“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.”
In December 2014 SQA will be taking a group to the beautiful country of Bhutan. On this Bhutan trip we’ll not only be visiting Takstang Temple (aka Tiger’s Nest) which is dedicated to Guru Rinpoche, we’ll also be using his mantra throughout the 11 days. This mantra will be a powerful thread throughout this time and will help to bring cohesion to the group and also the personal journeys of the individual members.
Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, is often thought of as the second Buddha. He is credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet and helping it to take hold. He was a wise teacher and meditator and his mantra is a powerful and deep tool that brings forth the blessings of his character and nature to those who chose to work with it.
Entire texts are filled with the many meanings and layers to be discovered and digested in each syllable of his mantra. It’s something that people spend a lifetime studying – and during our Bhutan trip we’ll dig deep into it.
By way of introduction and to begin your practice you may wish to sit in meditation each day with the mantra. Sit wherever and however you can be uninterrupted for 15-30 minutes. Spend some time focusing on your breath and after five minutes or so you can use a mala to count your recitations. Usually a mantra is repeated 108 times and that is the number of beads on a mala.
As a beginner, it’s up to you to determine how many times or how long you wish to recite the mantra. Later on, if you chose to continue the practice, you can receive guidance on how to continue. During the Bhutan tour this will happen throughout the groups time together.
The mantra itself helps with removing mental and emotional obscurations (how Buddhists term the thoughts and behavior patterns that continuously hold us back), helps to purify our mental, physical, and emotional selves, helps us to gain control over our minds in order for the mind to serve the heart (and not the other way around), helps us to develop pristine awareness (right thinking) as well as leads us to more positive life activities (right action).
Om Ah Hum Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung
As a beginner you will, no doubt, ask the questions,”How does it do all that? What do all those syllables mean? Why am I sitting here repeating this day in day out? What’s the deal?”
Mantra is a tantric practice and, especially for beginners, meaning is not essential. Focus on the sounds created, focus on the presence of Guru Rinpoche and feel his energy connecting with yours. Practicing with mantra changes from day to day – depending on what your mind needs. It’s enough to do the practice without analyzing too much. Mantra is powerful and will, over time, help to guide you to a place of calmness and blessing.
Reciting Guru Rinpoche’s mantra, or any mantra, is about opening your mind, calling on the guru, and aspiring to drop down to the level where the mind is an ocean of peace which usually takes a continued dedicated practice to acheive. It’s a tool that helps move you from the very physical space we tend to occupy, into the wide open space of what the Buddhist refer to as our Buddha nature, our inner world of limitless harmony, joy and love.
Here is a beautiful meditation that you can listen to now at home and soak up the power of this sacred mantra…click here to listen.
If you would like to join us on this Bhutan trip this December have a look at the full details and book via this link. It’s going to be a once in a life-timer this trip and it would be lovely to have you join us!