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 Comments on "Repetition of the Mantra"
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yogani

USA
5198 Posts

Posted - Nov 23 2013 :  2:19:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi All:

Someone recently asked in email about returning to a "repetition of the mantra," versus just returning to "the mantra" during deep meditation. The latter is the more common instruction. The question was, "Why not advise practitioners to return to 'repetition' of the mantra?" Here is the response:
--------------------------------

Yes, it is repetition of the mantra. But the kind of repetition we use in deep meditation is a faint idea, an impulse, and in its finer states is not repetition at all in the conventional sense. It is just a very subtle vibration deep in the mind, and then ... transcendence...

Of course "repetition" is mentioned in the original instructions for deep meditation, and it is rarely mentioned after that. You'd be amazed how many questions I have received over the years on what "repetition" of the mantra is. The word itself immediately brings up questions about structure, timing, rhythm, etc, whereas, in fact, there is no set rhythm, as you recognize.

The whole point of deep meditation is moving beyond mental structure, and that is why the word "repetition" is rarely used, because to most it implies structure. All the practitioner needs to know is that meditation begins with repeating the mantra, and after that, it will go to less definition according to the unique factors in the person and the particular session. It is like that in easing back to the mantra as well -- it can be at any level of clarity or faintness in the mind. It is easy to find it once we let go of the need for structure, a place to be, or a rhythm to keep.

Analyzing the process can be inspiring and motivate more intention in practice. Any inspiration to practice is good, but increased intention during practice can be counterproductive. During practice, the last thing we want to be doing is looking for a "still point" between repetitions, a fixed rhythm, or whatever else the mind wants to do. That will make the process plural in the mind (the place where plural exists), instead of singular, which is going beyond the mind. So we just easily favor the mantra whenever we find we are off into anything else, including thinking about how we are going to manage the mantra.

Note: Even in samyama, which is about releasing intentions in stillness, we are not looking for a still point. We just let go in whatever stillness we have. External rhythm is minimal. The rhythm comes from within stillness as divine flow.

Yes, mantra is dynamic. It is for gently keeping the mind active without a set pattern or direction. Then the mind naturally goes wakefully into stillness, radiating, which is certainly not static. It is a natural ability of the mind we are utilizing.

There is no extra strategy we can devise to make the process of deep meditation work better. It works when the mind is gently focused on an object that provides a mental activity without a direction, 99% free of structural overlay (in time it becomes 99.99% free of structural overlay). That is what the mantra is. The word "repetition" introduces a structural imperative, one that has an unlimited number of interpretations, bringing up all sorts of questions. So we just say, "Easily favor the mantra," which covers all possibilities. It is whatever it is for the practitioner at a point in time. It will be something else later -- even less defined as we gradually find ourselves becoming the singularity of abiding inner silence, both inside and outside of deep meditation.

In time we each find the refinement in our own way. Ultimately it is the same way for all of us -- letting go of all analysis and mental strategies and just doing the simple process.

It is actually less focus on mental precision that makes deep meditation such an effective tool for transcending the mind.

Your question is not trivial at all. These are beautiful revelations you are having. Most of us have to understand in our own way before we can fully let go and know. Or maybe we come to know (transcend), and then develop the best intellectual understanding we can of our knowing, so we can explain it to ourselves and others. Either way is fine. Usually it is both happening at once as we pull ourselves up by our spiritual bootstraps, week by week, month by month, year by year...


And a follow-up on how meditation sessions may begin for long time practitioners:

For long time meditators, simply closing the eyes can automatically begin the mantra at a very refined level, where the practitioner already is in abiding inner silence. At that level, the mantra is not even intentional, though it can be made so if desired, like we would do when adding a mantra enhancement, etc. That is why I said emphasizing repetition can be counterproductive, certainly at refined levels of awareness, where the introduction of any structure will bring us back out into the mind. The concept/structure of repeating is lost in the refinement of the process of going beyond mind, though it can be made intentional if necessary. That's why repetition is not emphasized in the many follow-up discussions on deep meditation, where the practitioner could be anywhere along the scale of transcendence. We don't want to keep pulling them back out. Once the silent seed is planted, we'd prefer not to keep digging it up.

