Tightrope

 On left: Eve offering the apple to Adam in the Garden of Eden and the serpent (detail), c.1520-25 (oil on wood) by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553).  On right: murti of Lord Buddha displaying the “dharma chakra mudra” (detail).

You are a child of the rishis and heir to their inheritance. But spiritual life is not always easy. It is a tightrope act, the balance between tapasya and natural expression. At times we have to tighten up and at times we have to relax. “For everything there is
a season.” The same goes when you sit for meditation. When the mind is not still, then say the name with loving attention. Ma dances in the sound of Her name. And when the mind is still, then rest in the silence beyond articulation. Ma shines as still awareness. Both are the same. Sadhana is art, not technique. That said, it is still very helpful to do plenty of good old-fashioned japa throughout the day. The Tantras say: Mananat-trayate iti mantrah (“Mantra is that which frees the mind”). It is medicine for the mind. The japa mala can be a dear friend to get us through hard times. And then of course there is Ma. Trust that Her grace is upon you. I do.