Poem for Jul 22

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 advanced stage
and I could not attain it
completely. 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 and helped me
to keep my pace with silent japa.
Although I was chanting silently
in the mind, I heard the Names
clearly, with attention and concern
to pronounce the words properly.
I was not much distracted.
Toward the end, I grew drowsy
and slowed down. I failed to
meet my quota after eight rounds,
being minutes behind.

For the third set
I switched to the brisk pace
in order to catch up.
I didn’t cultivate thoughtfulness
or devotional feelings.
But I did enunciate my rounds
with external attention,
keeping the mantras separate
without mixing or missing them.
I continued emphasizing speed
as a priority over quality.
I caught up, met my quota and didn’t slur,
and carefully kept the mantras individual.
I finished my third set
with minutes to spare on the quota.

I began the fourth set
continuing to speed,
but keeping up pronunciation.
I focused on the
beads and the clock
in order to moderate
my timing. Besides, I couldn’t sustain
staring at Radha-Govinda.
I completed my sixteenth round
with minutes to spare on the overall quota.

I considered the session barely
half-decent. I grew
drowsy on the second set
and there was too much
emphasis on speed
in the last two sets.
I kept fairly good
attention on all the rounds.
I felt no head pain
for the entire session.
I met my overall quota.
I followed 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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