View Full Version : Mantras in Meditation
01-30-2001, 05:02 PM
I began training in qi gong breathing about a year ago, using some basic mantras (om mane padme hum)to keep from getting distracted. I felt that I was acheiving some proficiency in that I was able to reduce my breathing comfortably to 2 to 3 breathes/minute. I also used the same technique in some forms training. When i told my teacher the methods I was using, he said to stop immediatly, that the correct method was to count backward from the starting point--ie, 50, 49, 48, etc...and then when I reached 0 if i was practicing correctly, "something" would happen.
He went on to say that using mantras was actually harmful, and would produce negative effects.
This totally disrupted my practice, and I've been having a very difficult time getting back on track.
Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
We're all Students of Life
01-30-2001, 07:07 PM
Sounds like a standard reaction from a qigong master/instructor. In qigong meditation anything not taught by your teacher is considered a distraction and/or harmful to your practice. I can't (and won't as I'm not a qigong pratictioner outside of the taiji form) say if repeating a mantra is harmful to you in qigong. However, when I consider the purpose of Japa Yoga...
Japa means repetition of a mantra, or chant. The words are unimportant to a Japa practitioner; rather the sound created by the words which represents an aspect of the Divine vibration. Continual repetition of the mantra produces a vibration within the practitioner’s entire system and puts the individual in tune with the Divine Vibration.
Maybe the vibrations achieved through qigong are different than the vibrations achieved through Japa-like meditation. Although I don't know why they would be. Perhaps harmonizing to a particular vibration can be harmful when you're dealing with the energies of qigong. hmmm.
I would suggest that if you want to achieve the results promised by your master in qigong, you follow his system to the letter-- providing he is a qualified and competent instructor. But as you obviously love the feeling you get tuning into the divine vibration, you should practice a little Japa without trying to move or strengthen the qi; just on the side as a regular meditation.
Perhaps more qigong research needs to be done on this subject, by competent and open-minded masters. I've found that even humming softly to yourself (Brahmari, the Humming Bee, in Yoga) as you exhale in meditation trains you to smooth out and lengthen your breathing. This could be a great learning tool as you have found.
Without going outside, you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven.
The ****her you go, the less you know.
01-30-2001, 07:20 PM
Mantra chanting is found in a variety of meditative practices from hatha yoga to transcendental meditation.
Mantra is of great impotance in Buddhism and Hinduism and it does have a connection to the vibration of the self in aspect to the energies of life.
It is dependent entirely upon the desired goal of the chi kung exercise you are doing. It also depends on the series of Chi Kung exercises you are doing.
I have not been taught to use mantra in chi Kung practice by my Si Fu although in some practices such as "six healing breaths" there are sounds issued.
These sounds are not really mantra though but they do affect vibrations of the self.
If your teacher prescribes a method of practice for your chi kung then there is no reason to wander from the path.
If you are experimenting, then keep it seperate from what is being taught to you so that the lessons you are being given don't become muddled with your personal experimentations.
same as not mixing martial styles together. Not that you cannot learn and practice seperate styles but you don't want to tarnish one with the unmatching principles of another. This can most times induce incorrect practice of both and both will not come to fruition for lack of deep and focused understanding of what is given by one or the other.
02-28-2001, 01:21 AM
In the strictest form of meditation, a mantra without "physical chanting" is also a conditioning of the mind, and so is counting. Event the technique of meditation itself must be eradicated as it itself is a form of conditioninig, a craving in the subtlest levels.
Buddhist monks practising Annapanna samadhi, have several different yet similar techniques. It matters not wether it is a mantra or a counting or merely focussing your attention on your breath, it matters that your mind is free from craving and aversion and free from conditioning at the time of meditation and yet having 100% focus on your awareness.
Mantras are slightly different in that Mantra's practised in its true nature works by vibrations to the vital organs of your body. The evokes and energizes your 5 elemental organs and hence increases your vitality and awareness.
In both, however if a mantra is chanted, not allowed and without the guidance of a teacher to regulate your panna, it is merely a foundation layed over your conditioned mind. It is good that it protects the mind with a layer of "holiness" but will ultimately become a conditioning that needs eradication.
No techique is wrong or right, some techniques suits a person more than others. As long as your in Samadhi, language, lectures and any forum makes no difference. It is your 100% awareness and 110% equanimity that will take you to universal understanding.
It is difficult to reach enlightenment in one life time but as your seed has been planted and so fruits will be. Any technique you choose, as long as it eradicates your conditionings layer by layer, you will be pointed by Dharma towards to road of enlightenment. All the techiques taight by countless Buddha's will reach this one point.
"To live is to learn how to die"
My 2 cents worth :rolleyes:
03-01-2001, 02:50 AM
to follow from the last post, the strength of the mantra has long been lost. The mantra is not only a form of QiGong but a way of sharpening the mind by the use of sound to attain Samadhi, and hence the mind and body union.
Mantra's werent just used by Buddhist either, it had been around for a long time and the true nature of the mantra are very rarely practised.
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