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 Discussions on AYP Deep Meditation and Samyama
 Mantra use
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11 Posts

Posted - Mar 19 2019 :  12:29:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
Hi All-

It's been a pretty amazing six months working on my daily practice. I still have some difficulty incorporating an afternoon set, but it is coming slowly. The website and forum have been incredibly helpful and for that I am grateful.

One question about mantra use - what are the thoughts on using a mantra during non DM part of the practice - specifically during spinal breathing. It has occurred to me that it may be a bad habit that has carried over that I need to lose. I'd be curious if people have thoughts about whether repeating a mantra, in my case "So Hum", detracts/distracts from the visualization technique of the spinal breath practice or does it enhance it?

Thanks for the input.


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Posted - Mar 19 2019 :  9:20:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The spinal breathing part does not ask us to use a mantra. The DM part shows that a mantra can be rather powerful. In spinal breathing we are asked to put our concentration into the drawing up and drawing down of prana from the root to ajni, and letting breath be driven by that action. In DM we are controlling the gentle maintenance of the mantra.

I don't think I could maintain focus on both of these rhythms at the same time. I think that's why they are separate techniques. Now, sometimes while in a rhythmic repetition of circulating prana, I "hear" the mantra making itself known. But I do not change from managing prana to managing the mantra in those cases.

I would keep them separate, but do not expect to have perfect control.

In DM, when our focus diverges from the mantra, we allow that thought to run its course until we are aware of it. Then we gently return to the mantra. I propose that similarly in SB, when our focus diverges from tha smooth and rhythnic repetition of rising and falling prana, we allow that divergence to run its course until we become aware of it. Then, gently return to the pranayama flow.
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Posted - Mar 20 2019 :  06:25:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
If your DM and SB are stabile, rather than adding a mantra to SB, you could consider the add-ons that amplify the effects of the pranayama practice: sambhavi mudra, siddhasana, mulabandha, uddiyana bandha, jalandhara bandha, ujjayi breath, kechari mudra. Introduce them one at a time, allowing at least a month between adding new practices so they have time to stabilize and integrate with the rest of the SB. All these practices done together will create a fertile space for your DM.

If you choose to experiment with another mantra during SB, this will be your decision. However, doing a mantra during pranayama is a practice very different than DM. Your nervous system will get used with doing a mantra during SB, so it seems logical that SB might come up during DM. This could interfere with the simple practice of DM, and the process of transcendence that happens naturally during DM.

Best wishes on your chosen path!
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Posted - Mar 22 2019 :  10:11:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for your replies and the food for thought.

Blanche, to your point, I have recently added siddhasana to my SB. I can do the 10 minutes of SB, but pretty soon into DM my foot falls asleep. Is this normal? Should I switch out of siddhasana when that occurs or meditate through?
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623 Posts

Posted - Mar 22 2019 :  11:51:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Blanche's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, if siddhasana is not comfortable, come out of it before you start to meditate.

There are a number of options in regard to the foot problem: You could try to switch heels every time one foot falls asleep, add more padding under the foot to see if it makes a difference, and lean a little toward your back to take some of the pressure off the heel. You will be ready to sit in siddhasana during the meditation when the posture is completely comfortable and does not distract in any way from the practice. Until then, keep practicing and adjusting your siddhasana as needed during the spinal breathing practice.

Best wishes!
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