So, as time goes on, you will not have to deliberately repeat the mantra very much, and eventually not even once when you sit. Just close the eyes and it starts automatically deep inside, and gone to pure bliss consciousness. Until then, if coming to the mantra is a conscious repetition, that is perfectly fine. Just know that the whole process will refine over time, and we can let it. It is all about letting it happen in each session. That is how the procedure of deep meditation gradually cultivates permanent abiding inner silence.

The guru is in you



Bodhi Tree

2972 Posts

Posted - Nov 23 2013 :  2:42:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bodhi Tree's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Yogani, for this in-depth clarification. This beings new meaning to the paradox that "Less is more".
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chinmayo

Finland
67 Posts

Posted - Nov 23 2013 :  8:50:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you!

I was actually going to ask about this very same thing last night here on the forum, but decided to postpone it for a reason unknown. And here we got an answer anyway.
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jonesboy

USA
594 Posts

Posted - Nov 23 2013 :  9:30:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit jonesboy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:


Yes, it is repetition of the mantra. But the kind of repetition we use in deep meditation is a faint idea, an impulse, and in its finer states is not repetition at all in the conventional sense. It is just a very subtle vibration deep in the mind, and then ... transcendence...





I am a little slow sometimes. I didn't think to say "I AM" like I would do in Samyama.

Lol, almost one year of doing AYP and still learning how to do the very first lesson. Think "I AM".
It means things can only get better and things are already pretty good.

Thank you Yogani
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kami

USA
920 Posts

Posted - Nov 24 2013 :  08:00:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by jonesboy

quote:


Yes, it is repetition of the mantra. But the kind of repetition we use in deep meditation is a faint idea, an impulse, and in its finer states is not repetition at all in the conventional sense. It is just a very subtle vibration deep in the mind, and then ... transcendence...





I am a little slow sometimes. I didn't think to say "I AM" like I would do in Samyama.

Lol, almost one year of doing AYP and still learning how to do the very first lesson. Think "I AM".
It means things can only get better and things are already pretty good.

Thank you Yogani



Hi Jonesboy,

Actually, the process of DM is different than samyama. This has been discussed extensively in this thread: http://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic....s=Letting+go

In DM, we bring our attention back to the mantra again and again at more and more subtle levels, a very "inward" directed practice. Transcendence happens spontaneously when the single-pointed, refined mind becomes quiescent on its own.

In samyama, we touch the sutra and let it go into the silence (whatever level, as Yogani says above). It is more of an "outward" directed practice in that the attention is brought back to inner silence deliberately (gently), letting the sutra "drift away" from conscious awareness.

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BillinL.A.

USA
375 Posts

Posted - Nov 24 2013 :  09:27:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Kami for the link to that thread...huge help on the nuances of deep meditation.
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jonesboy

USA
594 Posts

Posted - Nov 24 2013 :  3:14:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit jonesboy's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by yogani
Yes, it is repetition of the mantra. But the kind of repetition we use in deep meditation is a faint idea, an impulse, and in its finer states is not repetition at all in the conventional sense. It is just a very subtle vibration deep in the mind, and then ... transcendence...

But we do not cease repetition of the mantra as it falls away -- no deliberate letting go in-between repetitions of the mantra. It is the repetition itself that becomes more and more refined, until it dissolves into a single stream of subtle vibration, and stillness. Then when we come out of that in thoughts or sensations, and recognize that we have, we easily begin the repetition again at whatever level of clarity or faint fuzziness we are at in the mind.


