He didn't have much beliefs religion wise, but you could pass him as a pseudo-Buddhist/Taoist.
Are chants reserved only for the Sangha or can a lay person chant too? There is an associated 'water pouring' ceremony I've seen some Buddhist do, does that have any Sutta backing or is it a contemporary practice?
I would appreciate any advice on this matter.
I particularly like:
Yathā vārivahā pūrā
Evameva ito dinnaṃ
Icchitaṃ patthitaṃ tumhaṃ
Sabbe pūrentu saṅkappā
Cando paṇṇaraso yathā
Maṇi jotiraso yathā.
Mā te bhavatvantarāyo
Sukhī dīghāyuko bhava
Cattāro dhammā vaḍḍhanti
Āyu vaṇṇo sukhaṃ, balaṃ.
which translates to:
Just as rivers full of water
fill the ocean full,
Even so does that here given
benefit the dead (the hungry shades).
May whatever you wish or want quickly come to be,
May all your aspirations be fulfilled,
as the moon on the fifteenth (full moon) day,
or as a radiant, bright gem.
May all distresses be averted,
may every disease be destroyed,
May there be no dangers for you,
May you be happy & live long.
For one of respectful nature who
constantly honors the worthy,
Four qualities increase:
long life, beauty, happiness, strength.