Poem for Jul 21

Japa Report

I began my japa at a moderate pace,
hoping to pay attention,
meet my quotas
and write a short Japa Report.
I practiced “just hear.”
This is an elevated stage
and I couldn’t attain it
completely. But I tried.
I met my quota after four rounds
with minutes to spare.

I began the second set at a moderate pace.
Baladeva’s vocal chanting in the other room
was encouraging and supportive
to my mental japa.
Although I was chanting silently
in the mind, I heard the Names
alertly, with attention and concern
to pronounce the words properly.
I focused on the beads
and the clock to observe
my progress. Besides, I
couldn’t go on staring
at Radha-Govinda. I observed
that I was falling behind.
I was drowsy.
I met my quota after eight rounds
with only a few minutes to spare.

I began my third set
by switching to a
brisk pace. I couldn’t
enter an inward state,
but I enunciated my rounds
with external attention.
I emphasized speed over quality.
I feared I would not be able
to finish my quota on time
and that I would fall short.
I finished my twelfth round
with minutes to spare.

As I began the fourth set,
I was running
out of time. I feared
I would not be able to
meet my overall quota
and that felt shameful.
I planned to stop
my japa before finishing
the sixteenth round,
promising to complete
the quota later in the day.
But by speeding – although
not rushing recklessly –
I managed to complete
the overall quota with
five minutes to spare.

I considered it a barely
half-decent session.
I was drowsy on the second set.
I was able to enunciate the Names
with external attention.
I felt no head pain
for the entire session.
By speeding, I was able
to meet the overall quota.
I practice the process
of doing a prescribed number of rounds
in obedience to the order of the spiritual master,
a sacred vow.

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