The Mantra I Learned Too Late

Transcendental Meditation

I remember as a young teenager back in Canada hearing about transcendental meditation. It was supposed to be the latest and the greatest thing. I remember people talking about it and it was in the news. On the other hand, nobody was actually doing it, that I new. I read a bit about it and decided to find out for myself what all the hype was about. I learned that you use mantras, and repeat them for the meditation. I tried it a few times myself but percieve any changes or benefits.

Couldn’t Understand

I couldn’t understand why people were so impressed with transcendental meditation. I also couldn’t understand the discrepancy between those who said any word could be a mantra, and those who said you had to receive a special mantra from a guru. It was like the expression “All that glitters is not gold”. I was just too young to really understand it.

Emotional Baggage

I have been working on clearing my emotional baggage for several years now, using a breathing / remembering technique. There is no mantra in this technique. There is no focussing on nothing or empty minds. There is no mindfulness. It is a slow, calm recapitulation of one’s memories. I have found it to be exceptionally slow and exceptionally reliable in delivering results. Now it is a relatively simple task for me to clear my mind and hold it clear for even several minutes. My day to day activities are no longer clouded with extraneous thoughts or worries. When I do get worries, I can easily banish them.

Meaning of Mantra

Well, I came across a video article on the BBC site that talked about mantras. It looked interesting, so I watched it for a break. I found it particularly interesting to hear that the meaning of ‘mantra’ from sanskrit is the combined meaning of two parts: ‘man’ which is the sanskrit for mind, and ’tra’ which is the sanskrit for tool. Thus a mantra is literally a mind tool. If I summarize some parts of the video, the mantra is a tool to disarm the ‘monkey mind’ which is always jumping from one extraneous thought to another, and making us feel all sorts of emotions along the way, damaging our well-being.

Too late

This tool is amazing! I wish I had understood it’s purpose and use years ago. But for me now, it is close to unneccesary, as I have found a far more powerful tool to defeat the ‘monkey mind’. Clearing the emotional baggage is like taking away the ‘monkey mind’ source of energy. Without fuel it can’t last long or often it can’t even get started. The mantra is like a shield to deflect the monkey’s attacks but clearing the emotional baggage is like burning the monkey’s crops so it has no food and therefore no energy to come bothering me.