The Three Insights
Mantra meditation provides three crucial insights into the moment-to-moment condition of being human. These insights, which occur in the form of direct experience, profoundly shift the way you exist.
- Connecting with Emptiness
When the feeling and strength of your mantra overcomes the feelings and emotions you are experiencing, you begin to develop an understanding that all phenomenon are inherently empty of quality. This means to say that the qualities you experience in people and things are qualities that you yourself have added to them. And when you stop adding, they stop bubbling up.
Mantra meditation wipes the slate of experience clean by painting it all over and then burning up. It drowns everything out and then consumes itself, leaving a feeling of peace and spaciousness.
Through mantra meditation, you will begin to hear the roar of emptiness.
- Connecting with the Present Moment
Most people spend their time avoiding the present moment. There is nothing people detest more on a daily basis than being forced to wait for anything. They don’t realize that all they ever do is wait. They find ways of distracting themselves by being on the phone, listening to music, or reading a book. People will do anything to avoid spending time with themselves in silence.
Using a mantra brings you into the present moment without any sort of motive behind it. You are simply resting where reality is: here.
- Connecting with Impermanence
When you can be confident that your mantra practice will bring you peace at any moment, you begin to understand that all moments are fleeting. Nothing will stay the same. From the laziness and depression in the morning to the relaxation and elation in the evening, human experience is largely cyclical.
This has the effect of creating patience. You don’t try to force time this way or that, trying to go backwards or forwards because you come to know that it simply keeps flowing. You stop trying to clutch at the passing parts of life and instead just float using your mantra.
Returning to your mantra during every change in emotion is a powerful reminder to turn your sense of Being from the temporary to the permanent. Your mantra can lead you to the permanent by itself becoming Permanence.
Mantra meditation progresses in three general stages.
- The first stage is that of identification with the speaker. The root of much suffering is identification with the mind and its thoughts. Therefore it is natural that we identify with the voice that is repeating the mantra when we first start doing mantra meditation. This voice effectively drowns out all other thoughts and desires, bringing you into single-pointedness.
- The second stage is that of identification with the listener. Although you are repeating the mantra, you are listening to it more than you are focusing on saying it. The mantra becomes like a song that is stuck in your head. At this point it is natural to become relaxed and easy-going in most situations.
- Finally the third stage is when no identification with the mantra takes place. It settles in the center of your existence and continuous spontaneously.
Mantra is a transformative skillful means to settle your restlessness and create space for grace to exude from Life. It is both a functional sitting meditation and spontaneous meditation. Perfectly suited for living in the world, it is an integral practice for any spiritualist to experiment with and commit to.
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