Say "Goodbye" to Those Get Rich Quick Schemes and Affirmative Visualizations For Changing Your Fortune
Lots of people write me with a common situation, and perhaps this applies to someone you know.
First, they're presently encountering a lot of problems in life, foremost of which is usually a lack of money. That, in turn, has destroyed their mental peace.
Second, because of those problems they have started looking for a cure using some spiritual means. They're looking for a spiritual cure that will somehow miraculously solve their poor living situation (like "wish for it and it will come"), and they are also looking for some means to obtain mental peace and freedom from worry.
On top of this, unfortunately they're usually looking for an instant answer. Everything else has failed and now they're looking for something that's easy, free and instant.
Right. If there only was such a thing.
Let me start off by saying that everyone is going to have problems in life. In fact, a good Vedic (Jyotish or Indian), Chinese or Western astrologer will be able to chart out years ahead of time when you're going to have problems and tell you what type of problems you'll encounter. Sure enough, when that time period comes, the trouble comes in buckets.
Don't believe me? Just go book an appointment with a PROFESSIONAL astrologer. Remember my old rule about professionals -- doctors, lawyers, accounts, etc. Eighty percent are so-so average, and of the 20% that are pretty good, only 2-3% are outstanding. If you go to someone who isn't in the outstanding category, your results won't reflect what's possible and you'll get bad results... whether it be doctoring, accounting, OR astrology. So don't form opinions based on going to poor practitioners.
Master astrologers like David Goldstein, Pat Hayward, Chakrapani, James Kelleher, James Braha and others are always available to prove this to you. You can easily find them and other professionals on the web.
But guess what? Knowing a problem will come and how long it will last will not solve our problems. So back to our main story.
Whether the trouble anyone experiences in life is due to actions performed in THIS life or from a past life, the point is that the troubles are YOUR karma and you have to solve them or work through them. After you work through them, they "empty out" and the situation transforms into something else.
Some problems, despite any efforts, are so karmically thick that nothing can change them and you must simply bear them as long as is necessary until the time changes and they transform themselves. That's where learning how to mentally handle the burden comes in.
A life without problems, troubles, difficulties or challenges is impossible. Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Socrates -- they all had them. They are all due to karma and it's how you choose to meet them or handle them that's important. So it all comes down to behavior - wise behavior - called skillful means. Wise behavior in how to meet a situation and skillful means in how to solve a situation… and then it's on to the next one.
Rain, sunshine, rain again, then sunshine… you see, we all need a good course in wisdom and skillful means.
If you have a lot of merit from doing lots of good deeds in this life or from past lives, it'll seem easier for you to "solve" your difficulties or pass through them than for others. Without a big stock of merit, they'll just hit you flat in the face with no place for you to turn.
Nevertheless, after you burn up a stock of bad karma then it's gone for good, which is why a lot of Zen masters in the past would actually pray for sickness and trouble whilst they had true cultivation teachings, because they could burn them up whilst they had the understanding not to create new bad karma in the process.
See what I mean?
Now I can't say anything constructive about material difficulties hitting you in life other than to always do lots of merit so that it's easier to get help for them or to pass through them. That's all covered in my book, White Fat Cow, available on the www.meditationexpert.com website. What I'd like to cover is how to silence the mental worries that come along with this.
In other words, you have no money and want instant mental peace and want life to change. What do you do?
Meditate? Sure. It's free, so it satisfies one of your requirements, but it takes time and practice before you can learn how to settle the mind with some proficiency using meditation. Meditation will slowly change your life for the better as well, but since you want INSTANT mental peace we've got a problem. We need another form of skillful means.
What, then, is the quickest way to achieve mental peace while you're handling problems?
There are hundreds of methods one could use. For instance, in Christianity we're taught to "give our problems over to God" so that we don't have to worry about them, and for some people that works. "I'll let Jesus worry about it," some people say, and if it works that's great. Do it. Use whatever virtuous means works.
Napoleon, for instance, used to visualize that he had a drawer in his desk and every night he'd mentally stuff all his problems into the drawer and shut it so he could get a good night's sleep. Then he'd pick his problems up again in the morning.
Hey, that works, too!
But if this type of trick doesn't work for you, and meditation is too slow, what else might work?
I could go into hundreds of methods, and of course the BEST method would depend on an individual's situation, but as a general rule I'd say learn how to "MANTRA!"
