Preparation before Chanting
The Buddhist Sutras contain the precious, profound and lofty teachings of the Buddhas, revealed by the Enlightened Ones out of compassion for the salvation of mankind. For generations, many monks and buddhists have given their lives towards the preservation of these texts so that humanity may continue to receive guidance along the path towards ultimate liberation.
It follows that anyone studying these sacred literature should bring forth a mind of deep gratitude and reverence and reflect upon how rare it is to encounter the Buddha’s teachings. Such gratitude should also express itself naturally in a respectful and humble frame of mind when approaching the scriptures, as well as the orthodox commentaries and liturgies; the fortunate recipient of these teachings should also ensure that such holy texts are handled only with clean hands and sincere minds, and when not in use, that these texts are stored in clean and elevated places.
So, what activities are considered as misbehaving while chanting Buddhist Sutra?
1) Do not put Buddhist Sutra on a dirty table, at the bottom of a bookshelf, on a bed, on the headstock of a bed or inside of a closet
2) Do not create a bookmark by indenting a page or drawing a mark by applying force with your finger nail
3) Do not lick your finger while turning a page in the Sutra
4) Do not flip a page by squeezing it between your index and middle fingers
5) Clean your hands before chanting any Buddhist Sutra if one has any contacts with your shoes
6) Do not touch any Buddhist Sutra if one has touched or scratched one's feet
7) Do not cough, sneeze and yawn at any Buddhist Sutra
8) Close the Buddhist Sutra before engaging any conversation with people
9) Do not chant when one is laying on the floor/bed, legs on the table, not sitting Straight, or putting a Buddhist Sutra on one's thigh
10) Do not roll a Buddhist Sutra like a newspaper