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Season 1 - Episode 5

What is Mantra?

15 min - Talk
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Mantra means mental liberation and is a conscious way of directing the mind. Sukhdev offers a talk on mantra—where it comes from, the benefits, and how to most effectively use it in your practice. Allow yourself to have an experience of mantra.
What You'll Need: No props needed

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Nov 17, 2018
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Welcome to one of my favorite topics, mantra. So what does mantra actually mean? Mantra means mental liberation, mantra, mental liberation, vibrations of the mind. And through mantra, we bring light to the mind. So if you think about the spoken words, everything is vibration. It is said in all the ancient religious texts that everything begun with the Word, the Word of God, right? So that sound and that vibration. So if we think about everything actually that we say is a mantra. So it's a good way to look at it like that. And then how do we use this ancient yogic science of reciting these sacred words which are really the original languages of the earth? How can that affect our psyche? How can that affect our emotions? How can it affect just our nervous system balance? Mantra time and time again with the new technologies we have has been proven to boost the immune system, to help release blocks in the psyche, to heal the body in certain cases, to release emotional grips, and so much more. So let's look at mantra where it comes from, how it's used, how to effectively most use it so that we can get you on your way to understanding just a little bit about what it's about because it's such a vast library of knowledge. There are so many different traditions of mantra and here I'm just going to focus on the Kundalini tradition of mantra and then you've got the foundational four or five mantras that we use in Kundalini yoga and there'll be many more to discover. So chanting mantra is a conscious way of directing the mind, of controlling our thoughts, right? Our thoughts are just vibrations. So when we bring mantra to intercept, let's say that vibration, whether out loud, whispered or silently, we can merge with the mantra and basically stop the psyche from taking on those old habitual patterns of thinking or breakthrough emotions. I mean these mantras that we use in this lineage are really designed to break through the blocks that we are facing today and it is such a precise technology and so if you look at these ancient languages like Sanskrit, Gurumukhi, Aramaic, Hebrew, these are some of the original languages of the earth and it is said that these are the codes behind all modern languages today. So these languages have several meanings, they are way more than just literal, like if you think of English it's a very literal language but if you think of these ancient languages they have multiple meanings, they have a metaphysical meaning, they have an earthly meaning, they have a spoken meaning, there are so many different ways to look at what is said, many different interpretations let's say. So this technology is very precise and this is how it works. As you chant the mantra, the tongue is hitting some of the 84 different meridian points that we have on the roof of the mouth. So imagine the tongue is pressing into the keyboard and it's sending a signal to the main computer in the hypothalamus which is sending all different messages throughout the brain. The brain is connected through neurotransmission fluids. So when we're pressing with the tip of the tongue this keyboard, these 84 meridian points on the roof of the mouth, we're activating all kinds of incredible experiences and opening up areas of the brain through this fluid that we may have not experienced before. So we can give you, some mantras can give you a feeling of ecstasy, of joy, others can focus you, others can really put you into this kind of warrior mode when you need to get into that and it's just a fantastic way to learn to control the mind and I know that so many of us deal with this in this day and age. How do we control our thoughts? How do we control our mind? All the ancient yogic traditions say the same thing. There is no other way to control the mind than through japa and japa means repetition. I know personally for me I had, I remember I walked into a class and it was a big class and there was about 50 people and they were chanting this mantra and I was very new to Kundalini yoga and I just was looking around me and I just couldn't get it and I was too cool to like get into it and I just sat there with my arms crossed you know and all of a sudden I just felt something open within me and the people chanting were the voices were so beautiful and I just kind of started tearing up and I was like okay I'm just gonna chant these words I'm just gonna do it and I started chanting Rama dasa sa se so hung and before I knew it it took like five minutes I had a complete shift within me and I was never the same again after that class something happened it opened me up it opened my heart it opened my mind and I touched something within myself that I had never really touched before or maybe since I was a child right and it was just an incredible experience that I will never forget and since then I've been doing mantra non-stop for the last 13 years so it really really works just open yourself and try it because it's an experiential yoga and if you try it you will have a beautiful experience with it and I've recorded quite a few mantras meditations that you can experience so let's look at the five things that make chanting mantra powerful so the first thing is prana prana is breath prana is life right so we use the breath in a certain rhythm so when you begin to chant mantra you know it's a little bit of a fumble figuring out the words and the pronunciation and where the breath where you breathe in where you breathe out just allow the breath to find its place within the mantra the second one is rhythm rhythm is a key part of everyday life everything that we do has rhythm the way that our psyche works is based on rhythm intelligence right so when we chant mantra it's always in a particular rhythm and different mantras have different rhythms because different rhythms affect the psyche in different ways right so that's the second thing rhythm the third thing is pronunciation so remember we talked about the tip of the tongue is like that mouse right hitting the keyboard which is the 84 meridians on the roof of the mouth which is sending signal to the main computer so when you pronunciate and move your mouth you are activating those 84 meridians in ways that you would never activate them if you weren't really using your mouth so you're using the tip of the tongue and you're flicking it up up up up in all these different areas and it's sending all these amazing signals for this magic to happen in your brain basically right so we've got prana rhythm pronunciation and projection is the next one in Kundalini yoga the navel is so important our relationship to what we call navel intelligence is the foundation of these practices because without your connection to your navel it's hard to be connected to our hearts and it's hard to be connected to the seat of our truth which is our throat so through the projection you want to use your navel you want to learn to chant from your navel and not your chest or your throat so you're right here pumping sometimes you're pumping like if you're doing Rama dasa sa se so hung pumping the navel another one that we pump the navel her her her so let's try that together her and feel the navel her her her her her her that's a fantastic mantra right and it represents the energy of what we call God which is generating organizing delivering energy right so hard is really helpful to connect to the navel and then the fifth one is of course devotion which is the heart of all mantra is to get to that sense of going from finite to infinite we're not just finite beings we are half human half soul we are finite and infinite so how do we connect that gap through devotion my teacher used to say turn your depression into devotion and I tell you it has been a slogan that has carried me through so much that when I feel those feelings of becoming depressed which simply means that your aura is falling below four feet and that you need to expand out you need to press back because you're feeling depressed that you turn that and use that energy and channel it into devotion and mantra chanting is a wonderful wonderful way to get to the heart to get to devotion and there are so many beautiful different artists you can check out in the Kundalini tradition different recordings you might love some of them more than others and just go with that go with what resonates with you so that's a little bit about mantra allow yourself to have an experience with mantra it is a beautiful practice I feel that it has come at this time on the planet to really serve us into excelling into this Aquarian consciousness into this consciousness of peace prosperity peace on the planet peace with one another and peace within please enjoy chance a mantra and let's go from there Sat Naam

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