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Mantra question

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by robinsos, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. robinsos

    robinsos Member

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    Hello,

    I have been using Life Flow for a month and a half now and have question regarding mantra use. It's kind of a silly question, but you know how obsessive people can get about this stuff... Anyway, should you say your mantra when exhaling, or exhaling and inhaling. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi there robinsos and welcome to the community :)

    Here's a piece from an older thread from a very wise and well respected member of the community (Ta-Tsu-Wa) which explains how to use your mantra:-

    "Passive mantra techniques, such as the one Michael teaches, do not require a rigid repetition of a mantra. A mantra is repeated, but in a different way than the active techniques. By way of analogy, in an active technique you are "saying" the mantra. In a passive technique it is more like "listening" for the mantra to repeat itself in your head. I've used this example before, but think of being somewhere out in nature, perhaps in a large box canyon or on the shore of a lake which is surrounded entirely by forest. You shout out, "Hellooooo.....!", and then you go silent and listen. You will hear your shout return to you in short order as an echo. And it will repeat again, and again, each time becoming more faint and indistinct.

    In Michael's technique you are focusing your attention on hearing that echo for as long as possible. In an active mantra technique you simply keep shouting the word "Hello" over and over. Do you see the difference?

    That is why Michael's instructions tell you that your mantra will fade sometimes, get louder sometimes, perhaps even disappear for a bit leaving you in silence. It does all these things because you are not actively shouting it, you're passively listening for it, so to speak. It does what it will and you are merely along to notice it as an observer.

    To be sure, it is possible you may occasionally get lost in thoughts and have to actively repeat your mantra a couple of times to clear out all those other thoughts. But having done that, you return back into listening mode and passively follow the mantra. You don't keep actively repeating it.

    Moments of silence are not times to try to get the mantra going again. Those moments, at the instant you first notice them, are the edges of the meditative state arising. Relax and allow yourself to slip into that state and remain there for as long as it chooses to remain. Should you suddenly discover that thoughts have intruded into this silence, it's often effective rather than immediately jumping to repeat your mantra, if you simply start listening intently to see if that mantra is still there somewhere, perhaps faintly repeating itself in the background and waiting for you to notice it again"

    Hope this is of help and I wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  3. robinsos

    robinsos Member

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    Thanks for the reply. That was very helpful and still a little confusing. The passive/active explanation really helped as I have been forcing an active mantra...the so hum mantra to be exact. From the explanation above, using the echo analogy, would you "say" the mantra and simply be aware of it repeating, or do you say it then hear it repeated like an echo? Sorry if that's confusing, but I'm confused...:)
     
  4. robinsos

    robinsos Member

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    I guess more specifically, what I'm asking is, is there a repetition, for example, with the echo analogy, you "shout" mantra and receive echo...echo.. echo, or mantra...mantra...mantra...., or is it mantra,mantra,mantra... , or is it mantra........mantra........mantra......? I guess it would matter how fast or occupied your mind is? And are you simply listening and not actively "saying" it?
    Thanks.
     
  5. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    I would say that at the start of the meditation you just repeat the mantra in your mind as if you are saying it two or three times, just to bring your focus to the mantra and take your focus away from other distractions, and then you let go of the focus and instead let the mantra be in your awareness, repeating as it chooses, as fast or as slow as it goes, as loudly or quietly as it is in that awareness. If we attach it to a physical sensation such as breathing we are in fact focusing on the breathing and keeping ourselves at the physical level of Being. Eventually the mantra will be let go by the awareness as the awareness becomes completely aware and that is the deep state of meditation, not attached to any one specific thing. Typically, we end up with a thought arising and we focus and attach to it, so the trick there is to recognise it's happened and use the mantra as a tool to bring ourselves away from that focus on the thought and back to the mantra and then back to awareness.

    It's ok to be aware of the breath, the thoughts etc. but deep meditation happens when we are simply aware of these things and not getting attached to any one thing, thus not identifying ourselves with that thing and excluding others.

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  6. robinsos

    robinsos Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. I think I'm getting the hang of it....had a nice effortless session this morning. :)
     
  7. robinsos

    robinsos Member

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    Is the technique taught by Michael the same as TM? It seems to be the same.
     
  8. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Yes, it's essentially the same technique as TM, just without all the ceremony and the cost. ;)

    Hugs
    Giles
     
  9. tykraus7

    tykraus7 Member

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    What do I do if I repeat my mantra a few times and then try to listen to it but I never hear it, only other thoughts? I feel like I never hear the mantra passively unless I actually think it in my head...Please help this is really frustrating.
     
  10. Panthau

    Panthau Member

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    Try to focus more on the mantra (instead of focusing on the other thoughts). When you´re shouting in the mountains, you´re actively focusing on the echo, because you want to hear it. You want to do it similar in your meditation.

    Hope that helps :)
     
  11. robinsos

    robinsos Member

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    tykraus7,

    I understand your frustration. With the echo analogy, the echo is something physically heard. It's hard to listen for mantra because in reality you still have to think it in order to hear it. Maybe it's something that will come with practice?
     
  12. bondzai

    bondzai Member

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    traditionally mantra is repeated on the inbreath and also on the outbreath. I find for me the outbreath is more important because that is when person normally talks and it is enough for me to just do the outbreath. Once on the inbreath and once on the outbreath or if thats too much, once on the outbreath.
     
  13. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Though that does depend on the tradition.
    In TM and similar teachings, it's not related to the breath at all, as the focus is not intended to be placed on the breath.
     
  14. bondzai

    bondzai Member

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    Yeah I learned in Siddha Yoga so we used the breath for meditation but not necessarily for Japa which could be while standing around etc... not as deep. Then of course there is 'chanting'. All of these are similar and use mantra but for meditation we were encouraged to use the breath.

    If you chant, then you have to breath out while you chant and it is basically chanting.
     
  15. RickiPaddon

    RickiPaddon Member

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    This has helped a bunch, thankyou. I was confused as well regarding mantra's and how to use them correctly.
     

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