Poem for May 11

Japa Poem

Keeping the mind concentrated on hearing the holy names and not straying to other thoughts requires a careful balancing act. It is like balancing yourself on a railroad track. You can’t overconcentrate on your walk, but you have to go ahead, just keeping your mind on balancing and walking confidently ahead. Sometimes if you are riding on a bicycle and see some object ahead of you and you’re afraid you will hit it, you may become overconcerned and get drawn like a magnet to hit the object you want to avoid. So in chanting, you have to keep hearing the holy names and not get overworried that you’re going to start thinking of some other things, or else they’ll start filtering into your mind and you’ll get stuck on them.

(_Japa Transformations_)


I give examples of the danger of
overconcentration in japa. You
have to balance chanting in the mind
and not get distracted by other things.
I give the analogy of riding on a bicycle
and becoming overconcerned that
you are going to hit an object ahead,
but you get drawn to it and hit
the object that you want to avoid.
In doing japa, don’t overconcentrate,
but link the mantras together.