IF you have a musical ear, if you have a heart which can understand music – not only understand but feel – then a mantra will be helpful, because then you can become one with the inner sounds, then you can move with those sounds to more and more subtle layers. Then a moment comes when all sounds stop and only the universal sound remains. That is aum.
Make it a point for at least twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the night to sit silently, half open the eyes and just look down. Breathing should be slow, body unmoving. Start chanting aum inside. There is no need to bring it out: it will be more penetrating with lips closed; even the tongue should not move. Chant aum fast – aum aum aum aum; fast and loud but inside you. Just feel that it is vibrating all over the body from the feet to the head, from the head to the feet. Each aum falls into your consciousness like a rock thrown into a pool and ripples arise and spread to the very end. The ripples go on expanding and touch the whole body.
Doing this there will be moments – and they will be the most beautiful moments – when you will not be repeating and everything has stopped. Suddenly you will become aware that you are not chanting and everything has stopped. Enjoy it. If thoughts start coming, again start chanting.
And when you do it at night, do it at least two hours before you go to sleep, otherwise if you do it just before you go to bed, you will not be able to go to sleep because it will make you so fresh that you will not feel like it. You will feel like it is morning and you have rested well, so what is the point.
You can find your own pace. After two or three days you will find what suits you. To a few people very fast – aum aum aum – almost overlapping, suits them. To others very slowly is more suitable, so it depends on you. But whatsoever feels good, continue.
The name of Jesus
If Jesus’ name moves you, sit silently and let that name move you. Sometimes say silently ‘Jesus’ and then wait. That will become your mantra. This is the way that a real mantra is born. Nobody can give you a mantra; you have to find it, what appeals, what moves you, what creates a great impact on your soul. If ‘Jesus’, then beautiful. Sometimes sitting silently, just repeat ‘Jesus’ and wait and let the name move deep, deeper into the recesses of your being – let it go to the very core. And allow! If you start dancing, good; if you start crying, good; if you start laughing, good. Whatsoever happens out of it, let it be. Let it be so, don’t interfere, don’t manipulate. Go with it and you will have your first glimpses of prayer and meditation and your first glimpses of God. The first rays will start penetrating your dark night of the soul.
Any sound which feels aesthetic and beautiful, any sound which creates a thrill and joy in the heart, will do. Even if it doesn’t belong to any language, that is not the point at all – you can find just pure sounds that are even more deep-going. Because when you use a certain word, it has certain meanings – those meanings create a limitation. When you use a pure sound, it has no limitation, it is infinite.