Poem for Jul 15

Japa Report

I began my japa at a moderate pace,
hoping to keep attention,
meet my quotas,
and write a short Japa Report.
I practiced “just hear,”
the method of chanting and hearing
with no other meditation.
It is an elevated process.
Anyone who understands that the Name
is nondifferent from Krishna Himself,
and absorbs himself
in the transcendental sound vibration,
is achieving a rare state of japa.
I could not attain it,
but I tried.
I met my quota after four rounds
with a few minutes to spare.

I began my second set at a moderate pace.
Baladeva’s vocal chanting from the other room
encouraged me in my mental japa.
Although I was chanting silently
in my mind, I heard the Names
clearly, with attention and concern
to pronounce the words properly.
I was not much disturbed by distraction,
I met my quota after eight rounds
with a few minutes to spare.

I began my third set at a moderate pace.
I tried to avoid mechanical chanting
by cultivating thoughtfulness
and devotional feelings.
For thoughtfulness I practiced “just hear.”
This enabled me to keep the mantras separate
and not mix or miss them.
For feeling I glanced at Radha-Govinda
and absorbed Their sweetness.
I acknowledged that Radha-Krishna
are the heart of the Hare Krishna mantra,
composed exclusively of Their Names
and uttered as a prayer for engagement
in Their service.
My third set finished with
a few minutes to spare.

I began my fourth set
focusing on my beads
and the clock
to see if I was on time.
Besides, I could not sustain darsana
because of my weak
vision and the shininess
of Radha-Govinda. I observed
that I was falling behind. I
switched to a brisk pace.
But I didn’t rush recklessly.
I held on to the bead until
the mantra was finished
before moving on to the next bead.
I completed my twelfth round
with minutes to spare
on the overall quota.

I considered it a decent session.
I was alert and wide awake
the whole time.
I felt no head pain for
the entire session.
I could not enter a prayerful state,
but I avoided mechanical chanting
by keeping up external, attentive japa.
I met all my quotas.
I followed the process
of doing a prescribed number of rounds
in obedience to the order of the spiritual master,
a sacred vow.