Breathing Meditation VS Mantra Meditation

Breathing Meditation VS Mantra Meditation
What type of meditation is good for me and how to meditate? These are fundamental questions that almost
everyone has. What I am going to do in this short video
clip is to give you the different possibilities. First I will give a
description of the theories behind meditation. For instance, there is a breathing technique,
which is considered to be one of the very powerful techniques. Breathing techniques are known by different
names, like breath awareness or looking at the flow of the breath in and out, counting
the breath. Or taking into consideration the different
types of breath, like prana, apana, dyana, udhana ~ there are 10 kinds of breath and
Patanjali talks about the prana and udhana and what kind of power you will get by observing
on this breath. The Buddha is reported to have told his son:
“Just watch your breath. Just put your full attention on the breath
— how it goes in and how it goes out. This is all you have to do for one hour a
day. And if you lose the attention within that
one hour period, then you will have to start again. You can see how hard it is: to be conscious
of every breath that goes in and out in one hour. Of course, one would certainly be enlightened
if one can do that but it is almost impossible to be aware of the breath all the time. But the breathing technique is a profound
technique because what is happening in the breathing technique is you are trying to understand
the mind and the soul principles. First of all, the soul is pure consciousness;
the mind is impure consciousness. So the mind comes out of the soul. So, they are vibrations: the soul is a vibration
and the mind is a vibration. Focusing attention on the breath has relationship
with the soul’s vibration and the mind’s vibration because the mind and the breath are related
to one another. Either you can put your attention on your
mind or on the breath. This is what happens when you are doing a
breathing technique. When you are doing a breathing technique,
what happens is: the mind goes away; it goes to somewhere thinking another thought or to
multiple thoughts. So as soon as mind awareness comes, breath
awareness goes away. And it would be a great thing if you can have
control of the breath and breath awareness; and then you can be like a Swara Yogi. Swara is the life principle. Because breath is really the life principle
or it is also the mind principle. In Swara yoga, if you read the Swara Yoga,
which is a conversation between Siva and Parvati, you can even understand the future, not only
about you but about other people who come to you. So by just looking at the Swara that runs
through either the left or right nostril, the Swara Yogi will be able to predict the
mind of the person who has come to see you. So that is how powerful is Swara yoga. But then the difficulty is how can anyone
who has a lot of other obligations in life, be able to be a Swara Yogi or even, for that
matter, be able to focus attention on the breath. Just think about the prana and we do not even
know the distinction betweeen prana and oxygen. So these are complications. So at least prana has part of the oxygen. That we can accept reasonably, but prana is
simply not oxygen. So you are not watching the flow of oxygen
and carbon dioxide. That is not pranyama. It is, partly, but it is more than that. Then what is prana? So, In order to understand the breathing technique,
you have to ask the fundamental question. Not many people have asked this question,
so if you want to really properly understand this question, ‘what is Prana?’ The Prana comes from Pranava. Pranava is the sound: Om So it is from the
Om Sound, life energy starts. so when you are able to go to the very fundamental
vibration, and able to perceive it, experience it, when the mind has disappeared, then you
have access to the experience of the Pranava. Pranava is the fundamental vibration of the
world. It is a sound vibration of Ah, Ooh, Ma, otherwise
called in Samasti form as OM. And from that OM, which is very unmanifest,
you have the sound, origin of Prana. It all takes place at a very subtle level. So, Prana starts from Pranava. Pranava is the sound vibration of OM or ‘Ah,
Oo, Ma’. When you are able to focus on this Pranava,
then you will understand the entire Cosmos, because the entire cosmos is only the expression
of Pranava. So there is only, on the one hand the Pranava
and on the other hand, the Prana. It is easier to go to the Pranava rather than
to Prana, for most people. Unless you have in a previous lifetime, you
have mastered the Pranyama or sometimes called Swara Yoga or Vasi Yoga. That’s another matter, because of the old
background from another lifetime that you will be able to appreciate this Pranyama,
breath Kriya, Swara Yoga, Vasi Yoga, or Sudharsana Kriya; all these are different names of the
breath awareness within the Zen and Buddhist traditions; they all belong to understanding
the breathing. It’s fantastic but then again, complications
are very involved. How are you going to differentiate prana from
apana, from udhana and samana, and the vasavayus, the ten different vayus that are involved
in doing different jobs within the body and mind. So people who simply talk about Pranyama do
not address the complications or the complexity involved in the Pranyama. Now to go back to the relationship between
Prana and from Pranava, which is Om or the sound vibrations come the Pranava which is
the life breath. So, instead of working on the breath which
is very hard to focus and remember and hold the mind on to it, why don’t you go to the
sound vibration itself which is the Pranava: OM. Because Pantajali, himself, although he was
mostly an atheist, accepts God in terms of OM. He says Om is God. He can accept that; the Pantajali of the Yoga
Sutras. He won’t be able to accept different Gods
like Vishnu, Ganesha or Siva. But he would accept, yes, I can accept OM
as God because Everything starts with the sound vibrations of OM. So why not go to the sound meditation? Not necessarily Om, but there are also meditations
on different sound patterns that carry different effects on the mind and the body and also
creating certain events. The vowels all have certain inbuilt energy
that create a certain affect. “Ah”, for instance, is pure consciousness. “Aah”, for instance, is a creative principle. “Ee” is Icha Shakti, Ooh is Gnana Shakti,
etc. So you can see the sounds are involved in
creating certain impact and involved in creating certain energies within the body and mind. That is why I basically prefer doing sound
meditation, even if it is a Japa like saying God’s name, “Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama — Hari
Bol, Hari Bol, Hari Bol”, a million times, will be a lot easier, let’s say if you say
it 1008 times, and a lot easier, a lot more profitable then watching your breath. Higher Vibrations
That is why all my meditations are focused on using sound waves because you are also,
by chanting a sound, you are calling on God. Then through the practice of the sound meditations,
calling on different Gods, like “Aim” for Saraswati or “Shreem” for Lakshmi, you are
getting a lot of these sound waves. And, there are, of course, many subtilites
involved in using the sound waves, and in many sophisticated ways. And as I said, even if you are not using the
sophisticated ways, just do a Japa. Japa just repeating the name of the god: “Ram
Ram Ram” or “Krishna Krishna Krishna.” Do it a 1000 times or 1008 times. To me, I think it is much easier to do Japa. I will have another video made on other forms
of meditations. The other meditations are also very complex
and not as easy as the mantra meditation, but for the sake of giving you theories I
will make another video for you.

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