Whenever we sit down to meditate or do our Mantra practice, what goes through our minds? Do we sit with the intention to just feel a little better – or do we sit with the intention of becoming enlightened – radically transforming our lives and everyone’s around us?
Our intention in practice is paramount.
I remember about 13 years ago, I was sitting in a hall with a group of about sixty seekers. We were listening to a Swami talk about the spiritual path. He was an American Swami – a wisp of a man with a kind nature and a mischievous impish grin that would appear out of nowhere and was infectious.
We were all very much enjoying the talk as he spoke about the Yamas and the Niyamas of the Hindu path – basically Hinduism’s version of the Ten Commandments. And then he started speaking about how we could think about our spiritual practice.
The Swami asked all of us to raise our hands if we thought we were going to become enlightened in this lifetime. Only one person raised their hands. He turned and with sombre intention looked at each of us and very slowly with great emphasis said: “And so it is!”
This deeply moved me. I was shocked that only one person out of a group of sixty would feel, nee, dare to believe that they could become enlightened! What audacity of that one person!
The American Swami went on to say, that as we believe – so it is. What we intend is often what transpires.
So what is your intention for your spiritual practice?
Is it your intention is to find some peace and tranquillity? Just feel a little better? Or do you intend to become enlightened in this lifetime? If so, what are you doing in order to make that happen? Do you have a good teacher that can help you there? If no, why not? We rarely can do it alone.
I once had an associate tell me that she was going to become enlightened in this life – but I knew for a fact his person didn’t meditate, knew some things about the body and it’s energy systems but didn’t really put a huge effort into her Sadhana or spiritual path.
Now, maybe she will become enlightened – who knows – but it has been my experience that it takes deep devotion, dedication and a lifetime of burning desire translated into action in service and contemplation – that can maybe bring you close…. and even then…
But if we don’t go for it, if we don’t put our whole heart and soul into it, it very very rarely just falls into our laps.
There is a wonderful Mantra for Ganesha, called the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra. It is:
OM EKADANTAYA VIDMAHE
TANNO DANTI PRACHODAT
SALUTATIONS TO THAT ONE-TUSKED ONE WHO IS FULL OF POWER.
KINDLY LEAD US TO THE STATE OF UNITY WITH ALL CREATION
This Mantra is very powerful to overcome obstacles on the spiritual path. Ganesha is such a great friend to us in our spiritual endeavours. Repeat this 108 times in the morning and night to help become clear on what your intentions are with respect to your sadhana.
Take the time to ask yourself questions about your intentions with your spiritual path. What do you want out of it? What are you willing to do to get there? What kind of commitments are you willing to do every day to get there?
Be like that one person who put their hand up…. Be audacious!
As always I am here, ready to listen and cheer you on.
Aly M. Dunne