Ajapa japa Meditation helps one to withdraw the senses and awaken self-awareness. It removes the impurities of the mind, build unwavering concentration, enhances ability to access areas of consciousness, which are otherwise locked away. It also balances Ida and Pingala thus making it possible for sushumna to function.
Ajapa japa naam Gaytri, jivo japati sarvada. This is an integrated part of Kriya Yoga , in ancient era Kriya Yoga was the tradtion of Guru- Shisya parmpara to in this tradition Kriya Yoga was the latent knowledge of yogic science.
Ajapaja is the complete meditation technique in itself which leads the practitioner from the preliminary stage of Meditation to the final goal of emancipation.
- Physical Benefits : Assists the body to heal more quickly through its mental effects and vibrational resonance on the brain and other organs. Especially powerful as a therapeutic tool for cardiac patients.
- Mental Benefits : Deeply soothes and calms the mind and nervous system, relieves stress, eases anxiety, helps with insomnia, facilitates the expulsion of complexes and neuroses. Helps bring the mind to one-pointedness. Leads naturally and organically into Meditation .
- Subtle Body Benefits : Awakens inner sound – nada – which induces samadhi – which is the only platform for perceiving the ultimate nature of reality. Focus is on Anahata and Ajna Chakras.
- Karmic Benefits : Eliminates harsh and obtrusive sound in your outer world if practice is motivated by the desire to achieve the highest state of stillness in order to be of benefit to others. It takes conscious effort to never disturb the still waters of the mind of another in order to create the causes and conditions to have a still mind. It takes a perfectly stilled mind and an experience of samadhi to truly and completely be able to turn our attention to and be of ultimate service to anyone other than ourselves and our own needs.
How to practice
During the practice, you must maintain constant awareness of every ingoing and outgoing breath. Not a single breath should go unnoticed.
- Sit in a comfortable position of your choice and relax your body completely. Practice kaya sthairyam (stillness of the body).
- Establish yourself as the living awareness that is witnessing the experience.
- Become aware of the breathing process. Observe every incoming and outgoing breath as your breathing becomes slow and rhythmic. Follow the breath in and out of your nostrils.
- Leave the awareness of the breath through the nostrils and visualize a transparent breathing tube spanning the body between the navel and the throat. Try to imagine it.
- Bring your awareness to your navel and start practicing Ujjayi Breathing (if you know how)
- Begin to move your awareness very slowly up and down inside the psychic breathing tube (frontal passage).
- Now add the awareness of the breath. Let the awareness and the breath ascend and descend inside the psychic passage (or tube).
- As you breathe in, your knowledge flows slowly and evenly up from the navel to the throat. As you breathe out, the awareness flows down smoothly and evenly from the throat to the navel.
- Then add a third force, prana in the form of golden liquid. Visualize prana as a golden liquid flowing up and down together with the breath and the awareness.
- You have the breath, the awareness, and pranic energy in the form of golden liquid ascending and descending inside this psychic passage. Observe this slender, flowing river of golden liquid flowing with the breath and the consciousness inside the passage.
- To make the practice more constant, use the mantra SOHAM. (I am that). As you inhale, it is SO and as you exhale it is HAM. Now you have the breath, the awareness, the pranic energy and the mantra SOHAM ascending and descending inside the frontal passage.
- Practice this for a while.
- Now get ready to end the practice.
- Leave the awareness of the psychic passage, of the prana and the breath.
- Become aware of your physical body, of your meditation posture and the external environment.
- When your consciousness is fully externalized, slowly open your eyes.
Tips from Deep Retreat
- Constantly monitor your forehead, jaw, lips, teeth, tongue – make sure all are completely and totally relaxed.
- The Sanskrit word Japa means to rotate – as in the continual rotation of the mala or rosary in synchronicity to the words of the mantra. This rotation of the beads between your fingers provides an anchor for the mind and in combination with holding the mind steady on the recitation of the mantra itself, serves to hold the awareness steady.
- Random thoughts will come up – it is possible to continue with the chanting (silently or aloud) of the mantra, perfectly in coordination with the rotation of the mala beads while simply observing or witnessing the inner thought process.
- If your awareness slips, your fingers will slip on the beads or your chanting will no longer be coordinated with counting the beads.
- Mantra started out as my main practice. In our Tibetan Buddhist lineage, we have a commitment to do daily mantra recitation as well as to complete four mantra retreats -anushthana – which means a vow to complete a certain number of mantra repetitions in isolation and in silence. These retreats are profoundly quieting for the body and the mind – except for the first one, which will likely be the most difficult thing you will ever do in your life!
- All anushthana retreats employ boundaries enclosing a retreat space where strict silence is observed and communication and contact is cut off for the period of the anushthana.
- As you repeat your mantra, visualize your anxiety, stress, rage – whatever you’d like to offload – leaving your body, leaving you clear and free, open and available to finally be there for others.
- You can also imagine your mantra recitation as a stream of goodness and beauty issuing from your lips into your world, blessing all beings.