I have never been a big meditator. There that is my confession. I know that to be a “good” spiritual aspirant (let alone guide/teacher) I am supposed to be meditating on mountain tops for endless hours having amazing breakthroughs as I quiet the rowdy voices in my head. Well it didn’t go down that way for me…thank goodness there is more than one way to skin a cat, and more than one avenue to self realization.
Part of the problem for me was the idea that the mind would disappear if I could just get it clean enough. I did pretty well with that, diligently hunting down all my beliefs and reactions. No regrets there is a great deal of self awareness born from hunting the mind. When I would meditate I had good experiences but for me being in the world and reflecting on my experiences there always provided more of a punch spiritually. An angel (in human form) once told me that I was destined to transform through form instead of retreating into spiritual sanctuaries. So when a lot of my friends went to live on ashrams in India, I never felt that I was missing out on anything. I always knew that life wasn’t for me. I’m a city girl with a western sensibility and my message is definitely for the western mind.
Being in retreat at an ashram can be a very intense confrontation with the self. Spiritual questing is at times challenging and difficult no matter if it’s done on a mountain top or in the city. But most of us are not going to depart from our lives to find our spiritual path and we don’t have to. In the Foundations of Feeling series I write about using the reflection we project into the world as a Mirror to pierce the illusions that keep us trapped in our belief system and how to Free the Emotional Body by surfing the natural waves of sensation that occur at any given moment.
Working with myself in this way led me to see what the scientists and sages talk about, everything is light. Everything is energy. Every word you know, every thought floating in your mind is a filament of light that you are capable of perceiving. I cover this in more depth in the series article Rays of Light. From this very neutral point of view, it matters not if you have thoughts going through your mind. Recognizing they are not truth and not you is the key to transformation and freedom for the emotional body.
I am making an argument for meditation on a daily basis, which surprises me but I am now a fan. Now that I gave up a war of control with the mind and see it for what it is, an array of lights being perceived, I began to crave being in meditation more and more often. Looking back at certain processes and periods of time where I used mantras to meditate, I can see a direct correlation with huge seismic shifts in my consciousness. Unlike gratitude lists or daily positive affirmations, mantras serve as a new channels being introduced to your system of energy.
Imagine you are a universe of light, and you have a system of channels that light passes through. Language and emotion are pouring through these channels and you have a certain balance of energies that you are used to floating in. There is a lot of repetition that creates emotional and thought habits. We all know how difficult it can be to break a long standing personal pattern. Introducing a new channel can infuse the system with new light that mixes with the original channels and transforms them without you trying. So rather than trying to combat the negative belief patterns you hold by arguing with them via affirmations to hopefully overpower the negativity, focus instead on bringing in new channels.
Mantras have meaning and are in languages that have been in existence much longer than western languages such as English. Imagine the power of the words we use, think of a word that provokes a response in you? Love, hate, fear. The power of these ancient mantras exists in part because they have been fostered by the recitation of millions of souls over the millennia. I suggest capitalizing on that and using mantras as a superhighway to transformation. Any mantra that attracts you is a great start.
I enjoy the Gayatri Mantra, it spoke to me deeply on my first trip to India in the early 90’s. I felt such joy hearing it and had no idea of its meaning. I later learned it is a universal prayer for enlightenment and has been chanted for over 3000 years. That is a lot of accumulated mojo to tap into! Have fun with it. Google mantras and find one that holds a meaning that speaks to you and go for it. Ten minutes a day or more if you enjoy it, can bring about a beautiful sea change in your perception. Create the space to silently or out loud repeat the mantra for one mala (108 repetitions) a day for at least 108 days. Then see what happens. Make a dream board of the things you would like to see shift in your life, tuck it away and practice your mantra.
Many things will begin to move just because you have introduced a new light into your universe. Just as the color of paint changes when you add white to a dark color, your perceptions and experience will shift with the influence of a beautiful ancient channel. If you observe the mind and have no expectations for it to disappear, there is nothing more for you to do. Its waiting for you!
Copyright © 2017 Catherine Chase. All Rights Reserved.