It’s six in the morning, the most precious time in my day. I cross my legs, ready for whatever comes. Yesterday it was a piece of work. The mantra starts and I could not settle down. Yes, it got more quiet upstairs, but I could not get any real transparency.
It happens. This is the work we have to do, slug through the sluggishness of the mind until it clears. And clear it will because clarity is its nature.
Today the clouds lifted quickly. “Ram Ram Ram Ram” and the focus in the heart. After a while the mind gets into its groove and stops to be distracted. Other thoughts become less tempting, then disappear. The mantra takes on its sweetness, the great joy of the heart.
When that happens meditation becomes completely effortless. It is simply joy in deep peace. And there is an awareness that there is no limit to this joy, to this depth of the heart. What limit there is, is what I believe myself to be.
“I” am the illusion. When I know that at least my mind is awakened. But knowing is not being. Therefore the joy leads me on. “Ram Ram Ram Ram” and consciousness becomes more focused. Focused on what I cannot say. Perhaps I could say, “Focused on disappearing,” but then who is disappearing? Who is saying what? Who has a sense of knowing? It all disappears and only the heart breath remains and it is bathed in that joy.
And if a small wave of mind tempts an “I” to emerge it is met by the mantra. “Ram Ram Ram Ram.” It dissolves all and then even the mantra dissolves.
This I can only say in retrospect, when the mantra appears again and with it someone or something that is aware of the mantra. What a supreme gift it is, this unfailing guide into true being, into the love of it all! This gift is open to all of us, handed down from the sages, empowered by the devotion and gratitude of millions of users.
When I open my eyes, the day has begun, the soft light of morning shimmers through the trees outside the window. But I am not the one who sat down. I am the awareness and love in which this Ramgiri puppet arises. I am nothing and in me everything exists.
I sense that this whole show of a world arises from the dreamer of its own dream, the cosmic mind. And this non-existent, transparent “I” bows in profound gratitude to the magnificence of being which graces me once more with a glimpse of itself.
Tomorrow I may again be mired down in distraction. I do not care. I know I can trust the unfailing aim of “Ram Ram Ram Ram.” It is the unflinching weapon of truth and of grace that kills even the most persistent demons of desire and fear.
Ramgiri Braun, Ph.D.
Annapurna Institute, Inc.