MANTRA

A Mantra is a special formula, a word or group of words possessed of great power. It represents a name or aspect of God, and was supposedly revealed to a sage in India after long periods of austerity and meditative discipline. Their family teachers have initiated most high-caste Indians into their Mantras; some use them for meditation, some for constant repetition to encourage devotion and others for near-magical powers.

Buddhists, who do not believe in an overall God, also have their Mantras, which they call Dharani. The Om Mani Padme Hum of Tibet, the Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha of India, and the Namu Amida Butsu and Namu Myoho Renge Kyo of Japan do not have the theistic background of Hindu Mantras, but the purpose is the same. Remembrance of God, or remembrance of great teacher Buddha, both cultivate faith and devotion in the hearts of adherents.

In India, a Mantra is generally conferred by a teacher through initiation, at a ceremony known as puja; the Mantra the disciple receives is the one he uses for the rest of his life. In Buddhism such is not the case. When a Zen aspirant is given a koan (or problem) to solve, it is generally by a teacher and he confers with that teacher on the solution, but he is free to work with his own choice of koan, if he wants, and, in the same way, he can use any Dharani (Mantra or formula) that seems appropriate. It is the perseverance in practice and faith in the Mantra that builds the one-pointed vasana (habit energy) in the mind of the aspirant, not the power inherent in the Mantra itself.

However, in India it is felt that the teacher conveys his own spiritual power at initiation.

In the West, where Mantra meditation has become popular, newcomers are paying good sums of money for initiation with a Mantra. To the Indian scholar or adept this seems a dubious practice, as nobody owns the name of God. How can you sell what is not yours?

The following is an often-quoted passage on Mantra, although the source is unknown:

A Mantra is the natural name of an aspect of God (known as Devi or Deva) and is a syllable or syllables with power, revealed to Indian sages through years of Yogic practice, meditation and austerity. Moreover, when pronounced properly and used after true initiation by an enlightened teacher, a Mantra is equivalent to the Devi or Deva (god or goddess) for which the name stands and carries all the power of that aspect of divinity. For instance, an Agni Mantra invokes the power of fire*, Agni being the god, or essence, of fire.

The aim of using Mantras is to purify and harmonize the vehicle of the sadhaka (the practitioner) so it may become increasingly sensitive to the subtle layers of his own consciousness. We purify the spiritual heart or nervous system and find the cosmos contained within.

The basic doctrine underlying Mantra Shastra (doctrine) is that all this hard and tangible universe which we behold around us is made up only of different kinds of vibrations or energies working at various levels.

The Indian rishi (sage) says that all creation proceeds from sound (nada) and the unheard sound (para or vak) that is prior to vibration or manifestation, and that all vibration ultimately reduces to the sound OM, from which creation is supposed to have proceeded. The Yogi says that the universe is the result of an idea, and every idea is the result of sound.

Mantra Yoga is that branch of Yoga in which the powers hidden in certain combinations of sound are utilized for the unfoldment of human consciousness. Each thing has a natural name which is the sound produced by the action of the moving forces which constitute it. He who mentally, or vocally, utters with creative force the natural name of any thing or any being brings to life whatever bears that name.

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*Note: In this respect, there is an interesting story of a wandering Yogi who, passing through a village, was asked if he would help prepare the refreshments (like vegetarian hors d’oeuvres) for a wedding celebration. He good-naturedly agreed, and while stuffing the refreshments, idly hummed a tune, which happened to be an Agni Mantra. The result? When the guests began sampling the hors d’oeuvres, they felt as though their throats and stomachs had been set aflame! Without meaning to do so, the holy man had invoked the Spirit of Fire, in much the same way that the great philosopher Shankara had done when, supposedly, he had caused flame to come from the palm of his hand to ignite the cremation of his mother on her death. Indians believe that a Mantra, in the hands of such a holy person, possesses great power.

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In other words, when we through meditation or concentration, use a Mantra of pleasing significance, in time we will actually become that which we have created. We become the object of our practice, and thus are the cognizer and cognized at the same time. This type of concept is, of course, difficult for the outgoing mind, but there is no doubt that we are influenced – even shaped – by that on which the mind dwells.