When you mantra, you simply recite a phrase over and over again to still your mind, and every time you recite the mantra you listen to it within.
Reciting a mantra has a calming effect on the mind and you can use mantra recitation, called "japa practice," to actually interrupt your train of thoughts. You can use the mantra to push out worrisome thoughts, to overwrite them, to block them or however you want to word it. Don't worry about getting it right at first, because in time the right way to use mantras will rise to the surface, so-to-speak. Just worry about getting started.
There are 3 main types of mantra practices commonly used. There is reciting the mantra out loud, sort of half-speaking it wherein others cannot hear it but your lips/tongue are moving, and reciting it silently within the mind, which is the best technique. Different situations call for different types of practice, so use your wisdom as to which one you should use.
Which mantra is best?
Gosh, there are hundreds of mantras people can use, so without an enlightened teacher to recommend one to you, just use the common ones they've already transmitted like Namo Amitofo, Om Mani Bei Me Hon, and so forth.
Islam has mantras, Christianity has mantras, and so do Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism and most all the world's genuine religions. Mantras are just a way to calm the mind, open up the body's chi channels and pacify your chi and thoughts so that you can enter into samadhi. They're a high tech means to pacify the mind quickly.
Probably the best mantra for you to recite is the one you HATE, because that emotional response of hate or dislike is showing that it's DOING something and coming up against friction in trying to change the situation. That's why you hate it, because it's working and a force is rising inside you to try and stop this change that you desire. So that's one guideline, other than asking a samadhi or enlightened teacher for a mantra, or just using any of the common ones.
I always tell people use the common ones because they're proven, they're easily available, and lots of people know them.
The big thing is not to get suckered into paying for a mantra, or get suckered into believing you're getting a "special mantra transmission" meant just for you when you're in a room full of people lined up for that purpose. Be careful about organizations asking for big buck (I've heard of up to $1500 and more) for that sort of thing.
So if you ask me, I'd say start reciting a mantra out loud, and then in time after the mantra is memorized and the habit formed, mentally recite it internally - every moment --wherever you go so that you're always reciting it as a type of habit. That's when you'll get the best results. It's hard to get to that stage of practice but that's the highest target you can hope for. You mentally recite it internally, ALL THE TIME, until your mind stops and there's silence within. Then you forget both your body and mind and enter into the spiritual stages mentioned by all the religions.
Poop! You still have problems, but they don't bother you so you breeze through them. Or, because you now have a direct pipeline to higher powers, you get the help you need. But with a crowded mind cluttered with thoughts, how can you make any external connection with the infinite. Only an empty mind is big enough or wide enough to connect with the Absolute.
On the website I mention the Zhunti mantra, the Amitofo mantra, the Vairocana mantra, and others but why listen to me? Check the internet and you'll find lots of mantras out there. Just stick to the main ones. If you want to recite the Lord's Prayer over and over again, by all means that's a mild form of mantra recitation, so do so if that's your bent. Why not? Who said you have to use an Eastern mantra, though of course they probably do work better (because they are sounds discovered by enlightened teachers and passed on because of their profound effect, rather than words strung together with meaning).
It's said that only an 8th stage Bodhisattva really understands why mantras truly work, which is an individual pretty high stage on the enlightenment totem pole. So don't think they work because of something simple like vibrations or because they're a secret code of some sort. The proof as to how and why (and if) is in the doing, so get started. All I can tell you is that reciting a special phrase over and over again has been historically proven, for thousands of years in almost all religions, to spiritually calm the mind and it can lead to high meditative states.
Perhaps some day I'll write a small book on mantras but until then, I hope this little lesson helps.
Want some common mantras? Listen to this short lesson:
P.S. Don't think there's any super secret mantra or affirmation you can learn to solve all your troubles. It just ain't so. If even Buddha and other enlightened masters had troubles, what makes you think they'll instantly disappear with a secret formula? Sure there are special mantras that call for certain types of help from higher beings, but you still have to WORK to solve your problem anyway. If someone uses some special method AND their problem disappears, in many cases it was just COINCIDENTAL timing in concurrence with a change in the timing of their fortune. Put bluntly, you cannot escape karma, but can only use it up or transform it. There is no such thing as a free lunch in the phenomenal realm of the universe, and if you took you're going to have to give back, if you gave you'll receive. It's as simple as that, so you have to learn wisdom and wise behavior to deal with this life and the myriad more to come. Start cultivating!
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