The suttas were transmitted orally for the first 500 years after the Blessed One’s passing away. As such, they are ideally suited to be read aloud. Reading aloud can strengthen your sutta practice in several ways::
- It helps to focus the mind.
- It can dispel drowsiness.
- It engages both your voice and your ears.
- It forces you to process every word.
- You will naturally read more slowly.
- You are likely to remember the text better throughout the day.
- You may notice new things in the text.
- You will examine the meaning more deeply so you can properly inflect your voice.
- You will find that it makes the time for silent reflection more prominent.
These benefits come even by just reading at a whisper. This may be necessary if you are practicing early in the morning or late at night and there are others close by.
Of course, if you are practicing with a group, reading out loud gives you the best opportunity for giving the greatest gift of the Dhamma to others.
You may even enjoy reading out loud so much that you decide to volunteer for a project like Audio Tipitaka and record your readings so others can enjoy them.