There is some dispute as to the importance pronunciation plays in making Mantra practice efficient. Indian teachers usually insist on exact pronunciation of the Mantra, yet we do have the following instance to show that faith and perseverance may be more important:

The Sufis, who are said to represent the mystical arm of Islam, have long taught that one who repeats the sound, hoo, or the more complete, yahoo, will derive great benefit. In this respect yahoo could be called a Sufi Mantra. One time a great scholar came to a small village by a lake, and, upon hearing someone chanting this sound in a small hut, entered. “No, no, you’ve got it all wrong,” he reproved the simple man who was sitting there practicing. “Let me teach you the correct pronunciation,” he offered, and the simple practitioner was delighted.

After a few minutes of instruction the scholar left, walked down to the lake and hired a boat to ferry him across. When the boat had been rowed to the center of the lake, the scholar looked back at the receding shore and noticed a man running to the lakeshore from the hut he had just left. It was the simple practitioner he had corrected. Then to his amazement, he saw the man step onto the water and run across the surface of the waves until the man at last arrived at the boat holding the scholar! “Sir, I am so stupid,” panted the man as he came running up, “I’ve already forgotten your instruction! Would you tell me again the correct pronunciation?”

This would seem to indicate that devotion and perseverance are powerful enough, even if the pronunciation is not correct. It is said that even the wrong means in the right hands will get results.

Another story will serve to demonstrate how the one chanting his own Mantra for years at a time, whether mentally or orally, will tend to become that to which he is devoted. There was a holy man (a Yogi) walking across India, as is often the custom. He came to a temple and, going around to the rear, began to relieve himself against the wall. While walking and while relieving himself, he never once stopped repeating the syllable, Ram, one of the names of God, for such was his practice.

One of the priests was highly displeased by this action and came running over to the Yogi. “Don’t you know better than to take the name of God while you are doing such a thing?” he demanded peevishly.

Surprised, the Yogi closed his mouth and stopped uttering the holy sound, but immediately, every cell in the Yogi’s body began shouting, “Ram! Ram! Ram!”

Amazed, the priest shook his head. “Such restrictions are not for a man like you,” he admitted in admiration. Literally, the Yogi and every cell of his body had turned into that to which he was devoted.


INSTRUCTION (Part One)

In India there are many techniques of using a Mantra. The first one we will study is the harmonizing of the Mantra Hamsa (or So’ham backward), Hamsa being the Divine Swan of Indian mythology.

In this meditation we are going to harmonize the two-syllable Hamsa with the natural process of breathing.

Eyes closed, seated on a chair or in cross-legged position on the floor, mouth held shut and breathing through the nose, with the tongue pressed against the palate (the roof of the mouth), we begin. As we take a natural in-breath, we mentally repeat ham; breathing out, we mentally repeat sa. Some like to place these sounds in the third eye spot, between and slightly above the eyes, but it is not necessary.

Breathing naturally (no forcing or holding of breath), we repeat Hamsa for a while. It may take days, or weeks, to build the vasana (habit energy) of Hamsa, or it may happen immediately, but we will eventually begin to experience a period of Pure Consciousness (the Turiya state) during meditation. This means we will “lose” the Mantra and stop uttering it mentally; sights and sounds will disappear, and breathing will become almost imperceptible. All this will happen without volition, and it will be a period of latent awareness, with no subject-object relationship, such as we usually experience. Literally, the world and we will temporarily disappear, as in a trance state. All this is accomplished without effort; we begin to repeat Hamsa mentally, in time with the breath, and the rest takes place naturally.

If we have performed the two Reverse Meditative Breaths first, it should be easy to quickly succeed with our Hamsa practice. Then we will experience a cessation from bodily and mental pressures; naturally, such relief will afford some healing benefits.

There are also deeper spiritual rewards of which we may not be aware. Since many teachers, and the author, feel that, ultimately, all illness precedes a spiritual base, these spiritual benefits will certainly have an effect on health and chronic ailments. What do we mean by spiritual? Simply that which accords with reality, the opposite of delusion.

At first the experience of the Pure Consciousness (the fourth state of consciousness) may appear to be sleep, a sort of imageless sleep. As the mind becomes accustomed to it, however, and begins to enjoy it, we will note the difference. We are awake but not reacting; there is no conceptualization going on; all activity is in a latent state, and the tape recorder of the mind, with its eternal chattering, has been turned off.

