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Melt Into Your Self
by wah!
It is necessary to take some time participating in the world with your eyes closed. 
Your world asks many things of you.  Your activities and negotiations require eyes open, fully engaged; however that is not the only way you can participate in this world.  When you close your eyes and meditate quietly, you can feel the breeze coming in through the window, you can hear the chirping of birds, bees and insects, the sounds of children playing, you may be aware of people moving and talking.  You will notice life happening in and around you.  You are participating without action.
You have a vibration, an essence, which participates in the world with or without your knowledge of it.  It is the Self – it is that same person who was inside you when you were 5 years old, and it is the same person who is inside you now, watching and providing commentary on the world around you.  Something is the same now as it was when you were a child, and it will remain with you throughout this life.  A child looks in the mirror:  “Oh I’ve become older.  Look at me!”  Who is that within you that is talking?  A grandmother looks in the mirror, “Oh is that me?  I didn’t know I looked like that now.  I have white hair, but I feel it is the same old me looking out of the mirror.”
That same witness which accompanies you through your life and through many lifetimes can be called the Self.  Some call it the Soul.  It is the consistent thread through all your experiences, it is a constant companion.  Indeed, some scriptures and poems describe the soul as the bride, the groom as the Universe, indicating a long-lasting relationship between Self and the many lifetimes you participate in. 
Accessing the soul, or acknowledging the Self in meditation connects you back to the Source, to the beginning of your conception.  It also connects you to all your future experiences.  The soul is the one who learns the lessons; the body is the carrier of the soul in this life.  As you meditate, you connect to your soul.  It gives you a different understanding of how and why you participate in your life – not just as an active participant but as a vibrational energy.
The mantras we chant are simple –  Jai Ma, or Sita Ram, or Om Namah Shivaya.  They are simple words of praise.  They have no storyline, and eventually, the conscious mind gets bored and gives up trying to direct; and you are able to access deeper and more meditative states of mind.
The world has a story.  “He met her, and she likes him.”  Every story has a plot which continues unfolding; there are always more details.  “Oh?  Is it true?  I heard she met him in Sweden.”  People have opinions and further historical facts; they argue about the history and the possible future.  This is all what the yogis call maya, the world and its neverending play of circumstances.
Mantras have no story.  They only carry vibration.  If you translate the simple mantras we chant, you will find out that they have very little story line.  In Indian folk songs (bhajans), there will be a story – “Radha’s love for Krishna hung like dewdrops on the flowers in the garden, crying out to him, ‘Krishna!  Krishna!’ waiting for him to appear.”  In mantra, for example Jai Ma, it only says ‘Praise the Mother.’  You can create any storyline around it, but it basically has no storyline of its own.  As you chant, the mind may try to create a storyline, and engage in thoughts of the day or of yesterday, but eventually it gives up.  When only the mantra remains, you have reached a state of meditation.  That is why we pause at the end of the song and sit in silence – so you can experience those few precious moments of peace.  That is the gift chanting can offer you.  After 20 minutes of chanting, the silence that follows is pure meditative energy.  It is food for the spirit.
We often close our programs with a mantra to Shiva – Om Namah Shivaya.  Shiva is the great lord of meditation.  Often depicted as a great being who lives in the high mountains of the Himalayas, Shiva spent many hours in seclusion meditating.  Some stories say that his energy is stored in the Himalayas, his body taking form as the mountains and his dreadlocked hair taking form as the glaciers which melt and feed every river in India. 
You can think of yourself as Shiva – that your meditative practice creates sacred energy in your head and heart.  And just like the glaciers which melt into the rivers of India, your meditation can melt into your hands and feet, blessing all your activities throughout the day. 
Chanting creates a vibration.  It is the seed from which all activity is born.  Your vibration affects everything and everyone around you. When your eyes are closed, you can understand a different aspect of yourself – your soul.  Chanting connects you to your own unique vibration.
WAH! has spent a lifetime immersed in spiritual pursuit, beginning yoga and meditation at age 17. She has worked with various jazz, pop and world musicians to create trendy meditative music for the yoga community.  Her latest release LOVE HOLDING LOVE (Nutone Music) is critically acclaimed.