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The Gift and Power of Mantra

by Yogeshwari (Lissa) Fountain

Of all the yoga tools at your disposal, mantra repetition is the most effective and empowering.  It is spiritual energy distilled into a word form.  It clears through the debris of your mind, those diverse patterns painstakingly instilled through lifetimes.  Swami Nirmalananda promises that this will enable you to live in “progressively more and more clarity and integrity, leading to transparency.”

When you look through a grimy windshield, you may still be able to see through the schmutz, but your vision is impaired and the light diffused.  Mantra dissolves the layers of schmutz in your mind.  As your mind gets clearer, the radiance of your own inner light shines through.

There are ways to incorporate mantra into your life.  Out loud repetition is called “japa,” best done with 108 repetitions at a time, moving the rudrakhsa beads on your mala to keep track of the count and to stay on-focus.

You can do internal japa, repeating mantra silently, not only for meditation but in the midst of life.  In this way, mantra becomes a background hum of Beingness,  instead of your mind’s habitual background noise of what to do next, who said such and such, and “I’m not good enough.”  By continually repeating your mantra, you will no longer be perpetually looking outside of yourself for happiness and completion.  You’ll know:  I am already That.

Recently on retreat in India, I spent 20 days being bathed in the sound current of ancient, primordial mantras from the Vedas.  We did yaj~nas (Vedic fire ceremonies), pujas (worshipping different gods) and sunrise and sunset “agni hotras” (mini-fire ceremonies).

The mantras chanted were wholly unfamiliar, yet I could feel their purifying powers working on me, beyond my mind.  The priests would chant the mantras in a steady and rapid stream of sound that became a sacred cosmic vibration.

As I allowed myself to be carried along in this current, there was a cleansing of my mind, dissolving of decades of societal conditionings.  I cannot tell you how this works, only that it feels like a surrender into God’s voice, by becoming the One that moves from the outside-in and from the inside-out.

“Mantra repetition gives you the opportunity to start clearing out your mind,

so you can live in progressively more and more clarity and integrity,

leading to transparency.” — Swami Nirmalananda

When you repeat mantra in the midst of life’s activity, it dissolves the duality that keeps you trapped in your mind’s preferences, always saying, “This is Divine but that is not.”  Some layers of artifice were taken on by Shiva in becoming you, but you have layered more in there, creating and reinforcing one superficial identity after another.

But with mantra repetition, it’s easier to live a life of integrity: who you are on the outside, matches who you feel yourself to be on the inside.  And this leads to transparency, the ability to see all the way through to the Self in yourself, and in everyone and everything.  There’s nothing to hide anymore, no one to judge, because you find your Self in everything you see.

Is this an easy path? Try remembering to repeat mantra all day long, and then you tell me.  I find it far easier to quiet my mind by dipping repeatedly into a bowl of popcorn!

But mantra is a Divine and longer-lasting intervention for your mind.  This helps you recognize what a trickster your mind actually is.  It will have a thousand ways to tempt you with “small-s self” sabotage.  Yet Swami Nirmalananda has given us a mantra “to save us from ourselves”.  All we need to do, is to repeat it.

OM svaroopa svasvabhavah namo namah

To your inherent Divinity again and again I bow

The Mystical Importance of Your Spine

 

By Mangala Allen & Swami Nirmalananda

Your essence is Beingness. There is nothing that you are not.  Your essence, this Beingness, contracted to form matter out of energy in order to become you.  Consciousness creates your spine in order to take on form:  creating your heart, mind and body.  The movement is toward contraction.  This contraction continues throughout your life as your spine tightens and shortens.  We call it aging.  You are shrinking.

Svaroopa® Yoga’s spinal decompression reverses this process.  As you release the tension in your spine, your process becomes one of expansion — both outer expansion and inner expansion.  It is through the inner expansion that you come to know yourself as the Consciousness you have always been.  This makes your spine very important indeed!

“Your spine is the conduit of consciousness.”

— Swami Nirmalananda (Physics, Anatomy and Yoga, 2/2006)

SPINE www.thinglink.com

The energy of consciousness contracted inward and downward, becoming most concentrated at the base of your spine, which is at the bottom tip of your tailbone.  The process of expansion must begin here.  It is when you release tensions in your tailbone muscles that contraction boomerangs toward expansion.  An inner awakening occurs and a higher frequency of energy begins arising within you, Kundalini.  This is your very essence arising to meet you so you can know your Self.

Unfortunately, you have been working hard to maintain, even to propel, the momentum toward contraction through your life choices.  This makes you become tighter within your body, as well as small-minded and less tolerant of the world around you.  You want it your way and you want it your way now!

When you make the choice to intervene in the process, you actively work to decompress and expand, beginning the process of discovering your own Self as Consciousness-Itself.  You develop an ease of being.  You enjoy living in your own skin.  You develop gratitude for your life experiences, even the tough ones.

Swami Nirmalananda adds, “You don’t merely connect to your Self, but you become your Self.  This is the transformation that makes you able celebrate life in every moment.”  You discover upwelling joy arising within you; it is available to you always.   You no longer need everything to line up just so in order for you to be happy.  You enjoy life because you are happy to be alive.

When you recognize yourself as Divine, you realize that everyone and everything else is Divine, too!  This is the mystery, finding Divinity in everything, from the smallest grain of sand to the ever-expanding cosmos and beyond.  There is nothing that is not Shiva (Consciousness).  To know this is ecstatic beyond description.

I can describe all this because I have experienced this, going through this expansion process guaranteed by Svaroopa® yoga.  This path of expansion is a path of Grace, which my teacher got from her teacher.  Since I met Swami Nirmalananda, I have been transforming.  Now I enjoy life and even welcome its challenges.  Nothing outside of me has changed significantly, but how I view it and the choices I make in my life have.  This is due to the expansion I am experiencing since stepping onto this yogic path.   It is very important to open the pathway of your spine.

 “The release beginning at your tailbone provides:

1) Profound physical benefits,

2) transformative changes that effect how you feel in your life, and

3) the awakening of a profound energy flow through your spine,

assuring you to access of your own Divinity.”

 — Swami Nirmalananda

(Your Spine: Anatomy, Energy & Consciousness, May 2013)

When your spine is open, you will experience deep meditation.  This absorption into your own Self is where the inner transformation arises from.  Then you are able to bring your Self into your life.  It’s absolutely amazing!

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo namah

To your inherent Divinity again and again I bow