Finding the Sanctuary Within
After the events of this past week; another mass shooting of children in Texas and the continuing horrors of the war in Ukraine, we can be left with a feeling that everything is spinning out-of-control in the outer world. This is not to mention the uncertainty and anxiety that most people are feeling in their individual lives. The truth is, as every Spiritual Master has told us; we do not have control over the outer world, and all we do by trying to exert control, is tie ourselves into greater knots of fear and frustration. The same sages however, developed a practice called Japa - whereby we can find a peaceful and calm sanctuary within - by continually repeating a word or phrase (called a mantra), no matter where we are or what we are doing. The idea is; since the mind is usually chewing on negative and useless thoughts anyway, why not give it something to repeat that is actually uplifting and joyful?
These mantras, which are thousands of years old, are designed to do just that; to bring a person into a deep state of joy and peace within, by repeating simple phrases that are usually one to six syllables, and are imbued with a high spiritual vibration and power. Some of the more well known mantras include, Om Nahma Shivaya (To Shiva/God I bow), Om Mani Padme Hum (The Jewel is in the Lotus), Hare Krishna and also, Om Ah Hung (which are all sounds of the One Divine Intelligence governing the Universe). There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of mantras in the ancient Buddhist and yogic texts. Even the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me), can be used.
Recently I came across a very powerful mantra that I had never heard before; the ancient name of God in Hebrew: Yod He Vav He. This was the name that was given to Moses when he asked God what his name was, and its meaning is: I Am That, I Am. Upon listening to a chant of this mantra on Youtube, I was immediately filled with it's powerful vibration of Stillness and Divine Presence, and have been repeating it continually since then. In other words, I've been doing japa using the Yod He Vav He mantra.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the turmoil and fear that is unfolding around, and perhaps within you right now, you might consider beginning the practice of japa - repeating a mantra to yourself as you go about the activities of your day. In a very short time, you will begin to notice that you feel lighter, and have a greater sense of joy and focus in your life. You can pick a mantra that resonates with you, or use Yod He Vav He - the point is to focus your mind on something deeper and more uplifting than the endless stream of negative thoughts that are constantly going on in the mind, and instead, take refuge in the sanctuary of Divine Presence and peace within you.