I thought I would give reciting my mantra in bed another shot. The night before it had been so pleasant and cozy and relaxing.
I put my daughter to bed at 10:30, way past our usual bed time. The Cosby Show on netflix had entranced us. I gathered up my things, the mala and the small pot of soil, and crawled under the down comforter. Counting the beads in my right hand I stuck my left thumb in the soil to connect to the earth element and started to recite the mantra under my breath. This is by far the longest mantra I have ever recited and if I’m alert and moving quickly I can get through it in 30 minutes. But that really doesn’t ever happen. Spirit always has another plan for me.
In this case I was unconscious by the time I reached 1/4 of the beads and then awoke to a knock on my door. There was my sweet daughter who had had a nightmare and wanted to crawl in bed with me. Without thinking of her feelings I belted out “NO” because I know that the diksha for this process requires that all 108 repetitions of the mantra be said without interruptions.
I took a deep breath and let it go, inviting her to my bed for soothing hugs and a brief conversation. I am so grateful that she is now willing to return to bed on her own after a little reassurance.
Starting again at the top. Ohm, Aim Kleem Saoum …
Next thing I know I’m in dreamland. Reciting the Sanskrit sounds over and over and over again I flit through disjointed images of my life. When I come back to awareness I have splashed soil in my bed. Knew that was going to happen! And I’m not even a third of the way around the mala. How?
Now I get frustrated. It’s hot in here. I sit up in bed rocking from side to side to loosen my stiff neck rushing my way through the next few repetitions until my back cools and I relax and lay back down again. Ahh, nice soft bed and I’m asleep again.
This happens several more times. I am about to give up when I get to the half way point. Does it count if I stop now? Or do I ruin the 12 days of work I have already done on this process. Who is going to help me answer this in the middle of the night? Arrgh!!!! Why do I get myself into these things?
And then I remember. Oh yes, Swami, Divine Guidance, Light, the Earth herself. That’s why I’m here, to celebrate and strengthen my connection to the earth, to develop in myself an ability to heal, to stand strong and loving in the face of another beings suffering, to ground and release negativity.
Suddenly I don’t really care how much longer it’s going to take. I just relax into the rhythm of the sounds … Shanti Shanti Shanti Hi
By the time I arrive at the last few beads I am almost wistful for the enjoyment of the process. I am grateful. I bow my head to the ground, put my pot of earth aside.
On my way back to bed I check the clock 3:37. The longest it’s taken so far to finish one round of the earth mantra.