By Ekabhumi Charles Ellik
I don’t know who needs to hear this today, but the best thing beginners* can do for spiritual development is simply resolve to do a simple practice** every day.
Recently, I was asked for tips on doing Japa (mantra meditation***) and my tip is simply to set aside a small amount of time (at least half an hour) every day for sadhana without fail. More can always added. But build upon success.
Just make this time a part of daily routine like bathing or sleeping. Just resolve to do it every day with no attachment to an outcome.
It IS who you are now. Because you have resolved and know in your heart of hearts, that is who you are now.
The results may be slower to appear than intense-skillful-focused-intentional-practice-while-on-retreat, but results will inevitably come
Results may be slower than intense-devotional-passionate-Bhakti-surrender-to-a-deity-and-memorize-every-one-of-their-scriptures, but results will inevitably come
Benefits will compound because of the repetition, steadiness, and simplicity.
The results may even exceed expectations because there ARE NO expectations. Because room is left to be surprised!
Because sometimes our goals are actually smaller than our capacity.
Because sometimes divine grace is actually bigger than our goals.
*most of us are beginners
**OK people, I know this is online and anybody can read this out of context, but can we be sensible? Please be respectful, be humble, and use common sense. The practice needs to be a traditional one appropriate for you, or given by your guru/spiritual teacher.
I do lots of mantra recitation (japa). There’s plenty of debate whether a mantra can work without initiation from a guru. I don’t wanna get into that debate.
One guru taught me that there are a few mantras that don’t need initiation, like Gayatri Mantra, or Na-ma-si-va-ya (Namah Sheevaya).
But it’s tremendous to just sit quietly, still the mind, and breath smoothly and deeply.
It’s so easy get lost in the details…
Here are recordings of the mantras from my coloring books with proper pronunciation: