What is Boy George chanting on I’m A Celebrity and why does he do it?

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Boy George, 61, is currently in the middle of the Australian jungle as he competes on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!. The constant surveillance of the celebrities in camp has shown viewers a different side to the sensational singer in his unwavering spirituality.

The singer has fascinated I’m A Celebrity viewers with his Buddhist chanting, meditations and philosophies 

Throughout the season, even while in the midst of some Bushtucker Trials, George has returned to the repetition of a Japanese phrase. 

George chants: “Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō.”

This phrase translates to: “Devotion to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra.”

Modern practitioners use the chant to reduce suffering, remove negative karma and reduce karmic punishments they have incurred in their current and previous lifetimes. 

The chant forms part of the Nichiren Buddhism religion which was developed to simplify Buddhism in the 13th century. 

Practising Nichiren Buddhists often centre their daily routines around the chant, usually chanting in the morning and the evening, like George has done in the jungle. 

Buddhism can largely be personalised to the practitioner, and George has interpreted the chant as a mantra confirming his belief in cause and effect. 

While appearing on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2017, George explained the chant as: “I believe in the law of cause and effect.

“Everything I do makes a difference, how I treat others, how I treat myself and really importantly how I treat the planet.”

However, the iconic singer has clarified his outlook on life can rarely be placed into a single category and religion is no different, as he still maintains his Irish Catholic routes. 

Speaking to Encore in 2014, George said: “Buddhism is a way of life. It’s a philosophy. I’m also a Catholic. 

“I’m Catholic in my complications and Buddhist in my aspirations.”

In the same interview, the Karma Chameleon singer revealed that his spirituality wasn’t what made him turn away from alcohol and substances. 

He noted that “it’s hard to focus on spirituality in crisis” and added that it was getting clean that gave him the space to find Buddhism again. 

George has also reportedly learned Japanese in order to correctly pronounce his chants. 

Along with the chants, George has brought some yoga routines into the camp, teaching his campmates some face yoga moves as well as Lion’s Breath. 

The singer explained that this particular breathing technique works to energise and connect him, saying on the show: “The lion’s breath is all about stirring up energy. 

“You know, the naval, all about that – we’re connected by that to our mothers. There’s a whole thing.”

I’m A Celebrity continues on ITV at 9pm. 

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