Japa in the Empty Moments

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‘There is no difference between the Name of God and God. So when you chant His Name, He is next to you.’

- Paramahamsa Vishwananda

 

Paramahamsa Vishwananda speaks frequently of the importance of chanting the Divine Names. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve personally heard Him talk about chanting the Divine Names with love, about thinking of God in everything that we do.

People also ask Him how to think of God in everything when they have family and work and other responsibilities in their day. They say, ‘I can’t think of God all day. There are too many other things going on.”

In His infinite patience and kindness, He tells them to just start somewhere, to think of God at the beginning of your day and again at the end. This is enough.

This is also a bad deal for God. When we think of God only twice a day, what we are ultimately saying is ‘I’ll recognise you as my eternal Beloved only twice because I’m content spending my time enjoying the gifts you’ve given me.’ There is nothing wrong with this. And God, in all his Love and mercy and infinite patience, says ‘okay my dear, enjoy. I’ll see you tonight.” And on we go with our lives. When we put the conscious effort into focusing on God throughout the day, we are saying ‘I prefer You over your gifts. I want the eternal joy of loving you more than I want your temporary gifts.’

Consciously choosing to think of God throughout your day is possible and it starts with forgetting the excuses and seeking solutions. Like anything, adopting a new practice or habit takes patience, discipline and practice. Remembering God throughout your day is no different.

 

Start with the empty moments.

We all have them in our day. These empty moments are the points in our day where our physical bodies might be doing something but our minds do not necessarily need to be super invested. For many of us, this our coffee or lunch break, the walk to the bathroom, the commute to work even.

We all have empty moments during our day. These empty moments are the points in our day when we can let our minds go. These spaces of time usually involve physical activities that do not require much engagement of the mind.

The possibilities are endless. Turn your morning and evening rituals of showering and brushing your teeth into an opportunity to be with God, to chant the Divine names.

Turn the walk to another office into a short japa walk. Think of your commute as time to be with your Beloved. Think of your coffee break as a coffee date with God. Or tea if that’s more your style. There are even saints who turned to the bathroom as space where they could pray in peace. You can too.

Start by finding the empty moments and enjoy them too. Enjoy your time with your Beloved, both in your personal meditation practice and the empty moments in your day.

 

Keep a reminder of the Divine close.

 

Whatever form of the Divine you feel close to, keep an image of them nearby. Keep one on your desk, on the dash of your car, as the screensaver on your phone or computer. Take a deep breath every time you look at it and thank the Divine for being with you today.

In this way, you can ask God to be with you as you begin any project or car ride or anything else you might be doing. Periodically look up at that image and remind yourself that He is there and thank Him for His presence when you are finished. In this way, everything you do can be a part of your relationship with God.

It’s that simple. Really. It is.

 

But the most important take away from all of this is to start somewhere. Stop looking at all the reasons you can’t and start looking for all the places you can. The more you practice this, the weaker the mind becomes and it becomes easier to see the Divine in everything.

God is in everything you do. Take the time to seek Him wherever you are and suddenly, even the most mundane tasks in your day can become a loving moment with your eternal Beloved.


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