Written by Snatam Kaur on April 26, 2013.
How can we really enjoy this life? How can we really enjoy being in our bodies, in this rib cage? We must have the capacity to have a still and quiet mind. Because the joy is there. This innocence is there. The love is there. We become too ravaged in our own insecurity, our own misery, our own blindness, to even see the truth. Yes, thrash around if you must, gnarl and gnash your teeth like a wild animal. After enough tearing about, you will be left alone, simply alone, to rebuild the pieces of your life.
Use the sacred medicine of Mantra at this time, and you will find the happiness and the joy that you are seeking. What is despair? What is anguish? It is a simple frequency of the mind. Just as Mantra is a frequency of the mind. Mantra is a word that is thousands of years old. It means projection (tra) of the mind (man). Mantra is the way we project our mind to Divinity.
As human beings we are constantly in a state of being in touch with our darkness and our light, our insecurity and our security, our courage and our fear. We come to this earth with our karma, our past actions from previous lifetimes. Our souls have come here to learn and grow. The yogis say that it takes 8.4 million lifetimes (rock, blade of grass, ant, tortoise, etc. etc. not necessarily in that order!) to reach the human incarnation. We have passed through that animal phase. Yet many of us are still in this kind of animal phase, and even worse then animals. At least with animals there is an innocence about their actions. We have even lost our innocence! So, how do we experience the goodness, the joy, and the love? How do we reach our Divinity? Mantra. Mantra, takes you there. It is a fast track, direct line. Many people do not want to even practice it, because it works too well! They enjoy the neurosis, the anger, the pain, and the anguish! There is a certain kind of satisfaction in it, a knowing, the familiar, and the oh so delicious drama of it all. Mantra, well, sorry folks, mantra is kind of boring. It is that kind of boring, boring, boring, boring a hole into your heart so that your light can finally shine through you. It takes time, it takes patience, it takes consistency, it takes prioritization.
Here is a thousand foot view of the human experience of Mantra from the beginning to the ultimate goal. Someone experiences a Mantra, they get healed, they feel light, they feel love, and they feel joy. Perhaps they heard someone singing it, their yoga teacher, a musician, something. If they are lucky, they will realize that it was not in fact the human carrier of the mantra that brought them joy, but the living presence of the Mantra. You see, because every mantra is alive, a living breathing energy. The mantras find you! So yes, if you know the truth, you will know that the healing, the joy has come from the Mantra itself. With this realization one incorporates the Mantra into their life. The ultimate goal is that the Mantra becomes you, you live it and breath it, it guides your breath, your thoughts, and your actions. These Mantras are simple positive affirmations of the love and light of God that is within and around us, the affirmation of truth and reality that all is Divine, all is God.
Most of us exist with the Mantras on a very peripheral level. We hear the Mantra every once in a while, we cycle in and out, we go to a chant concert or experience one night, to a disco the next night, we chant together, and then we turn around and yell and scream at each other all in the same day! Such is the human life! How do we get to grace, to true experience, and joy?
My teacher (Yogi Bhajan) taught a very simple practice that in essence gives the opportunity for all of us having a very human experience to transform, and transform completely. It is essentially a road map to salvation through Mantra for the house holder. It is called the Aquarian Sadhana.
I have been practicing this Sadhana since I was a teenager. And yes, with all of my faults and life in its ebb and flow, if there is anything that has worked for me, it is this practice. This is the way it is done; we get up before the sun rises, in what is called the “Amrit Vela” or nectar time; somewhere around 3:30 am. To make this early rising sustainable one must go to bed early as well. So we rise up, and then take a cold shower. And yes, I did just say that. I’ll say it again in caps, Cold Shower. If you want to change your life, wake up before the sun and take a cold shower! It is the most awesome experience in the world. It totally wakes you up, for obvious reasons, but also gives you an amazing rush and experience of circulation which is fabulous for your skin and all of your organs. Any emotional freak outs, any craziness, can be completely healed by a cold shower. Alright so, moving on, then we do a recitation called Jap ji. Followed by about a half hour of yoga, and then by seven mantras which we chant. Of course in this article I cannot tell you what all of the chants are, and how to do the practice. You can come and attend one of our courses to have an experience of that. Or check out one of the links below for more information.
What I can tell you is that this practice has changed my life. It has given me the opportunity as a human being, in the best and worst use of the word, in all of my experience, to reach the Divine. Why?
Here is why, and the number one thing I wish to convey.
I do it every day. Let me repeat that. I do it every day. Like the heart beat, I am consistent. With consistency we convince the mind that yes, in fact we are putting our Divinity first, we are prioritizing it at the top, that this is in fact the core experience that we are choosing to have. Daily practice. That is how we are going to change the world. That is how we are going to bring peace to this planet. One practitioner at a time. And so we set aside 2.5 hours each day, we give a little over 10% of our day to God, and as my teacher Yogi Bhajan says, then God gives Himself/ Herself to you.
What is my goal with all of this? To have sacred mantras in my mind all day, all night, all the time. Am I there yet? No. Do I have a method to get there? Yes.
Join me my friends. Find a way to have a daily practice. Put Divinity in the front seat, and watch as your life, even if ever so slowly, changes and transforms. We have to start somewhere. And if you are like me, the chaos, the noise, the confusion, the drama, is well, let’s just say, not really working any longer. Let us find the stillness, and even for a moment allow for the boredom to set in. Ah yes, the boredom! Where we can finally be still long enough to hear the laughter of a child. Where we can finally be still enough to see how much God truly loves us. Where we can finally just be.
Sat Nam. God Bless You. ~ Snatam Kaur