The goal of Vedic Meditation is to go beyond (to transcend) the mind and experience our essential nature — which is described as peace, happiness, and bliss.
But as anyone who has tried to meditate has experienced, the mind itself is the biggest obstacle standing between ourselves and this awareness. This is why using a mantra becomes so important. Without its assistance, students can meditate sincerely and faithfully without fully experiencing its benefits or even making much progress despite their efforts. The mind is undisciplined and unruly, and it resists any attempts to discipline it or to guide it on a particular path. Thus, many sit for meditation and experience only fantasies, daydreams, or hallucinations. They never attain the stillness that distinguishes the genuine experience of deep meditation.
The path of meditation is distinct and different from the paths of prayer and contemplation.
In prayer, seekers establish a dialogue with the Divine Force and thereby purify the way of the soul.
In contemplation, seekers use the conscious mind to examine and consider some principle or concept such as peace, truth, or happiness.
The authentic mantras used in Vedic Meditation were not invented or developed by any person; they are sounds that were received and experienced by the great sages in states of deep meditation.
Students often wonder whether any word or sound can be a mantra, and if they can select a mantra for themselves from a book or by using a word or phrase to which they are attracted, such as the words “peace” or “love.” Actually, the authentic mantras were not invented or developed by any person; they are sounds that were received and experienced by the great sages in states of deep meditation. They are not part of any particular language or religion; they are profound, precise sounds that are eternal and universal. When the sages came back from their deep states of meditation, they conveyed the sounds they had received to those students who were prepared to hear them, and it is these revealed mantras that helped the aspirants to attain the highest levels of deep meditation.
The power and significance of a mantra does not result from its literal meaning, but from the power of its subtle vibrations. (It is actually the subtle vibrations of the mantras that have the power to encourage and facilitate deeper experiences of consciousness.) But this process cannot be explained or really understood until it is experienced personally at some level. For modern students, this is probably the aspect of the science of mantra and meditation that is most difficult to comprehend.
Unfortunately, in the modern world we have become dependent on knowing and experiencing things only through the analytical aspects of the conscious mind. But the conscious mind learns through the external senses alone and thus thinks and “knows” in a very limited and superficial way. This is why modern students often assume that the power of their mantra is due to its literal meaning, and they sometimes maintain their sensitivity to the mantra on this level alone.
But actually, there are four levels, or koshas, of a mantra. Its literal meaning is only the most primary and external level at which it can be perceived. The feeling of the mantra is the next, more subtle level; it is followed by its deep presence, or internal awareness. Finally, and most profoundly, the mantra is experienced as soundless sound. The goal of the meditator is to let the mantra deepen to this level. And that is why a personal mantra is not uttered aloud or chanted.
If you think that you are ready to learn how to meditate,
give me a call, Warwick Jones, 09 419 5380