A confirmed Yogi may well repeat this Mantra in rhythm with the breath all the time he is awake, but such practice is not for those of us who work in a busy world. After all, the Yogi is devoting his entire life to self-culture; we are simply adding one activity to our life to make it more fulfilling and meaningful.

After doing Hamsa for some months, we may notice one day that the process reverses. That is, unknowingly, we mentally repeat sa (or so) as we inhale and ham as we exhale. The change can be made deliberately if it seems more natural to chant So’ham rather than Hamsa. So’ham literally means “That (the Reality) I Am,” calling attention to the Divinity within the meditator. So’ham is considered a more advanced practice than Hamsa, and some teachers in India say it is the way to acquire the siddhis (supernatural powers). Both practices, repetition of Hamsa and repetition of So’ham, are well known and highly regarded in India.

The author has experimented with repeating the two sounds in rhythm with the pulse (by placing one hand on the opposite wrist and noticing the pulse beat). Though he has never heard of this being done, it works very well. After all, the pulse beat has cosmic implications, too.


COMMENTARY

This practice of mentally repeating a Mantra is called Manasika Japa. Japa means repetition of the formula that is the Mantra, orally muttered or said mentally, as well as in writing. It is said that in this, the decadent Kali Yuga of time, japa or remembrance of God’s name, is the easiest and most proper practice to be followed for liberation. As we have shown, similar practices occur in other cultures under different names (such as the Japanese Nembutsu and the Sufi yahoo). This would seem the time to consider what japa is, and then to offer instruction in other modes of japa.

There are many ways to “remember the Name,” as Indian japa is often described, but basically, we are going to deal with four.

The least known technique is that of Likhita Japa, where one writes the Mantra a predetermined number of times, usually in the form of a lotus, a holy figure or some other pleasing representation. This may be done 108 times, corresponding to the number of beads in a mala (Indian rosary), or some multiple of this number, such as 1080. The author had a student – a 76-year-old woman and a fine artist – who wrote the four lines of the Gayatri Mantra over and over in the shape of a sitting Buddha. It was a very appealing work of art and also a good example of Likhita Japa. This “writing japa” is very effective in silencing the mind and making it one-pointed in concentration on the Mantra. It is easy to read a page in a book without really comprehending what we have read, but when we write, we really have to concentrate on what we are doing. When the author has had to make a quick study of something, such as reading three or four texts in a day with the full intention of retaining what has been read, he has made it a practice to write syntheses of what he has learned, and then to write syntheses of the synthesis to compress it and register it in the mind. Writing is a wonderful way to focus on something.

The most common form of japa in India is the audible chanting of a Mantra while fingering the 108 beads of the mala, so as to count to the predetermined number of repetitions. There are traditional rules for operating a mala (such as covering it with a towel, using the thumb and third finger exclusively, and not crossing the 108th bead, but reversing the progression), but they are not important to our purposes.

This process is call Vaikhari Japa. Whether we count beads or do the oral japa (with eyes open, often in company with others) a predetermined length of time, oral japa has all the benefits of chanting – we lose ourselves in it – and centers the mind on a sound, or sounds, we have found pleasing and believe to have great spiritual power.

Many of those who do japa in India, whether in the temples or at home, do not chant the sounds aloud, but simply mutter them. One sitting nearby will not be able to determine what is being chanted, as there is little articulation. This is a combination of oral and silent japa. Not as many do this form as do the oral japa, but often we find a holy man who spends his time muttering the name of God while wandering from place to place. This keeps the mind from darting here and there, and it centers it on one thought of great significance.

Manasika Japa (now becoming known in the Western world as Transcendental Meditation*) is as old as India and is difficult for some people to do, as it means repeating the Mantra mentally. Some like to place the Mantra in the third-eye spot, while others prefer to locate it just below the navel (haven’t we all read of Yogis contemplating the navel?). Actually, while chanting the formula mentally in Manasika Japa, it will usually find its own location.

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*Note: In the effort to promote this form of japa commercially, it has been said that, “It has nothing to do with Yoga and nothing to do with religion.” This is obviously ridiculous, as those making the claim well know. Practice with a Mantra is Mantra Shastra, a very important field of Yoga and Tantric Yoga activity. Moreover, a Mantra is not just any sound; it is a formula of power revealed to an Indian sage, and corresponds to the name of God. The great modern-day saint, Swami Ramdas (1884-1963), attained his enlightenment through constant remembrance and chanting of the formula Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram, his way of remembering the Divine. So we are working with a name of God, brought to us by a sage to whom it was revealed. If “revelation” and “remembrance of the name of God” is not religious, what is? Too much emphasis on commercialism, while enabling us to succeed in one direction, may cause us to fail in more important ways.