Thank you Kami for the link. I guess I should have been more clear in my post. I wasn't referring to the letting go like in Samyama but in being fuzzy with the thought. Compared to just being a fuzzy thought an impulse I may be yelling it so to speak in my mind when I start. I understand it doesn't matter how it starts, to just let it be and it will get fuzzier and fuzzier on it's own. The longer we have practiced the quicker it seems to happen and only by letting go of structure, worry and trying, can it happen. At least that is how I approach it.

But as Yogani says in the link you provided the brain likes to create mental strategies, to think.

quote:
Originally posted by yogani
There are an unlimited number of mental strategies that can be over-laid on the simple procedure of deep meditation. We'd all like to feel we are "managing" the process, so overlays that seem to do that are often greeted with enthusiasm. But the truth is that they are modifications to baseline practice, and may or may not add consistent results for a wide range of practitioners over time (see Lesson 384). Such variations may in fact encourage us to add additional mental strategies to "manage" the process of deep meditation when we judge it to not be going our way. Then, before we know it, we will not be meditating at all.


It is that which I take as needing to be let go off. To let go of expectations, structure or trying to control the session or the mantra. It helps me to think that I am surrendering all that to God. Each session I am provided with that which I need and all I need to do is let go to receive it.

So thank you for not letting me get caught up in trying to over think it again.


Edited by - jonesboy on Nov 24 2013 7:15:49 PM
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Bill R.

Canada
12 Posts

Posted - Nov 27 2013 :  2:49:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

I find myself carefully reading and re-reading Yogani's comments here, and appreciating them more each time. Very enlightening (so to speak!).
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Wil

Sweden
156 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2023 :  01:26:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
After 3 years of peaceful DM mediation, I found doubt in my procedure regarding that I don't seem to have used or even heard the mantra in months in my meditation routine behavior.

Reading this, specifically the last paragraph in Yogani's post brought me peace again! Amazing Yogani!
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Dogboy

USA
2228 Posts

Posted - Apr 26 2023 :  01:33:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
However the mantra presents, for me it simply a tether, so I can be not doing, or anything else.
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1548 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2023 :  06:41:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Wil

After 3 years of peaceful DM mediation, I found doubt in my procedure regarding that I don't seem to have used or even heard the mantra in months in my meditation routine behavior.

Reading this, specifically the last paragraph in Yogani's post brought me peace again! Amazing Yogani!



Dear Will,

Then, what are you experiencing during your sitting? Are you still awake and aware? if so, What are you aware of?


Sey
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Cato

Germany
235 Posts

Posted - May 05 2023 :  8:06:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I guess this discussion also includes long pauses in the mantra. Both "I AM/AYAM" and "I.......(long pause)......AM" are okay, right?
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1548 Posts

Posted - May 15 2023 :  07:42:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Cato,

The deliberate introduction of long pauses is not as per instructions. Should they be happening automatically, then fine, but once you notice, go back to "back-to-back" repetition and let the mantra refine from there. I believe Yogani is talking of something else entirely here. Hence my trying to clarify with Will if he is on the right track or has simply deviated from procedure.


warm regards,


Sey

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Wil

Sweden
156 Posts

Posted - May 15 2023 :  11:36:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:


Dear Will,

Then, what are you experiencing during your sitting? Are you still awake and aware? if so, What are you aware of?


Sey



...I missed out on responding. As I said in another tread, returning to the mantra is mostly automatic and I don't think much about it other than feeling but if you ask me I would just say that the mantra is there but that I'm in, let's say, a vacuum bowl that is made out of the subtle sound of it heh.

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Christi

United Kingdom
4410 Posts

Posted - May 15 2023 :  12:02:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Wil

After 3 years of peaceful DM mediation, I found doubt in my procedure regarding that I don't seem to have used or even heard the mantra in months in my meditation routine behavior.

Reading this, specifically the last paragraph in Yogani's post brought me peace again! Amazing Yogani!



As long as you are coming back to the mantra, whenever you realise you are off it, then you are doing the practice correctly. And that coming back to it could be at any level of refinement in the mind, if the mantra has refined on its own.


