Phase Two of Mental Japa

Phase Two of Mental Japa


Next, the mantra is experienced merely as a verbal thought. In the Himalayan tradition, the idea of japa is first to forget that the mantra is a word and to convert the word into a vibration.

The first thing one learns is to seal one’s lips, the second is to still one’s tongue while doing the japa. Third, one learns not to allow the mantra to enter other speech organs, such as the throat.

These are process of elimination. The mantra tends to come into the speech organs the moment you lose the state of relaxation and when other thoughts intervene. Even if that happens, let the verbal arise at whatever speed, at whatever frequency, early and naturally for the mind. At this point, do not pay attention to the breath. If the breath has been well trained prior to initiation, it will remain diaphragmatic, smooth and devoid of jerks or breaks. If it does not, your training is incomplete and you need to keep working at it. Occasionally, you may need to observe the breath flow to ensure that you are really concentrating.

The subtle shift in japa comes when you stop reciting the mantra. A mantra is not your thought, not something of your doing. A mantra is the manaso retaha, it is the guru-mind’s drop that has been planted in your mind. Through that mantra you are linked to the entire lineage, therefore the lineage will take care. So, after the first active verbal thought phase, let the mantra arise and simply observe its presence; let it be. If you keep using your will, doing japa, you will block the Divine will or guru-will working within you. So, let the mantra enter and be engaged in simply observing its presence. Awareness of the presence of mantra becomes the real japa.

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