Back in the times, I was in Ensenada in Baja, I would go often to San Diego and visit the library, I started to read on Vedanta and Eknath Easwaran and I became fascinated with the concept o Karma & Mantra. I started to repeat a Mantra, I really didn’t have one, so I made one up. Later I remembered I had gone some years before to a 2-day intensive meditation session at Swami Muktananda’s center in Mexico and I remembered the Mantra I was given then.
What exactly is a mantra and how are you supposed to use it? The word mantra can be broken down in: “man,” which means mind, and “tra,” which means transport or vehicle. In other words, a mantra is an instrument of the mind—a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.
A mantra can be thought of as a seed for energizing an intention. Much in the same way you plant a flower seed, you plant mantras in the fertile soil of practice. You nurture them and over time they bear the fruit of your intention.
Back in Mexico City and I came in contact with a man who represented the Vedanta Society of Southern California in Mexico, so I started going to meditation sessions. He recommended we would get a small bench to sit for meditation, so I hade mine made in a carpentry shop nearby, later I got a small rectangular small cushion or more likely a small pillow, so sitting would be more comfortable.
Around this time, I learned about the practice of Zen Buddhism and Zazen, which is the Zen Meditation format. I got some books and was fascinated with the concept, the whole idea was so meaningful to me, I was very much identified with the whole idea of Zen.
The book The Three Pillars of Zen by Roshi Philip Kapleau had me so immersed in the concept that I started to learn “how to practice Zen in my daily life”, I got several books on Zen that I’ll mention later on. After some time, I was very lucky because I found the Zen Center in Mexico City, affiliated with the Rochester Zen Center founded by Roshi Kapleau.
In my next post, I’ll talk more about my encounter with Zen and more about my travels to Japan and India.