – [because you are still naturally breathing in and out]
you are continuously repeating the name of the Buddha, even when you are not pronouncing it out loud…

– – – Takuan Soho, in the  Kitsuhyoushu,  cited in Le jeu des energies réspiratoires, gestuelles et sonores dans la pratique de l’aikido,  J.-D Cauhépé and A. Kuang,  pp.223-4

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