We look at the practice of using a mantra as working from the gross to the more subtle realms. First, begin by saying your mantra out loud. With time, sometimes as little as a few minutes, you may be able to move into saying your mantra quietly, like a whisper. Then, after a few minutes, try saying it silently to yourself. You may work with this layer of mantra repetition for a few weeks, or even years. With time, you may begin to actually hear your mantra beginning to unfold on its own. This is a good sign that you are surrendering to the power and vibration held in this sacred sound. Maintain your awareness as a listener of the mantra. There may be 10 percent of you holding the mantra, or having the intention to hear the mantra, and 90 percent of you just listening. With time and practice, the subtlest levels of the mantra will emerge. There may come a time when you do not hear the words at all, but a visceral pulse of the mantra begins to emerge. It may manifest in more and more subtle ways—as light or symbol or even the apparition of a god or goddess image. Keep connecting to the sacred pulse of the mantra, letting it dissolve and resolve any and all obstruction, bringing you back into the silent roar of love at your heart. With time, the mantra is no longer said or heard; it begins to say you. You become the mantra.
It’s important to receive a mantra that has been empowered, or held, by a lineage or tradition. Anyone can go online and Google “mantra” and start chanting. But the true sacred power of a mantra comes in its being held in love, by a teacher, for many years. In this way, the mantra is “unlocked.”
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