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Unlike the practice of other forms of japa, in Manasika Japa we keep the eyes closed. Whether we sit in cross-legged position or in a straight backed chair, repetition of the Mantra will build a big vasana (habit energy) that will enable us, eventually, to reach the state of Pure Consciousness and abide there a little while before our tendencies (samskaras) bring us back to the world of the senses. Becoming one-pointed in the mental sound, the miracle happens and we become no-pointed – that is, all thinking disappears and we are in the Turiya state, the unchanging fourth state of consciousness that underlies the others. The unutterable relief of continued and cumulative practice, when successful in achieving this state, cannot be described. It is highly effective in releasing stress of body and mind and, as such, is certainly healing to both. Achieving the egoless condition affords great benefit to the whole psyche and, as we become accustomed to this relief through continued practice, we find we do not want to do without our daily meditation period. It represents a time of recharging the batteries, and it becomes the center from which our existence is renewed.

We say period rather than periods because we believe one late afternoon sitting of 45 minutes is more beneficial than two forced periods of 20 to 25 minutes each. When we arise in the morning the mind is usually dull and has great difficulty achieving the Turiya state. Moreover, we are usually rushing to get ready for work, with the mind full of plans for the day. It is a difficult time to do japa and have it develop into deep meditation. On the other hand, in late afternoon, when the busy workday is over, we can usually relax (there are no cocktails or alcohol before meditation, however, as they will paralyze the nervous system), do the Reverse Meditative Breaths, and then do a period of successful Manasika Japa. Even three-quarters of an hour may seem short when we are truly experiencing the fourth state of consciousness.

Manasika Japa should not be done at night before going to bed as it will probably prevent sleep. Actually, this state of pure consciousness is more restful than sleep itself. We tend to touch the Source in this practice.

While japa, particularly Manasika Japa, is highly successful in reducing stress and relieving tensions, it is not a practice that directly affects the physical health in the way the Nei Kung or moving meditation (T’ai Chi Chih and T’ai Chi Ch’uan) do. The latter strongly circulate the Vital Force in the body. Indeed, if one does long periods of Manasika Japa, he should offset them with practice of Hatha Yoga, T’ai Chi Chih, or some other form that will start the intrinsic energy flowing again – otherwise there may be illness.

Manasika Japa, leading to the state of pure consciousness, should not be practiced for at least two hours after meals, and then a constant practitioner should eat lightly.

When the breath slows down and becomes barely perceptible, as happens in successful meditation of this kind, there is not enough oxygen being taken in to digest the food. This is an important point.

One teacher of Manasika Japa has pointed out that, if one uses the Mantra in this practice and does not succeed in entering the Pure Consciousness state, he is apt to have stomach trouble. It is easy to understand how this would be so with the Mantra Ram (Ra being the sound associated with the digestive or gastric fire), but whether it would also apply to a different Mantra, such as the Gayatri, is a moot point.

Whether we use a mala (108 beads) or simply time our oral japa, we should try to perform it at least the predetermined number of times (or length of time) every day. In his fine book, Japa Yoga, Swami Sivananda, tells us in great detail how many times we will have to repeat our formula to receive personal darshan (a meeting or interview) with the aspect of divinity (god or goddess) invoked by the Mantra. This is not what we of the West are seeking, however.

The number of times we repeat the Mantra each day will obviously depend, to some extent, on whether we use a short Mantra (such as Ram) or a lengthy one (such as Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare – which is an offering to god Vishnu in the forms of his two Avatars, Rama and Krishna). If we determine to do 1080 repetitions of a lengthy Mantra, such as the above, or the Gayatri, we may use half the day doing them! It is better to be more conservative and choose some goal we can easily meet every day.

Once we have chosen a Mantra for japa, or have been initiated with one, we stick with it the rest of our lives; there is no reason to switch. The great 15th century Sufi saint, Kabir, used Ram all his life, having been initiated with it by the great teacher of his time, Swami Ramananda.


