Meditation: Ajapa Japa (Stage 2)

Ajapa japa is a method of exploring the deeper realms of the mind and eliminating mental problems. In the initial stages the mantra functions on the surface level of your mind, but in time and with regular practice it will permeate and plummet into the deeper subconscious realms. It is then that you will start to come face to face with your deep-rooted fears, worries, desires and neuroses. All these negative aspects of your mind come to the surface or rather they come within the range of your conscious perception.

Sometimes these aspects of your mind can explode very quickly. You may become a little unhappy for some time, but if you persevere then these problems will be neutralized and you will emerge on the other side with a more harmonized and contented mind. Try to continue the practice no matter how much negative dross arises; only stop the practice if it stirs up too much of the murky aspects of the mind, too quickly. In this case, you can recontinue the practice at a later date.

In the process of cleaning out the mind it is a good idea to combine ajapa with chidakasha dharana. In this case, you will see the subconscious contents of the mind in the form of images on the mind screen (chidakasha) in front of the closed eyes. These will be like dreams, but you will be fully conscious of them. These will be images of your deeper problems. In Sanskrit they are called samskaras (mental impressions) and vasanas (deep-rooted desires). Don’t suppress these images or react to them. You must merely be aware of them and watch them with an attitude of an unconcerned witness. You must feel as though they are something separate from your being. In this way, these samskaras will be exhausted and the mind will be relieved of much tension and anxiety. This will take time and practice, but is essential in making the mind a perfect instrument.

Basic features of ajapa

As a reminder, the following are the important points of ajapa.

  • Deep and rhythmical breathing
  • Continuous awareness of the breathing
  • Continuous repetition of mantra synchronized with breath
  • Relaxation of mind and body
  • Comfortable sitting position
  • Practice of ujjayi pranayama
  • Practice of khechari mudra.

     

If you can carry out all these features then you will make great progress.

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