Christi
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Christi

United Kingdom
4410 Posts

Posted - May 15 2023 :  12:10:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Cato

I guess this discussion also includes long pauses in the mantra. Both "I AM/AYAM" and "I.......(long pause)......AM" are okay, right?



Hi Cato,

When you start meditating, start by repeating the mantra back-to-back and then let it go as it will. As it refines, you can let it refine and it will change as you go deeper into silence. If you notice you are off the mantra, then pick it up again by repeating it back-to-back, and again, let it go as it will.

So, as Say says, not picking it up with deliberate long pauses between repetitions, which would be more like samyama practice. How the mantra develops as it refines automatically, is however it develops.

See this topic on that:

https://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic...OPIC_ID=9738


Christi
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1548 Posts

Posted - May 16 2023 :  06:35:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:
Originally posted by Wil

quote:


Dear Will,

Then, what are you experiencing during your sitting? Are you still awake and aware? if so, What are you aware of?


Sey



...I missed out on responding. As I said in another tread, returning to the mantra is mostly automatic and I don't think much about it other than feeling but if you ask me I would just say that the mantra is there but that I'm in, let's say, a vacuum bowl that is made out of the subtle sound of it heh.






Sounds like you are doing fine.


Sey
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Cato

Germany
235 Posts

Posted - May 20 2023 :  05:58:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
quote:

If you notice you are off the mantra, then pick it up again by repeating it back-to-back, and again, let it go as it will.


So, these two are different. When being off the mantra and going back to it,
  • the structure starts anew, going back to back-to-back-repetition, whereas
  • the level of fuzziness is picked up where it has been left

Edited by - Cato on May 20 2023 08:39:51 AM
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Christi

United Kingdom
4410 Posts

Posted - May 20 2023 :  08:54:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Cato,

Yes, those two are different. But, the second one of those is not the full instructions. Just one possible option.

If you are off the mantra, and you notice that you are off the mantra, then pick it up again as a back-to-back repetition. So, not, repeating it and then releasing it into silence, repeating it again and releasing it into silence. That second one would be samyama practice and not Deep Meditation.

When it comes to the level of clarity, or fuzziness of the mantra, when you come back to it, you have a choice. You can come back to it at a level that is comfortable for you. So, that could be with a clear pronunciation, or at the faint and fuzzy level that it was at before you lost it.

See here on the back-to-back repetition:

https://www.aypsite.org/forum/topic...D=9738#83429

quote:
But we do not cease repetition of the mantra as it falls away -- no deliberate letting go in-between repetitions of the mantra. It is the repetition itself that becomes more and more refined, until it dissolves into a single stream of subtle vibration, and stillness. Then when we come out of that in thoughts or sensations, and recognize that we have, we easily begin the repetition again at whatever level of clarity or faint fuzziness we are at in the mind. This could happen only a few times in a sitting, or a hundred times, depending on the purification and opening that is occurring (it will vary from sitting to sitting -- and no meditation is better than another in this). This procedure systematically brings the entire mental process to rest in stillness (even if we are filled with thoughts during our meditation), and this is what cultivates abiding inner silence over time.


quote:
Yes, the mantra is repeated "back to back" when sitting, and the whole process is lost and easily picked up again as often as necessary. There is no forcing in it, once we get past the clunky (learning) stage. When we say "easily pick up the mantra," we mean easily pick up back to back repetition.


See here on having a choice over the level of fuzziness or clarity of the mantra, when coming back to it:

https://www.aypsite.org/13.html

quote:
Thinking the mantra does not have to be with clear pronunciation. I AM can be experienced at many levels in your mind and nervous system. When you come back to it, come back to a level that is comfortable, not straining for either a clear or fuzzy pronunciation.



Christi
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Cato

Germany
235 Posts

Posted - May 20 2023 :  10:02:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Much clearer now, thank you, Christi.
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