Although my formal involvement with Siddha Yoga decreased as Stage One came to an end there was one aspect to it that maintained a presence throughout Stage Two and beyond. Siddha Yoga is a mantra-based meditation, where a sound is used to help focus the mind rather than let it wander around, which is its preferred activity. When a mantra is given by a meditation master it is said to have a special power to transform:
In the yogic tradition, a mantra is a Sanskrit word that has special powers to transform mind, body and spirit. Translated, mantra means, “that which, when reflected upon gives liberation.” Mantras are unique mystical formulas of sacred syllables, which were originally revealed to the Rishis (seers or sages) in the deepest states of meditation. Mantras were one of the earliest components of yoga and are quite possibly the first type of meditation that was developed. http://www.yogabasics.com
Power or not the one thing I did notice was that at some point during Stage One the mantra sound become permanently attached to my breath. The mantra is taught to be repeated silently on each in and out-breath, and I found it was automatically present at all times. Funnily, when researching this section I came across some relevant words on the topic:
Mantras are said to increase in power in direct relationship to the number of times repeated. A mantra is fully empowered by becoming “seated” in the heart after 125,000 repetitions, achieving what is called Mantra Siddhi. http://www.yogabasics.com
I only refer to mantras because as I moved out of Stage One I also left behind most of the disciplines I associated with being on a spiritual path. I had a core belief that there was more to life than the superficial levels I accessed every day, but I was more engaged in that superficial world than spending time delving into anything deeper. However, what came with me into Stage Two as a constant companion was the mantra. I couldn’t shake it even if I wanted to. Looking back on this period, which in a broad sense lasted for over twenty years, this mantra companion was the main aspect of my yoga practices that stayed with me.
When I wrote earlier that this manuscript wasn’t a “how-to” guide to the Truth I really meant it. I have no idea why the changes that happened in Stage Two came about or why they became so intense that they led eventually to the Transition and Stage Three. I wasn’t doing much in a formal sense to bring about such a process and I never even knew that such a destination existed. What was the guiding force that pushed through this revolution? Bernadette writes:
But at a certain point, when we have done all we can, the divine steps in and takes over. BR
Maybe that’s as close as I can come to an answer. Substitute whatever word you like for your interpretation of “divine”. Maybe the mantra did have a core power to take me towards the Truth. Perhaps at some point in our search, we hit a downhill slide and, although we might think nothing is happening, on some level we are on a runaway ride to a reality unknown to our conscious self.
Stage Two for me was where the hard work really started.
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