OM HRIM SMRIM MAHASMRITI VICCE
good morning.... may this be a lovely day for you.... full of delight in what blossoms forth throughout your day... beautiful thoughts and insights... and lots of quiet space (in your mind even more than the space around you)
I would like to consider some of the "magic" of meditation and then a little more on mantra.
By “magic” I mean those things that take place seemingly without any clear rational link or understanding of how that happened. I have found that our meditation practice is full of that magic.
When we meditate things shift.
Certainly our mental perspective on everything is transformed, and though that might seem sensible, this, too, is quite magical. We do not need to be considering our "issues," or attempting to deal with something. And what we are "doing" as we meditate may very well be working to still the mind or keep it from thinking about a lot of things, bringing it to a one-pointed state. We may be repeating a mantra - not thinking about our stuff. We could be focused on the breath - not considering the whys or hows of things. We might be gazing at a candle flame or picture of a wise one - not looking for solutions to any of our struggles. But...
While we work to focus the mind on whatever we have chosen as our object of meditation, the state of our mind transforms. When we are finished with that sitting (if it is a seated mediation practice), our mental state has shifted. We view things with a more opened heart that is generous and compassionate toward others, the world and ourselves. Hope blossoms forth nurtured with faith. This changes how we move forward with our daily activities. Some of our problems actually just disappear - they may have never been there, just mental imaginings, or our world may have actually shifted to free us of those. The solutions to some of the problems become apparent and we are able to move forward to resolve that. Or, we may simply find that we now have the patience to allow things to work out without that unneeded anxiety that we too often embrace.
Throughout the day, after some deep meditative moments, you find that things are flowing. People appear in good ways. Things shift to make you late or early and it works perfectly. You find that something you've done or said has served the good for someone else or helped with some circumstance (you may discover this at the time or at a later time - maybe some other day).
The more steady you are with your practice, the more you find your life being shaped like this. Meditation does work magic.
Have you noticed this yourself?
Now, be careful. Do not approach your meditation to make these things happen. They are side-effects, good ones, but still not the main reason for you to meditate. In fact, if you approach you meditations trying to work the magic it will undermine your practice. Just like those times when you have a deep, rich mediation experience and then "try" for that again next time.
It is certainly ok to appreciate this, and accept that this is part of what meditation is, but meditate to quiet the mind and let it reflect the fullness of your Self, the Truth. If you have different motives you run the risk of missing the main thing, undermining your practice and even mis-shaping things in your life. As long as you are aiming for full Self-realization, everything else with naturally blossom forth, and be a lot of fun, too.
Mantra. A recent little tale...
We just held a yoga retreat at Mount Eden, Friday through Sunday, July 12-14. It was lovely. One of the participants shared this comment after a yoga class. "When we were chanting that mantra at the end of the class to go into the meditation, my mind just stopped all of its chatter. That almost never happens for me, but it did while we were chanting the mantra."
We told her that she had just given the exact meaning of the Sanskrit word "mantra." It means" to take away the mind," the manas, that part of our mind that is cogitating and relating and planning. So it worked for her.
Patanjali gives us three things necessary for us to become established in our practices. He says we need to do it for (1) a long time, (2) consistently without a break in our practice and (3) with all earnestness.
Doing something earnestly, sometimes translated as “with enthusiasm,” means that we do not let it become a shallow surface repetition, but give it our attention and care about what we are doing. Sometimes we can repeat a mantra without any feeling or attention, just have the sounds repeating. That's not the way to do it. Give it your attention. Feel the vibration of it. and do it with feeling - put your heart into it. When you do it this way, it works. The mind quiets. The inner light is uncovered and lights you in every way. Mantra has so much for us. Again... there is a lot of magic in mantra.
Repeat your mantra... in all earnestness, without break, and keep at it. Meditate everyday.