The Meditation and the Mantra

“I am willing, I am ready, I am open!” This is the mantra or prayer that I say out loud every morning when I wake up and also each night before I go to bed. These three affirmations help both clear my head and set my intentions for the day ahead. I learned these three affirmations from someone very close to me and through the years, they have helped me through several of life’s ups and downs.

Surprisingly, given the title of this article, I have never been put much effort into meditation. In the last several months, however, I have made a conscious effort to meditate at least once a day in place of what I like to call the “prayer on the go” method. Prayer has always been a part of my life, especially since my Catholic school days well over a decade ago. I’ve come to see how meditation is often much more relaxing and better at creating a firm foundation for an insightful spiritual experience. This is not to say that prayer doesn’t have a place in my daily life or even in my meditations, but it isn’t able to provide me what meditations can: being in the present moment.

I cannot stress the importance of this concept enough! Being in the present moment, especially during a meditation session, can open up a whole range of positive, spiritual experiences. Not only is it the cure for most spiritual ailments, but it is also the lasting effect of a meditation session. The act of being in the present moment transcends almost everything else that comes from a positive meditation session. This is true because it allows the individual to go through the day ( given that the meditation is done in the morning) with an open and present mindset.

In my own life, I have struggled constantly with the concept of being present all day, every day. I think it is safe to say that we all struggle with this on a daily basis. In my own experience, I have had the most trouble focusing too much on the future and worrying what is coming up next in my life. This persistent worrying about the future, of course, is futile. It doesn’t accomplish anything, nor does it help me move towards my goals for the future. As many spiritual teachers of mine have told me over the years, being in the present moment is the foundation of everything. Without it, you are unable to move forward in life; instead you find yourself in quicksand, slowly sinking into your own freshly dug hole of misery and regret.

While the above metaphor may seem a bit on the extreme side, it is nonetheless a true statement. The mantra that I discuss in the earlier sections of the article is what keeps me out of this quicksand and bottomless pit of misery. With any hope, I will continue along this path of remaining in the present and allowing myself to be open to all positive experiences that come my way.