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  • Amina Aitsi-Selmi

What you can learn from a mantra about habits, performance and power

May this early 2018 bring you a deepening experience of the joy of life (and less stress)! If you’re unclear on your path forward for any reason, I highly recommend slowing down and seeing more deeply into your experience. For New Year's Eve, I decided to try out an overnight meditation. I just went along expecting a silent sit…It turns out mantra chanting was involved…(I don’t normally practise mantra meditation)...

It was the "100 syllable Mantra of Vajrasattva invoking purity of mind and the mindstreams of all the Buddhas that ever lived"…I was little outside my meditation comfort zone here (I’m more of a Zen, quiet, choiceless awareness, type of practitioner).

I felt myself resist at first. The mantra was in Sanskrit and unintelligible to me. Still I let myself sink into the experience, and went through the phases of the mind’s journey as it adapts, learns a new habit and performs...For example, there was the initial enthusiasm, the realisation of what was involved and the resistance to the difficulty and change (including all the judgments and negative thoughts). Then came a slow habituation to the melody and rhythms of the mantra. It was extremely helpful to be part of a group chanting the mantra to show me it was possible! Slowly, I started whispering parts of it. I continued to relax and not react to the “mistakes/failures” I made and soon enough I could see the full structure of the mantra more clearly and what was missing to complete it. It slowly started to fill out. I had to put special focus on harder parts of it; and with attentive repetition, eventually I could sing it all, almost automatically and even add my own flourishes. With more time I would have been able to sing it louder and be a support for others. In medicine we would say: see one, do one, teach one. This took place over an hour or so and it was ultimately fun trying to learn a Sanskrit mantra for no particular reason, other than its being there - like doing a puzzle. The entire workings of the mind (and the emotional cycle of change) in the experience of a mantra. When I reverse engineer my most fulfilling achievements in life, this was very much the mental process. Interestingly, none of the mantra experience was forced. There was no air punching or reward/punishment. I saw how my mind was working and allowed the best outcome to be possible. I felt at peace and powerful at the same time. So for living fully and wholeheartedly in 2018, pick an area of your life and:

  1. Tap into a powerful intention (“goal”) which can be an experience - accept it as yours to manifest into the world.

  1. Master your thoughts and emotions through transformational processes - so you can focus and take skilful action.

  1. Practise, practise, practise - in relationship with supportive people and environments.

I don’t know of another way to live a full life that brings more beauty and love into the world. For this reason - especially the importance of being in a supportive cocoon that helps you spread your wings and soar - is why I've set up the Leaders Circle: a small group intensive coaching experience. It came to me as an idea after the trip to the Sahara. The aim is to have a supportive environment to connect with your most powerful self and: clarify your intentions/goals, address negative thoughts and learn to sustain joyful motivation. For more information, watch this space! :)

Have a great week, Amina

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