A monk from Thailand taught me this chant. We are recommended to chant it the number of times equal to your current age plus one.
For example, if you are 35 years old then you chant 36 times. This is a recommendation. You can chant as many time as you want or even just once. You may also repeat this mentally throughout the day.
This is a Katha by Ajaan Lee and it goes like this:
Arahang Buddho Itipiso Bhagava Namamihang
Mental image of a happy village with happy people going about their chores and kids playing.
A tune that came to mind while doing reflection and confession.
(Learn more about Ajaan Lee – His autobiography in pdf)
The chanting of Buddhist Katha or other Buddhist mantra is meant to benefit oneself without harming others. For some practitioner with a bigger heart, chanting is also with a motivation to benefit others either directly or indirectly.
However, chanting practice is not to be mistaken as trying to gain favour with Buddha or God or Goddess. For example, thinking that one’s wishes will come true if one chant a million times is not Buddhistic.
Buddhism teaches us to be responsible for ourselves and discourages us from superstitiously praying for something.
There are great benefit from listening or chanting Buddhist Katha or mantra because the Buddhist motivation is to use these Katha or mantra as a tool to gain concentration.
Concentrated mind or focused mind is essential to obtain wisdom. This is done through inward observation of one’s mind after a focused mind is developed.
In summary, chanting is a tool. This tool is meant to help us obtain a focused mind. We need a focused mind to penetrate reality by inward observation of our being.
Do not develop attachment to these tools. You can chant anything but they are just like crutches. Once you can walk or run, you don’t need them anymore. (teachings by many realised Buddhist masters – DO NOT MISTAKE THE FINGER POINTING AT THE MOON TO BE THE MOON)
A focused mind also help us with our daily affairs. We become better at doing the things we are doing.
Since Sakyamuni Buddha’s time up till the present, there have been various written record that a true Buddhist practitioner gains the favour of beings from the upper realm of existence automatically, (angels, gods and goddesses). Obstacles in life are being removed through the help of such beings. So a practitioner is encouraged to live contently and focus on their practices.
Things will work out right ultimately. This is to emphasize the need to practice without expectation.
(My master taught) Once you practice with a selfish intent or with craving in the mind, the practice will not be of good quality.