Basic "Non-Expectation" Meditation
Week 3 Mantra, or 'Prayer of the heart'. Walking meditation.
The obstacles of aversion, attachment, denial, habitual
tendencies, feeling stuck, scaring ourselves.
Mantra, or a "Prayer of the Heart"
In some traditions, the student is given a specific incantation of Mantra
(or sacred syllable) when they are initiated by an
enlightened Guru. Be aware that some people hold the concept
far more dearly than do others.
In its original sense, a "Mantra" is a composed verse in the Sanskrit
Language, mostly in two lines with specific information for invocation
of divine powers, Mantra is defined as a 'Man tarati san Mantrah'
"which uplifts and protects one is the Sacred Syllable". In an other
sense, it is a combination of letters and sounds, or an arrangement
of words with specific spiritual potentialities. These potentialities unfold
themselves in the physical body as a result of awakening the power centers
in the body because of the sound waves released by the repetition of the
letters of the Mantra. The real power of Mantra lies hidden, and is in
the form of syllables which is awakened by uttering the Mantra repeatedly.
Neither of these is specifically the sense in which we will be examining
A mantra is a phrase, sentence or paragraph that you repeat, either
vocally or in your mind, to serve as a focus for your editiation. When
using a Mantra, it is helpful to coordinate the syllables with your breathing.
It is not necessary for a mantra to have any particular meaning to serve
as a focus, but you may find it more effective to find a passage that is
meaningful or soothing to you, one that reassures and calms you; or that
has the added power of ritual and tradition of having been used for centuries
by countless of others who have preceeded you. Some will use a quotation
from a famous person whom they respect. Others choose a favorite religious
passage. It doesn't matter what phrase you choose. As you say your mantra
over to yourself, it becomes like a favorite old pair of pants, soothing
It is best to select one mantra, perhaps after some experimentation,
and to stick with it. Traditionally, mantras using Divine Names are very
powerful. The use of beads or a knotted cord, along with a mantra, gives
you the added benefit of occupying your hands.
Take your time when you set out to choose a mantra for yourself.
After you have chosen one, say it to yourself during times of calm and
relaxation. If you do relaxation exercises, remember to repeat your mantra
a few times when most relaxed. This will help your body to associate serenity
with the sound of the mantra in your mind. It becomes a cue for your body
to relax whenever you think it over in your mind.
There are many reasons why a mantra is a useful aid. It is very portable.
A mantra is always with you. You will never forget it at home. When you
find yourself caught up in the business of the day, your mantra reminds
you of the calmness and serenity that occur during quiet times of relaxation.
During times of stress or anxiety, a mantra provides a focus for your
inner attention. Many find that they can ride out fear, panic, anxiety
and other disturbing emotional states by repeating their mantra over continuously
in their mind. It helps you maintain your presence of mind. This reassures
you that there is a part of you that is not overwhelmed by emotion. You
and your mantra sit in the center of the panic, like the calm eye in the
center of a cyclone, an anchor to hold to in a storm. This will enhance
your ability to tolerate stressful times.
Some Mantras that have been used:
Meaning: (Sanskrit) Aum is the basic mantra of all Sanskrit mantras.
It refers to A(jagrat), U(swapna), and M(sushupti). The three regions refer
to the three planes of existence, physical, astral and casual. A trancendental
sound used in the beginning of every Vedic hymn. The silence which follows
each utterance of Aum suggests the state of Absolute being, or Brahman,
which is the source and end of everything. Used as an orison, the
Om purportedly decreases one's material desires.
Om mani peme hung/Aum mani padme hum. Meaning: "O, The Jewel
in the Lotus."
Om namo bhagavate Vasudeva Meaning: "I pay my respects to
the supreme truth (God/oversoul/supersoul/superconsciousness)."
Om tat sat Meaning: "Absolute, eternal, truth."
Govinda jaya jaya Gopala jaya Jaya Meaning: "I offer praise
to Govinda Gopala, the embodiment of truth giving pleasure and protection
to all living beings."
Jaya Radha Madhava Kunjabirari Meaning: "Glorification of
the Supreme Loving Reciprocation of spritual Oneness in Diversity."
Jiv jago, jiv jago Meaning: "Wake up sleeping souls. Wake
up sleeping souls."
