Shriyoga Blog

I Thought I Knew

Posted on January 7th, 2011

After the initial year of the Transformative Journey with Sally Kempton, a smaller group of us decided to do a meditation teacher training with her in Carmel, California.  At this point, my partner and I had separated physically, and yet, emotionally and psychically, he and I were still very much “attached”.  I was hell bent on our getting back together and was willing to wait for an undetermined period of time for him to heal, as I “knew” we would prevail.

My Method trained mind was spinning all kinds of stories of when, how and where our reunion would take place.  I was creating the most beautiful of scenarios.  When emptiness alluded me in meditation, I simply reverted to thinking emotionally satisfying thoughts now that I realized I had this creative license.

My friends and colleagues patiently observed, “knowing” that I did not “know” no matter how much I believed that I did.

I hated hearing that I did not “know”.

I secretly felt myself superior in my abilities “to know”.

What I didn’t know was that I was trapped: Adept now at replacing planes of devastation with valerian fields.  I wickedly slapped away any darkness with Ham Sa or what had become my most intimate mantra Om Namah Shivaya.

And, yet, instead of staying with the space of pure Presence that eventually erupts from the mantra repetition, I would immediately begin to create an emotionally rewarding story which I believed with every cell of my being.

Lingering in spaciousness seemed like a waste of precious time with an agenda to fulfill. I was willfully determined to carve my life into what I wanted.

An intense year of continuous mantra repetition ensued to cut off the still very alive and darkly intense subterranean layers of my mind.  Mantra had become my salvation or so it seemed.

Then one day, about ten months into this process, a no bullshit friend and fellow spiritual journeyman looked me dead in the eyes, and said straight up: “It ain’t going to happen.  It is a very long road to recovery.  You will be waiting your entire lifetime.”

The words were raw.  They struck me painfully because I knew them to be true.  I had been pushing the truth away with mantra because I never allowed any space, and therefore the wisdom that arises from that space.

The next morning, Om Namah Shivaya, was the first phrase to move through my waking mind.  And, then… I paused, breathing… listening quietly for the message.  I chanted the mantra again silently, this time almost reverently, to what is called the Inner Teacher.  Om Namah Shivaya.

I felt an urge rising within the field of my perception.  The urge to… Let Go.

Thus began my true love affair with mantra.


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