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Monday, January 3, 2011

A Mantra for Tough Times

When you give voice to the truth within you, the angels also sing.
Lama Surya Das
Being Southern Baptist and baptized twice as a child, becoming agnostic as a young adult, returning to Christianity in mid-life as an Episcopalian and then as a Methodist while processing through formal discernment about becoming a traditional Christian minister led me to abandon all of the above and seek an alternative spirituality.
Engaging in the study of the Human Energy Field, becoming a Licensed Massage Therapist, and integrating that body of knowledge into my work as an artist-educator is my ordination.  Helping myself, the planet, and others heal is my ministry.

I don’t know about you, but walking the human path of ordinary days is challenging enough for me.  Between birth and death, I will walk many roads, each with its own landscape.  But in these economically, environmentally, and politically tough times it is easy for me to be convinced that remaining centered, not allowing apparent pitfalls and distractions to rob me of a fearless life full of joy and contentment is impossible.

"What do you mean 'apparent pitfalls and distractions?'  My problems aren’t apparent.  The problems of the earth aren’t apparent.  They’re real," you say.

That’s just my point.  Yes, the experiences we have are real.  We are having them.  Incomes fluctuate or disappear, bodies become ill, accidents happen.  But beyond all that, beyond the noise of those experiences and the passionate responses we allow them to evoke in us, is another reality.  The Reality.
That is “the truth within” of which Lama Surya Das speaks.

The Truth is that we are not merely our physical bodies.  We are much more and the influence we have as beings on the planet reaches far beyond our bodies.  Our thoughts have power.  What we focus upon changes the apparent reality we eventually experience.  Whatever I am thinking about strongly becomes my meditation and therefore my prayer because it sets up a certain vibration within me to which other like vibrations are attracted.

In other words, if I walk around all day harboring anger, I am producing in a real-time, physiological way, negative vibrations in my body, in the physical space around me (my auric field), and on and on into the atmosphere in the same way a light beam never stops.  It is simply not enough then to make a supplication to God to bless the one at whom I am angry.  If I vibrate angry (let myself hold onto the energy that is angry), I emit and attract angry or some other negative vibration of the same quality.
The only way any God can help change that vibration is for me to summon, focus upon, and then resonate “the truth within” which is of the Highest Vibration, BECAUSE I have free will.  If I want to hold on to the energy of anger, Great Spirit will not interfere.  But if I desire to release and move the energy to a higher vibrational level, Great Spirit Moves to help make this happen.  This allows the Highest Vibration (which is God) to change me from the inside out, remembering for me, through me who I Truly Am.

It is a quantum shift. The problem didn’t arise from the apparent level, so it’s no use me trying to “solve” it from the apparent level.  I have to choose to enter the non-physical dimension and trust the mystery of its workings.  Using a mantra is one way to do this.

A mantra is to meditation as the gadget is to a web page: an easy way to get where you want to go in order to achieve a task.  These sacred words of extreme power have been used for millennia to shift energies for the Highest Good in the individual practitioner and in the atmosphere.  It is not necessary to focus on the literal translation of the words.  In fact, it is not advisable, as the purpose is to lift the mind-body-spirit out of the literal world.
So, the next time you find yourself clogged, befuddled, tense, or simply undone try this:
Wherever you are simply begin by intentionally turning your mind away from thinking about “the problem,” and begin to sing or chant the following mantra:  Om Mani Pedmé Hung.  Om Mani Pedmé Hung.  Om Mani Pedmé Hung.

It is a Tibetan mantra, the divine mantra of unconditional love and compassion.  The words literally mean “the jewel in the lotus.”  Make up your own tune or say it in a rhythmic, patterned way.  Try doing this for as many minutes in a row as you can manage.  Even one minute of chanting can make amazing, palpable shifts in your perception of and experience of your world.

Awakening the Buddha Within Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World
Lama Surya Das, Broadway Books, New York, 1998.

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