This week in class we are considering mastering the thinking process through a Mantram and Dharana.
The mantram becomes one's staff of life, and carries one through every ordeal. It is no empty repetition. For each repetition has a new meaning, carrying you nearer and nearer to God.
- Mahatma Gandhi
The mantram, in some traditions called a prayer word, is the living symbol of the profoundest ideal that the human being can conceive of, the highest that we can respond to and love. When we repeat the mantram in our mind, we are reminding ourselves of the Supreme Reality enshrined in our hearts. The more we repeat the mantram, the deeper it sinks into our consciousness. As it begins to connect with this Reality, it strengthens our will, heals old sources of conflict and turmoil, and gives us access to deeper sources of strength, patience, and love.
In every religious tradition we find hallowed prayer words and mantrams. In the Christian tradition, the name of Jesus is precious; in India we have the name of Rama; in Buddhism Om mani padme hum is an ancient mantram.
The mantram or prayer word can be repeated in the mind at any time, anywhere. But to meditate we must sit in a quiet place and concentrate on a memorized inspirational passage.
Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran
The homework is to discover for yourself what word or phrase you can use to slow the mind down when it begins to race. Look to your traditions and values and choose something that really means something to you. Use this mantram whenever you need a tool to slow things down and regain your focused attention. This is another way of practicing Dharana, the sixth limb of Yoga, which means one-pointed concentration.
Rushing Water Yoga
Serving Yoga to Camas, Washougal, and
since 2003 Vancouver Washington