Music and Mantra

I had a really interesting experience last night.

I started a simple meditation routine with the mantra “Om Nama Shivaya” in my head.  I coordinated it with my breath, which was most comfortable at six seconds in, six seconds out, and I kind of settled into a rhythm of two groups of three:

Inhale:   Om Nama Shivaya     Om Nama Shivaya

Exhale:   Om Nama Shivaya     Om Nama Shivaya

etc.

Next thing I knew, I had drifted into improvising one of my favorite flamenco guitar pieces in my head.  Wait a minute, I said.  You’re supposed to be meditating.  And I gently returned to the mantra.

Then it happened again.  I was playing the Tientos instead of reciting the mantra.  I again refocused on the mantra.

After several rounds of this, I suddenly realized that the rhythm of the mantra (two sets of three in groups of six) matched the rhythm of the Tientos, so I just couldn’t help being drawn into it.

I gave up and just let my mind move back and forth between the music and the mantra.

~ by Bob Weisenberg on August 10, 2009.

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