Saturday, 8 February 2014

How We Can Use Mantra to Awaken Awareness

An extract from "Mantra Yoga and Ashram Chants" by Swami Nischalananda

Begin chanting the mantra Om. Your attention is on the sound.
You are absorbed in the vibration, perhaps feeling relaxed or even quite blissful.
Then imagine or feel that there is space inside your head. This is known as the chidakasha (inner space) or mental space, where thoughts, feelings and dreams arise. This inner space is a fact of our existence; to deny it would be to deny our thoughts and feelings. But to bring this inner realm to our attention we have initially to imagine it.
Swamiji teaching on the symbolism of OM
Allow the mantra Om to resonate within this space. Besides the vibration of Om, all kinds of thoughts, feelings and emotions may be arising there. Allow everything to happen, to arise, without any suppression or denial.
The mantra is not us - we are creating the sound pattern known as Om. The thoughts, feelings and visions are not us either - they are expressions of something deeper. Beyond it all there is something that is observing all these things - this ‘something’ we call Awareness, pure Consciousness, the Reality of what we are.
The aim of Yoga practice, including Mantra Yoga, is to establish contact with this Reality. Mantra helps us to do this by gradually over-riding the distractions of the mind - the anxieties, obsessive thoughts and emotions. The vibrations of the mantra create spaciousness in which the constant chatter of the mind evaporates, bringing clarity. In this spaciousness we are more able to relax into a deeper level of our Being. In this state, Awareness can arise, and in time we begin to re-identify ourselves with That. It becomes a constant reminder of our Deeper Nature.

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