Before I pick up my beads to do my chanting meditation, I have 3 points of focus – I’m not this body, God is a person, and I have a relationship with Him.
I’m not this body is one of my favorite meditations. I like to sit quietly and hold my body still. I am the observer. I am conscious of my hands, my breath, my thoughts. I remember – yesterday, years ago, minutes ago. I think ahead – tomorrow, old age, the next hour. When I remember I am not this body I feel relief, more complete, and a real sense of freedom.
My second meditation, another favorite, is that God is a person. Although I heard this from a very young age in Catholicism, it wasn’t until I studied the path of Bhakti yoga that it made more sense to me. Krishna, the Sanskrit name for God, makes the idea of a personal God very attractive. The source of all life has to be credibly incredible. When I meditate on the premise that God is a person, I sense His presence, I sense protection, grounding, connection and belonging.
My third meditation is another, another favorite. Here my meditation is that I have a relationship with Krishna. When I hold still, slow down, or rise early I reflect on this. What does this relationship look like? Is it one of fear or love or both? How do I present myself? What do I ask for, or not? What does Krishna ask of me? What does the best, most complete form of this relationship look like?
When I pick up my beads and begin to chant the mantra, I am facing into that relationship. My 3 meditations have brought me here. Now I connect. Throughout the chanting I find myself returning to them in different ways. I chant with a longing to return to the spiritual world, a desire to engage in service, and a wish to develop affection and love for Krishna.
I also ask not to blow it – that I don’t lean too much on spiritual rules that my emotions are tied, or fall too much on the human side that I don’t touch transcendence. I pray for balance – that my humanity can nurture my spirit and that my spirit reminds me to be a better person, and a better human.