Om Apadamapa Hataram Dataram Sarva Sampadam Loka Bhi Ramam Sri Ramam Bhuyo Bhuyo Namamyaham
January 6, 2010
When i was in college, my friend’s father used to tell me how he would memorize poetry and say verses in his head over and over again. Apparently, he was worried about many things and instead of letting these worries overtake his mind and create anxiety, he force-filled his consciousness with poetry. I was raised via South Louisiana where the coffee and Catholicism are brewed strong. I spent many a young night memorizing Hail Mary, Our Father, Glory Be …. all in anticipation of one of the Sister’s beaming a smile at me in holy first grade approval. I am no stranger to the rosary, and have come to adore the images and customs from my childhood, especially Mary. So, it wasn’t so far fetched for me to start saying Mantras. Interestingly enough, Malas or prayer beads used to chant mantra are 108 beads, which happens to be exactly double the 54 beads that make up a rosary.
My mind, especially over the last decade, has a tendency to reel with doubts, worry, complications, fear. I spend a lot of time trying to weave through people’s motivation, trying to figure out what they are trying to get from me – because surely what they say can not be what they mean. I try to pinpoint why I am this way, especially seeing that i was such a carefree person in my youth. It seems that I am never good enough/strong enough/smart enough for what I want and that there is always someone there stopping me from getting it or someone is disagreeing with me. The internal dialogue of my life is dripping with failure, misguided competition, insecurity, and self-degregation. Though to look at my life, you wouldn’t guess it, but still I have a hard time managing my mind. So, I look around for external causes. My over-controlling father, disappointed mother, my critical male siblings, the trust-fund kids, all my past boyfriends that really fucked me in the head, my abusive ex which unfortunately is also my son’s father, and his enabling family whom are always taking me to court. this male dominated ego driven consumer oriented society and all its mind manipulating marketing slash negotiating for the mightly dollar. Lawyers, doctors and insurance companies, this stupid state I live in that stands in the way of having a real clinic, and all the acupuncturists that have better lives than me….and of course, my selfish husband.
The end result is dizzying. I have a seething kind of anger that is always brewing below the surface. There are times that I wake from sleep gasping for breath, fearful that my life is being taken from me. My fear creeps like molasses into cellular spaces and sticks there, mucking up all the operations of my once flawless system.
So, aside from Om Mani Padma Hum, and those chanted in past yoga classes or a random Buddhist sitting - this is the first Sanskit mantra I am really trying. I have been listening to the mantra being sung by Thomas Ashley-Farrand. Ive been doing this now for 3 or 4 days, falling asleep to and waking to the looped mantra. Yesterday, I got out a couple of well pronounced loops while following along with the text. My son is even able to hum the rhythm of the chant, but of course him and my husband always add “sham ma lam ma ding dong” to it. I have initial determination like a bull, so I choose a longer mantra, called a freight train mantra. I really choose it because it has healing properties (Rama) and orginally I wanted to learn it to use when I was applying needles to people in physical pain or mental/emotional anguish. This mantra can also be done in behalf of another person, which I thought was pretty cool. But I can use some healing too. So, here is my quest – 40 days of at least 1 hour of mantra - or more traditionally 108, which should fit into an hour. I’m gonna keep this journal to let you know how it’s going. Thomas Ashley-Farrand says that a mantra releases it’s great power after being said 125,000 times. Which if I had a calculator – 108 X 40 = 4320. Soooo …. looks like one should do the mala twice a day, which would be 232 malas, so 2 hours a day then. 108 x 2 = 216. 216 X 40 = So, in conclusion – If you did 6 malas per day for 40 days, this will give you about 125,000 mantras. But that would take a beginner 6 hours/day! So I think as you get better at it, 2/day for 3 cycles of 40 days would give you 125,000. There is a rumor of common occurance when one takes on a 40 day mantra quest. Things start to happen. The mud of life gets stirred up and yet, like a lotus, we work past the muck and find our way into the light, above the water and bloom a beautiful bloom. Watch out for Day 35.