Some people say that our thoughts are powerful. It is not thoughts that are powerful, but the silence between them.
There is no need to repeat an affirmation or a mantra. Just brush it once with awareness, then drop it like a sprouted seed in the rich dark loam of silence. In that silence, attention effortlessly slips from the head into the heart. Rest there.
Real meditation has nothing to do with "repeating a mantra." Repetition is fruitless: it makes the mind dull, mechanical and small. Contrary to public misinformation, techniques like Transcendental Meditation or Sahaj Samadhi are not based on repetition. They utilize a much subtler science.
The fruitfulness of mantra consists not in its repetition but in its power to dissolve the mind. If the mantra does not dissolve the mind into silence, it is not a real mantra: it is just another thought rattling around in the skull.
Mantra fulfills the definition of Yoga as given in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras: Yogas chitti-vritti nirodahah. "Yoga silences the vritti, the vibrations of consciousness." Mantra carries the mind to the silence that was there before God said, "Let there be light."
In Sanskrit, mantra means vehicle for the mind: manas - mind, tra - vehicle. Tra is the root of our English suffix, tron. Electrons carry electricity. Positrons carry positivity. Mantras carry mind to its source.
The Gospel of John reveals that "in the beginning was the Word." En archai ein ho logos. So the Vedas declare, "in the beginning, God manifested as sound. Adau bhagavan shabdha rasahi. But what is before the beginning, before the Word? Uncreated silence.
At the base of every wave is the still ocean. At the base of every energy-vibration is the emptiness of the vacuum. This whole creation is composed of energy-vibration, but these waves are waves of silence.
Silence is not inert. It is alive. Silence is alive with consciousness. As the still ocean empowers waves, the silent vacuum of pure consciousness empowers the vibrating universe.
The opening verse of the Bible describes this liveliness of uncreated silence. As in quantum physics, the Biblical creation story reveals a universe arising in vibrations of a "formless void": in Hebrew, tohu wa bohu. Before the Word, there are ripples in the ocean of silence, just as there are fluctuations in the vacuum of quantum physics. The Bible associates these ripples in the void with the power of breath, ruach. This word means both Breath and Spirit in Hebrew. It is the Spirit-Breath of God that stirs up waves in the primordial waters of the void (tehom). The Hebrew verb for stirring is rachaf, originally describing a mother bird sitting on her egg, warming it to life with constant vibration or quivering.
"In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and void. Darkness was over the face of the deep. The Spirit of God rippled the waters." (Genesis 1:1)From this vibrant sea of silence, the Word of creation is born: "And God said, Let there be light."
Now then, what is the mantra? The mantra is the Word in reverse. As the Word impels silence outward into creation, so the mantra draws creation back to its silent source, settling vibrations in primordial stillness. Through mantra, wave returns to sea, mind returns to God.
When the mantra has done its work in you, you won't be repeating anything. Your awareness will rest in God, floating in eternal silence, the silence before creation. Original innocence will irradiate your heart with the light of joy. This is real meditation.
Jai Guru Dev