Digital Buddhist Jukebox Plays Tibetan Chants

buddhistjukebox.jpg

While searching for the source of the phrase "The things you own end up owning you," mistakenly thinking it was a riff on Buddhist wisdom but discovering it's actually a line from Fight Club, a movie that suggests we all wear leather pants, I discovered this "Digital Buddhist Jukebox in Tibetan" that plays five different Tibetan chants from its built-in lotus speaker or over headphones. It's $4, shipped, from DealExtreme.

Teresa had actually pointed these out before the last time we mentioned DealExtreme, but I didn't pay attention. Sorry!

Catalog Page [Dealextreme.com]

Previously: Hard-drives as Buddhist prayer-wheels [Boing Boing]
Buddhist iPods -- HOAX! [Boing Boing]
DealExtreme.com: Cheap Crap with Free Shipping [BBG]

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15 Comments

  1. Ooh – I have one of those (mine’s from Hong Kong and chants in ) and isn’t quite as pretty. I find it very relaxing, but my husband has threatened to throw it out of the window.

    Shining Path Buddhists (and other groups) use these chanting machines for general meditation, but especially at times of sickness and death. An elderly Chinese friend of mine died of cancer last year, and had a chanting machine running constantly for her last days – it was kept going alongside the body after she had died, apparently to help her spirit on its journey, and was also used at the cremation ceremony. I’m not a Buddhist, but I found the repetition very comforting (then again, I like Steve Reich) – other people in my family found it quite disturbing.

  2. Cool! The ambient/experimental group FM3 was inspired by these boxes to make their own version, the Buddha Machine, which was probably mentioned on BoingBoing when it came out. I have one — they’re quite nice. I like leaving it in different parts of the room on low volume.

  3. Ah, ya beat me to it, Dan. But isn’t FM3 just one dude, Tristan Perich, who works primarily in 4-bit audio? Or am I thinking of something different?

  4. The old ones weren’t as pretty, either. =1 I predict these will become the newest fashion trend on Rodeo Drive now, and all the classiest celebrities will carry them at Sundance this week,

  5. i’ve bought one of these from dealextreme. the fm3 boxes are much better (different things, i know). this device only seems to have enough memory onboard for a minute of sound, and each of the 5 “songs” is only a few seconds long, maybe a sentence or two of tibetan, looped continuously.

  6. I have one of the FM3 boxes from a couple years ago. Interesting project. Just a few days ago I got one of the chant boxes with the lighted animated display. After taking it apart to get the motor running, it works fine. Cheap as you might imagine, but pretty unusual all the same. With the volume turned down, and an AC adapter, it might make a small eye catching decoration for the living room.

  7. FM3 is actually two guys. i have their buddha machine, and a couple “real” ones, too. they are all quite fascinating. i wish i had one that chants in tibetan, and looked as nice as the one pictured, though. but i can’t spend $4 on such a thing right now. 🙁

  8. @Pekar:

    I did a show with an Indian-classically trained singer, Samita Sinha, a few months ago. She had one of those tabla boxes backstage to warm up with. They’re very cool.

  9. Um, the problem with this posting is that as of the date above, these have been out of stock and the folks at Deal Extreme said it’s unlikely they’ll ever get any more, so it’s pretty moot at this point.

    I think we still have 2-3 left at The Loop-O-Mat (http://loop-o-mat.com) but DealExtreme is a dead-end – so you get to read about it but can’t buy one. At least the guy who couldn’t afford the $4 needn’t feel bad now! 🙂

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