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare
Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare Meaning: O Lord, O supreme truth I want
to know you. I want to be with you.
Jaya Radha Shyama. Jaya Radhe Meaning: A plea to the Lord
and the feminine energy of the Lord.
Rama, Rama, Rama Meaning: When pitched properly, this mantra
is useful in erecting protective shields.
Eng, Em, Enga, Ema, Aing, Aim, Ainga, Aima (essentially the
same bija mantra) Aim Aim Aim
Meaning: (TM) The name of Saraswati, Devi of learning, music, speech,
the fine arts
Shiring, Shirim Shreem S'rim S'rim
Meaning: (TM) The name of Mahalakshmi or Lakshmi, Devi of wealth
Hiring, Hirim, Hreem Hrim Hrim
Meaning: (TM) The name of Bhuvanesvari, Mahamaya
Kiring, Kirim Kreem Krim Krim
Meaning: (TM) The name of Devi Kalika
Meaning: (TM) The name of Shiva
Ram, Shriram (Ram plus Shri)
Ram Ram Meaning: (TM) The name of Agni, Deva of Fire
The "Jesus Prayer" Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us
"Ave Maria"/Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the
Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
A Wiccan or Pagan "Hail Mary"
Hail Goddess, grant me the vision to see beyond the illusions of this world
grant me the ears to hear beyond the words to the true meaning
and grant me a voice in which I can speak truth and compassion in your
name. So Mote it be.
Who art in Heaven; hallowed be Thy name
Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and
forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, Forever and ever.]
Meaning: (Greek) "Lord, be favorable"/"Lord be Merciful"
Bene Gesseret Fear Rite (from Dune)
I will not fear.
Fear is the mind killer.
Fear is the little death that brings total oblitheration.
I will face my fear.
I will allow my fear to pass over me and through me.
When it has passed, I will turn my Inner Eye to see its path,
Where it has passed there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
A single word such as "Peace", "Love", "Holy", "One"
Walk slowly and mindfully (aware of every aspect of what you are
doing) from one end of the room to the next. Pause briefly,
facing the wall. Turn around mindfully, and repeat. The focus of the
meditation is with the movement itself. Placing the concentration in the
soles of the feet often helps. Give your full attention to the actual walking.
This is an excellent way of breaking up long sittings without losing mindfullness.
Some like to coordinate this walking with their breathing, while others
find it needlessly complicated. Follow the proceedure for non-expectation
meditation in working skillfully with thoughts.
Working with obstacles is part of the package regarding any spiritual practice.
The obstacles of Aversion, Attachment, Habitual Tendancies, Feeling Stuck,
and Feeling Fearful usually arise out of our desires for results -- desires
that are normal human desires and laziness, but which have been reinforced
by our culture's teaching us that the answer CAN be found in the resolution
of every half-hour sitcom. We want to avoid work, avoid unpleasant truths,
avoid pain. We are attached to those things that feed our egos, and the
lies we tell ourselves every day. We have bad habits, many of which are
rooted in our egos and images we create of ourselves. The remedy to all
of this is simply to relinquish our goals.
The "Catch-22" of enlightenment in any form is that if you want it,
you'll never reach it. But unless you work for it, you'll never reach it
either. The "Zen" traditions call Meditation the Goal-less goal -- a paradox
worth pondering deeply.
Aversions and attachments arise from our insistance on cultivating judgment.
Habit reliably yields to discipline, and the consistant discipline of meditation
will eventually loosen the most tenacious habitual behavior, like running
water eroding stone.
Fear is the perhaps the greatest challenge to us, and many people avoid
meditating because it soon becomes clear that it will give us a better
view of our interior depths, and many people are afraid of what they will
The only way to overcome that fear is to face down that which
frightens you (and is the real essence of the Law of Dominance and Submission).
However, you can not do it all at once. You must learn Compassion -- compassion
most of all for yourself. Give yourself permission to move slowly. Affirm
the nature of your own internal wisdom. Do not push beyond your own deepest
consent (since if you do, you can do yourself more harm than good, in the
long run). Cultivate your courage and humor and remember that "you will
know the truth, and the truth will set you free." The reality of
Liberation, of dominating the fear and learning to set it aside, is often
the most effective antidote to a fearful mind's state.