INSTRUCTION (Part Two)

First we determine whether we are going to write our japa, do oral repetitions, mutter our Mantra or do (mental) Manasika Japa. In any case, regularity of practice will be a necessity, whether the benefits we are seeking are spiritual or physical or both.

If we want our japa to develop into deep meditation, we should do Manasika Japa with the eyes closed. All japa will relieve stress, but the bodily and mental relief experienced in the trance-like state to which Manasika Japa leads is much greater than that derived from the other forms.

We can sit cross-legged on the floor or comfortably in a chair to orally repeat our Mantra or to mutter it. Eyes will be open, and we will be perfectly aware, at all times, of where we are. If we do Manasika Japa, we must be sure that our pose is well anchored so that we do not topple over and hurt ourselves during the thought-free period. Thus we must either sit in a chair or sit in Lotus position on the ground; the latter pose will tend to anchor us well and there will be no fears in our mind. Sitting cross-legged, without doing the Lotus, is not good enough for Manasika Japa unless we lean against a wall, affording us some support. With our eyes closed, we will probably go off into the state where we are not aware of what we are doing; the Mantra will take us along the path automatically.

Whichever form of japa we do, we must have a Mantra with which to work. If one is fortunate enough to be initiated by an Indian Master, well and good. If not, the meditator can choose his own Mantra. The author suggests a sound such as “light” or “joy” for those who do not want to use a Hindu name of God. These two words have spiritual import, and one can build a meditation vasana (habit energy) with them. Indeed, it is reported that the poet Tennyson succeeded in meditation by repeating his own name! Holding the mind to one thought is the basis of success, though initiation by a realized teacher can, admittedly, have a powerful effect.

Now, sitting in our chosen posture, with eyes closed (and, hopefully, having performed the Reverse Meditative Breathings), we are ready to begin repetition of our Mantra in Manasika Japa.

One technique is to repeat the Mantra mentally with slow and even rhythm. Another technique, which is perhaps more effective, is to begin mental repetition of the Mantra as rapidly as possible (not being too concerned with the pronunciation), and it will gradually slow down and find its own natural pace. We are using the principle that is employed in pushing a boat out into a lake. As we push it, it floats out rapidly at first, then slows down and glides at an even tempo. Also, times when the meditation is not going well, we can speed up our mental repetitions, in effect making a new start. Sometimes this can be effective in overcoming any block.

After we have mentally repeated the sound or sounds for a while, there may ensue a period in which the Mantra gets “lost” and we are inactive, resting in Pure Consciousness. At first we may think we have been asleep. We come out of this imageless rest with some random thoughts having nothing to do with our meditation.

After much practice, we will become aware of this quickly and immediately begin to repeat our Mantra again (which will probably take us “under” very quickly the second time). However, the beginning meditator may allow the mind to wander aimlessly for a while before realizing what is happening.

The rapid passage of time during this thought-free period will amaze the meditator at first. He is not aware of time going by and may meditate for a longer period than he intended. The mind, feeling good, does not want to leave immersion. However, as he becomes at home with his meditation, he will be able to regulate it.

Success in Manasika Japa, that is, the entering of the thought-free state, may take some time for the beginner to achieve. Using the Reverse Meditative Breaths as a preliminary will make it much easier to achieve the Pure State of Consciousness, as the mind will be quieted even before the repetitions begin.

From a health standpoint, there is much more rest from a period of Pure Consciousness than from a period of dryly repeating the Mantra without losing it, where the sound persists and the meditator does not enter the Turiya state. However, even a continued mental repetition, without any semblance of trance state, is beneficial; it will correspond to a period of oral or muttered japa.


COMMENTARY

All forms of repetition – written, oral, muttered or mental – are beneficial. Japa will be more meaningful if one uses a sound of spiritual significance, but concentration on any one thought, to the exclusion of others, will achieve results.

It is Manasika Japa that turns into meditation. One must remember to do the mental repetitions in a quiet, relatively dark place where there will not be sudden noise such as a telephone ringing or dog barking. The nervous system becomes extremely sensitive in deep meditation; to be brought out of the immersion suddenly and violently will definitely not be healing. Except for this possibility, all meditation derived from japa has salutary effects on the health. Particularly those with heart conditions, or with hypertension and high blood pressure, should find the complete rest of the thought-free period the best medicine they can have. With patience and regularity of practice, those with chronic ailments may find marked improvement and, what’s more, achieve a contented frame of mind.

