Finding My Own Sadhana: Finding Authenticity
This inauthenticity was perhaps the root of my aversion to mantra. I always felt strange chanting word I couldn’t even understand except that I knew they were praising deities I didn’t even believe in. Not only that, but it is sung in such a monotone drone which, as a musician, sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me. It was not intended to be a part of my experiment, but attending Tushta’s Gita study session really helped me to clear out some of my blockages about mantra. Tushta explained the aspects of existence that the different Hindu deities represent, which made them much more palatable to me. Then, as if from divine intervention, my practicum group convened and decided unanimously that I needed to be the one to lead mantra because I play the accordion. I didn’t even argue because it seemed so clear to me that this was my chance to turn mantra in to something I love and use it to help dissolve my aversion. I found a mantra whose translation really resonated with me, and I found that once I was able to turn it in to a beautiful, melodious song, it actually became something I loved. When I led a practice session of it with the class, I was deeply touched by how beautiful it sounded when everyone sang it back to me, and the calming affect that the vibration of the accordion and the words had on me. It was really a transformational experience.