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On Jumping to the Third Mantra
May 26, 2010
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: I am
an over-sensitive meditator, and have been using the breath meditation
covered in Lesson 367 for
about six months with good results. Inner silence is growing steadily, and
the experience has become much smoother. Now I feel ready to go back and try
using mantra again. Before going to breath meditation, I tried the third
mantra enhancement as per Lesson 367. It helped for about two weeks, but
then I began to run into physical and emotional overload again, like I did
originally with the I AM mantra. That is when I went to breath meditation,
which has been much better. Now in trying mantra again, should I go to the
third mantra enhancement, or go back to the I AM mantra?
A: When coming from breath meditation back to
deep meditation with mantra, it is suggested to go to the I AM mantra,
rather than an enhancement, even if you have used an enhanced mantra before
going to breath meditation. Take your time shifting from breath meditation
to mantra. There is no rush. You are having good results with your present
practice, and any changes should be undertaken very gradually. By now, you
are well familiar with self-pacing, and that will be your most important
tool in managing any changes in your practice routine.
The third enhancement was suggested in
Lessons 367 to slow down transcending for those who
are highly sensitive to the I AM mantra. Results have been mixed on that,
with many going to breath meditation after a short time with the third
mantra enhancement, like you did. The third enhancement is not for jumping
to if meditation is stable with breath or any mantra enhancement other than
the second one. Coming from breath meditation, it will be best to start at
the beginning with I AM, so we will have the best chance for establishing a
stable practice and a normal track of mantra enhancements. One step at a
When coming back to mantra meditation from breath
meditation, do not be surprised if it takes a while to train the mind to
favor the mantra rather than the breath. After doing breath meditation for
some time, a habit of favoring the breath as object will be there, and it
can take a few weeks, or longer, to develop the habit of favoring the mantra
instead. This is normal, and in some time the shift in habit will happen. If
we find both mantra and breath in our awareness, we just easily favor the
mantra. We treat the breath like any other thought or sensation that may
come up, gently favoring the mantra, like that. In time, the mantra is
naturally favored at increasingly refined levels, beyond the breath.
Regarding choosing a mantra enhancement strategy
once we are stable with the I AM mantra, preferably for at least six months,
there are two paths available the original mantra enhancement path, and an
alternate path, which was introduced later on to provide a less aggressive,
more balanced approach. Both paths end up with the same third enhancement.
See Lesson 369 for both paths, plus references to
additional lessons on mantra enhancements.
As it says in Lesson
367, jumping to the third enhancement is not recommended for anyone but the
very few who are highly
the I AM
inclined toward "fast transcending"
with a short mantra, and may find
a longer mantra. As mentioned, results with this approach have been mixed.
Most over-sensitive meditators have had good results with breath meditation,
and in time some have migrated back to the I AM mantra with good results
Breath meditation does not usually go as deep as
mantra meditation, because once breath suspends there is no object. Mantra
can go much deeper. This difference is why breath meditation is one of the
options suggested for those who are very sensitive with mantra. Your
experience certainly bears this out.
Many thanks for your
feedback, and wishing you all the best on your continuing path!
The guru is in you.
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Note: For instructions on
building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga book,
and AYP Plus.