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BREATH COUNTING (Breath-Dhyana)

There is another form of meditation that achieves exactly the same results as Manasika Japa, that is, enables the meditator to enter the trance-like state of Pure Consciousness through mental repetition. Here we do not repeat a name of God or holy formula; we simply breathe naturally and count either the in-breaths or out-breaths. This type of meditation is called Breath-Dhyana; the word dhyana meaning meditation in the Sanskrit language. There is no devotion implied in this meditation. We are not “remembering the Name,” nor are we dwelling on the “aspects of Divinity.” We simply work with the physical mechanism, using the breath as our key to deeper states.


INSTRUCTION

It would be best to perform the Reverse Meditative Breathings three or nine times before beginning the Breath-Dhyana, thus stilling the mind and preparing it for immersion.

Then, seated comfortably, with back straight, eyes and mouth closed, and tongue resting against the roof of the mouth, we begin to count either our in-breaths or out-breaths, but not both. If the count reaches ten, we then begin again at one. We do not want the mind to grapple with higher numbers, as they might be distracting, anchoring us to the counting. In effect, the numbers are simply tools, harnessed to the breath, and we want them to drop away naturally as the mind achieves the thought-free state.

We breathe naturally, and may even notice, after the Reverse Meditative Breathings, that the breath has become so subtle that we can barely find it. This is a salutary sign. Nevertheless, there is always a slight rising and falling of the diaphragm, and this can generally be detected. Do not be surprised if you do not reach the number ten in your counting. Whether this success happens quickly, or whether it takes weeks of regular practice, as the mind gets used to the meditation it will become difficult even to get halfway to ten. Then a period of immersion in Pure Consciousness will be experienced, with no activity. When thought begins again, one starts to count again. The meditator should not anticipate results; he should just proceed with his counting, as he would with the Mantra, and the results will happen by themselves.

Those who have studied in one particular tradition or another may argue that results are better when arrived at using the Mantra or technique of their own guru, but the thought-free state of Pure Consciousness is the same no matter which technique we use. We can swim across a lake, paddle a canoe, row a boat or even fly, but in any case, we reach the other shore sooner or later. The choice of whether to use a Mantra or the Breath-Dhyana is entirely up to the meditator and his predilections.


COMMENTARY

Psychiatrists and psychologists should be particularly interested in these meditations that lead to the trance state as they afford the greatest amount of relief from stress and tension and are probably the easiest meditations to perform. One makes little continued effort, yet the Mantra or breath counting take over and lead the way to the Promised Land. One psychologist the author knows – and has taught – suggests using a holy name taken from the religious background of the meditator, instead of the standard Mantra. This seems to attain the desired result. A vasana (habit energy) is built with the name that has real meaning to the aspirant. For those who have no religious inclinations, the Breath-Dhyana will serve the same purpose. Cause leads to effect.

In our hectic world of today, where so much diversion and so many stresses fight for the attention of the mind, there is usually real bifurcation of thought. One-pointed concentration is rare. Rather, the mind jumps incessantly from one fear, one hope, one plan and one sense-stimulus to another, without cessation. When this type of meditation is regularly practiced, the mind – and body – receives incredible relief by laying down the burdens. Resting in complete abstraction for a while, there is complete absence of strain. Can this help but be healing? Whether we believe that there are other benefits from this intimate contact with Reality or not, the rest derived from successful practice should be obvious to all.

Doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists will, more and more, turn to meditation to help their patients in self-healing. Perhaps hypochondria will disappear, perhaps fears will be lessened, and perhaps the removal of stress will help the patient recover lost energy. It is important that the doctor caution his patients to follow the proper instructions implicitly, as given, and not go down strange byways, mixing other practices and theories with the simple teaching given here. Such practices as “soul travel” will lead to astral projection (leaving the body) and are very dangerous. This is not what we are looking for. We are studying meditation for healing.

Professionals, please tell your patients and clients to follow directions carefully and not attempt to make a smorgasbord out of meditation. The meditations taught in this book for healing purposes are time-tested. They do not consist of simplistic aphorisms that make one feel good, in the way diversions do. If words spoken to us could do the trick, each one would walk out of church on Sunday a changed person after hearing the sermon. Rather, the Mantra meditations or the Breath-Dhyana should be done without preconception. The benefits will follow of their own accord.

This article is published in Meditation for Healing.