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A Good Mantra Is Like Good Sex
Teresa: Ram, It’s been roughly a year since we last spoke briefly, so you possibly don’t remember me. I haven’t been as diligent as I would’ve liked with my studies but I’m still going strong. Vedanta is with me every day as things become more clear.
I’m not sure if my request is valid, but here goes. I’ve recently taken to mantra meditation. My interest in mantra meditation has mostly been driven by the discipline aspect and the quietude it brings me, not in attaining any sort of miraculous pay-off such as abundance, love, etc… I’m wondering if perhaps you may have a mantra for me that I can work with.
I’m not completely certain on what type, only that I keep remembering a quote from Saint John of the Cross that goes, “In tribulation, immediately draw near to God with confidence, and you will receive strength, enlightenment and instruction.” I suppose that’s what I’m craving. A mantra to assist in gaining an openess wherein instruction, clarity and knowledge can seat itself.
I would sincerely appreciate your direct honesty on this even if it proves that my request is absolutely absurd.
~ Much love, Teresa
Ram: Hi, Teresa. Yes, I remember you well. It is nice to hear from you. Arizona, wasn’t it? Near Mexico. I am happy that the Vedanta is working for you.
About mantra: if the mantra you are using is providing peace and discipline, it is good. But you are probably writing because it is losing its power. This is a problem that is inherent in most mantras. They are like a pill that works at first and then loses its effectiveness over time. If the mantra was providing a lot of joy, you would not have to use it to discipline your mind. The mind would become disciplined automatically. A proper mantra is like sex – no discipline required – you go through the motions without thinking about it, because you are enjoying.
The mantras that Vedanta recommends are not meant to be chanted rhythmically over and over. You are meant to contemplate the meaning. Contemplation is thinking about and inquiring into the words until you unlock the meaning. All the mantras reveal the same thing: your nature as limitless awareness. The inquiries in my book are all complex mantras. They just are not in the original Sanskrit and there is an explanation to aid your contemplation.
You say you are craving a mantra to “assist in gaining an openess wherein instruction, clarity and knowledge can seat itself.” That’s good, but why will a mantra do that? Generally, you go to someone who knows for instruction, clarity and self-knowledge.
Here is a mantra: aham brahmasmi. It means “I am limitless.” So what does that mean? To divine the meaning you need teaching. Once it is clear what it means then you can contemplate it until you realize it.
If you would like to tell me what is bothering you, maybe I can help you with it.
~ Love, Ram