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Breathing Meditation VS Mantra Meditation
What type of meditation is good for me and how to meditate? These are fundamental questions that almost everyone has.
What I am going to do in this short video clip is to give you the different possibilities. First I will give a description of the theories behind meditation. For instance, there is a breathing technique, which is considered to be one of the very powerful techniques. Breathing techniques are known by different names, like breath awareness or looking at the flow of the breath in and out, counting the breath. Or taking into consideration the different types of breath, like prana, apana, dyana, udhana ~ there are 10 kinds of breath and Patanjali talks about the prana and udhana and what kind of power you will get by observing on this breath.
The Buddha is reported to have told his son: "Just watch your breath. Just put your full attention on the breath -- how it goes in and how it goes out. This is all you have to do for one hour a day. And if you lose the attention within that one hour period, then you will have to start again. You can see how hard it is: to be conscious of every breath that goes in and out in one hour. Of course, one would certainly be enlightened if one can do that but it is almost impossible to be aware of the breath all the time. But the breathing technique is a profound technique because what is happening in the breathing technique is you are trying to understand the mind and the soul principles. First of all, the soul is pure consciousness; the mind is impure consciousness. So the mind comes out of the soul. So, they are vibrations: the soul is a vibration and the mind is a vibration.
Focusing attention on the breath has relationship with the soul's vibration and the mind's vibration because the mind and the breath are related to one another. Either you can put your attention on your mind or on the breath. This is what happens when you are doing a breathing technique. When you are doing a breathing technique, what happens is: the mind goes away; it goes to somewhere thinking another thought or to multiple thoughts. So as soon as mind awareness comes, breath awareness goes away. And it would be a great thing if you can have control of the breath and breath awareness; and then you can be like a Swara Yogi.
Swara is the life principle. Because breath is really the life principle or it is also the mind principle. In Swara yoga, if you read the Swara Yoga, which is a conversation between Siva and Parvati, you can even understand the future, not only about you but about other people who come to you. So by just looking at the Swara that runs through either the left or right nostril, the Swara Yogi will be able to predict the mind of the person who has come to see you. So that is how powerful is Swara yoga.
But then the difficulty is how can anyone who has a lot of other obligations in life, be able to be a Swara Yogi or even, for that matter, be able to focus attention on the breath.
Sound Meditation: Mantra Meditation
So why not go to the sound meditation? Not necessarily Om, but there are also meditations on different sound patterns that carry different effects on the mind and the body and also creating certain events. The vowels all have certain inbuilt energy that create a certain affect. "Ah", for instance, is pure consciousness. "Aah", for instance, is a creative principle. "Ee" is Icha Shakti, Ooh is Gnana Shakti, etc. So you can see the sounds are involved in creating certain impact and involved in creating certain energies within the body and mind. That is why I basically prefer doing sound meditation, even if it is a Japa like saying God's name, "Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama -- Hari Bol, Hari Bol, Hari Bol", a million times, will be a lot easier, let's say if you say it 1008 times, and a lot easier, a lot more profitable then watching your breath.
That is why all my meditations are focused on using sound waves because you are also, by chanting a sound, you are calling on God. Then through the practice of the sound meditations, calling on different Gods, like "Aim" for Saraswati or "Shreem" for Lakshmi, you are getting a lot of these sound waves. And, there are, of course, many subtilites involved in using the sound waves, and in many sophisticated ways. And as I said, even if you are not using the sophisticated ways, just do a Japa. Japa just repeating the name of the god: "Ram Ram Ram" or "Krishna Krishna Krishna." Do it a 1000 times or 1008 times.
To me, I think it is much easier to do Japa. I will have another video made on other forms of meditations. The other meditations are also very complex and not as easy as the mantra meditation, but for the sake of giving you theories I will make another video for you.