How Japa Changed My Life!

lajjaBy Lajja (Ellen) Mitchell

Strike that title! Instead, make it, “How Japa Continues to Change My Life!”

I am not sure when I started repeating mantra regularly. It might have been after my first meditation course in 2012.  I certainly focused more on it in during my trip to India in 2013.  My first Seva after returning was to be on a team for our community-wide Japathon, a phone event where we all repeated mantra aloud together.  In a multitude of ways, 2013 was the year of japa for Svaroopa® yoga and for me. I read all the contemplation articles. Frequenting our svaroopa.org website, I listened to Freebie audio recordings on anything japa.  I bought my first mala. And every time I saw Swami that year, I heard her said, “Do more japa!”

rudrakshaI know from experience that japa helps to quiet my mind.  In addition, japa is the vehicle to help bring me into meditation; japa is portable and I can do it anywhere. I say japa when I am happy or sad, when I am in a state of fear or love, whether my life is up or down. Japa can level-set me and take me back to a more centered space. I also say japa right before bed. What better way to quiet the mind at the end of the day? Many times, I dedicate this practice to someone else that I know may need some prayers.

Recently, while waiting for a meeting to start, I started saying japa to fill the time. Japa took me to a deep, calming place. My mind was quiet. It was meditative. I almost forgot there was a meeting to be held.

I now think that I live more in the pause and less in the reaction. I firmly believe that, as one of my yoga practices, japa has helped me to get to this place within. So that is why I say, “My japa practice continues to change my life!”

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