Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 404 -
On Jumping to the Third Mantra
Date: May 26, 2010
New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web 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 practice 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 time.
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
sensitive to the I AM mantra,
inclined toward "fast transcending" with a short
mantra, and may find stability with 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
Many thanks for your feedback, and wishing you all the best on your
The guru is in you.
For instructions on
building a balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga book.