I hope you all are faring well. It is a pleasure to be able to share with all today yet another interesting blog and I really can’t wait to discuss a few realizations I had during the weekend with you all.
Over the weekend I had to make a long drive and prior to this trip, I wasn’t properly rested, and I must admit I have a very frugal sleeping schedule, which has become more like second nature for years now. Without being told, I know some of you can already guess where I am going to with this narrative. I had my car serviced and checked a couple of days before my trip to make sure everything was fine. Oil change; check, Tyre pressure; check, fluids top off; check, etc. The car was ready and I felt I was too; at least mentally. The day came and I set out quite early as I wanted to be out before the day’s effect had its toll on me. As a morning person, I was in high spirits and felt I had enough energy to make this trip.
I got on the road and did 2 hours in no time, the road was practically empty and I was doing good. I had water by my side and every now and then I’ll have a sip to keep hydrated. Somewhere after about two hours, I lost concentration for a split second and the next thing I saw was that I was in the median with a punctured tire and a loose tailpipe. It happened so fast that I didn’t see it but only do now in flashback. I was trying to cheat nature and my body for long by sleeping very minimally and the toll had begun to kick in. My body had shut down momentarily in a few seconds and I was in a bad state. Luckily I didn’t hit anyone nor sustain any kind of injury by the grace of God, however, I had put myself and others in a state of immense danger by my sleeping habits developed over time.
I called my emergency road service provider and was told that the closest help to me was 2 hours away. So I had to sit in that state, and just wait. I called a family member and she said well just chant and wait. Tired, in shock and in a state of helplessness, I took out my prayer beads and began to chant. Then something began to dawn on me; inattentiveness is said to be an offense while chanting the Lord’s name and every spiritual practitioner is advised to guide against it. Usually, we see nothing wrong in chanting and doing something else by the side. In fact, many of us have become self-acclaimed “pros” in the matter of “multi-tasking meditation”i.e. doing many other things while meditating/chanting. What we fail to realize is that we are consciously putting ourselves in the line of the danger of being swept off the high way of our spiritual life and also missing out on the chance to connect deeply with Mantra.
For attention to be sound we need to take certain precautions. Just like I needed to have had a lot more rest to allow my physical body function better, similarly, we also need to reduce whatever it is that may jeopardize our physical concentration on the mantra. If we turn on the TV set, or the Computer while trying to chant at the same time, then we are kind of getting behind the steering wheels for a long trip without adequate rest. We may think that we have covered all our rounds because we were able to do them while responding to other things, but in the real sense, we have actually lost that time to nothing. We were neither fully focused on the meditation to get the full benefit, nor were we focused on what we had to do, to get it done correctly.
As I sat in my car waiting for emergency help to get me back on the road, two hours passed and no one came. So, whatever time I thought I had gained, I lot again in waiting. Fortunately, I got some help later on and was able to get back on the road. Just as driving is a process that requires full attention, mantra meditation is quite similar. Every good driver will do a few checks upon entering his car before even commencing on the trip. He checks the side and rear mirrors, straps on the seat belt etc. All this to ensure that his physical safety is not compromised. When the journey begins, he does his best to maintain focus on the road and avoid distractions such as those from a mobile device. A spiritual practitioner should embark on his mantra meditation with the same preparatory mindset. The environment he chooses to chant should be of less to no distraction, the place, the time and all, should also help him focus better.
Even though one may argue that driving is a lot more demanding because there is an immediate physical repercussion for carelessness, I must say that the repercussion that comes from spiritual or esoteric matter do not need to be physical for them to have an effect. The spiritual practitioner knows this and therefore doesn’t put himself in harm’s way. If and whenever we have a major setback in our spiritual practices, it is safe to say that we are getting a cumulative result of a long period of inattentive meditation. The best thing to do is to stop, review our habits and then make the necessary changes required to secure our spiritual lives.
We should also not hesitate to get help whenever we see that we are lacking in our endeavors. The moment we reach out to those we trust, share the same sentiment with, senior adepts, or our spiritual mentor then we can become recipients of help and mercy. It is the nature of a spiritual practitioner to be kind and merciful, and as such, they can bestow on us all good fortune.
Till next week, do read, share and follow for more.