Friday 28th February 2020

Day 3   When should I pray my mantra?

The simple answer is, anytime. The great value of this method of praying is that it is simple and easy to do in any circumstances. You don’t need some quiet place, you do not need a period of time, you do not need convenient circumstances, you do not need a structure; you just need a commitment to quietly repeat your mantra. I find the mantra an ideal companion to meditation, but its biggest value for me is its use in ordinary daily life. So the mantra can be quietly prayed while driving the car, travelling on a bus or train, standing in a queue, sitting in the dentists, walking the dog, cutting the lawn, doing the ironing, or whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. It is a timely reminder that God is with us – even in that queue in Tesco’s! – a reminder that even the most mundane moment is a holy moment.

Another good time to pray our mantra is when we are feeling troubled, afraid, angry, or upset. Instead of just going around in the circle of our emotion, the praying of the mantra invites God into the situation and calls upon God’s comfort, love and guidance. We can also pray our mantra when we are at a loss at what to do next, or if we have an important decision to make, or if we are in need of guidance or inspiration. Praying our mantra places everything into God’s hands and keeping, and opens us to God’s guiding presence within.

The mundane moments of life are an excellent time to pray our mantra. The mundane gives us valuable space to take time to remember that God is with us, is part of us, is sharing this moment with us. The mundane moments of life invite us to call upon God in the words of our chosen prayer. The great value of praying the mantra at moments like this is that the prayer begins to become ingrained in us, and begins to take root in us. Once it has we will, after a while, begin to find that we pray our mantra quite naturally, even in the most difficult situations. Once the mantra prayer has become a part of our life, it will begin to arise spontaneously out of the depth of our being in a most wonderful way. We discover that not only do we pray our mantra but it prays us! Or to put it another way: The Spirit prays for us in our weakness, with a sigh too deep for words. Romans 8:26.

……………………………………..

I pray the Prayer
Jesus, Christe, Eleison.
Slowly become one with the Prayer
Jesus, Christe, Eleison.
Eventually the Prayer prays me
Jesus, Christe, Eleison.
Instead of praying
I am Prayed.
Jesus, Christe, Eleison.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Meditation 2

There are many ways to meditate. There are many different techniques and approaches and a whole array of books and literature on them! I have found one method that works for me that is simple and straight forward. It is that way that I want to encourage you to try. I pray by repeating my mantra over and over, and using prayer beads and my breathing as part of the rhythm. If you want to try this method and would like some prayer beads I will be very happy to supply you with some.

Find a reasonably quiet place, sit comfortably with a straight back, feet on the floor, hands resting on your lap and beads. A harder upright chair is better than a comfy armchair – there is less chance of dozing off! Then simply begin to say your mantra silently in your head. After each recitation of the mantra, move a bead, and breathe in and then breathe out. It is that simple. My mantra is Jesus Christe Eleison, so for me the rhythm goes like this:

Jesus – Christe – Eleison
Move a bead
Breathe in – Breathe out
Jesus – Christe – Eleison
Move a bead
Breathe in – Breathe out
And so on.

At first you may well find yourself doing this quite quickly, that is natural; just become conscious of the pace and rhythm, and allow it to gradually become slower, so there is a slight pause between each word, bead, and breath in and out. If you have a set of prayer beads with 10 beads on, begin by simply praying the ten beads. This may at first be less than 5 minutes, but that is fine, remember it is not quantity that is important but simply getting into the habit of meditating. You will soon work out how many beads you need to pray for it to be 5 minutes. Or simply stick to praying 10 beads each day if that suits you better.

You may prefer not to use prayer beads at all, in which case just combine your breathing with your mantra.

Jesus – Christe – Eleison
Breathe in – Breathe out
Jesus – Christe – Eleison
Breathe in – Breathe out

Tomorrow will reflect on when we should meditate.