Vraja Bihari Das

How does this work?

First take a deep breath and relax. Just focus on the incoming and outgoing breath, and you will see an immediate release from the thinking addiction. Be conscious of the present, of the interactions of the senses to the sense objects. For example, as you silently inhale and exhale, you may feel a pleasant breeze brush your body. Feel it, be there as the wind brushes the skin or as the aroma of a flower enters your nostrils. Allow your tongue to relish the food that you eat. Listen attentively to the sound outside, maybe the birds chirping or the traffic rushing ahead. If you concentrate on the sound outside of you, you will feel an immediate release from the inner sound of the mind. That stillness helps you connect more deeply to the self.

Srila Prabhupada often said the best technique for mantra meditation is to listen to the mantra that we are chanting. As we hear the syllables of the holy names we enter the sacred space of the transcendental sound and that liberates the soul from the mind’s clutches.

Another time-tested method to increase our mindful existence is to observe without judging. Often when we see something, we instantly label it as good, bad, nice, etc. Change the pattern now. Observe your surroundings and catch your mind if it’s judging the room as ‘stuffy’ or ‘hot’ or ‘too crowded’; it could be thirty degrees Celsius, with over a hundred people in the room. But the moment we attach labels, we only agitate the mind more and lose our mental stillness.

As you reach the platform of peace based on these or similar exercises, you will truly relish being in the present. And whether you are chanting God’s holy names, or eating your food, whether you are reading or working on your computer, you will celebrate the joy of being in the now. But for that the first rule is ignore the mind and be present.


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