Affirmations… The Words of Power!
Mantras and affirmations are widely used. Some are used for self healing while others are for attaining spiritual development. It has been seen that sometimes people chant for long periods of time without seeing discernible results. This is because, like any practice, chanting mantras or affirmations require the mindful application of certain techniques. When followed properly, the results start showing significantly faster and become more potent than if it’s done mechanically. Producing successful results from chanting requires the involvement of the conscious, subconscious and the super-conscious mind.
There are five stages of chanting. They are:
- Conscious loud chanting
- Whisper chanting
- Mental chanting
- Subconscious chanting
- Super-conscious chanting
It is important to still the mind and free it from worries and restlessness. Choose your mantra and repeat it. Become familiar with its pronunciation. Do it loudly at first, then softly and more slowly until your voice becomes a whisper. Then gradually affirm it mentally only, without moving the tongue or the lips, until you feel that you have attained deep, unbroken concentration. It will be a profound continuity of uninterrupted thought. In this way, you’ll have graduated to the third stage of chanting.
When you continue with your mental affirmation and go deeper, you’ll feel a sense of increasing joy and peace. This is a sign of having entered the fourth stage of chanting. Subconscious chanting becomes unbroken and automatic. Super-conscious chanting results when the deep internal chanting vibrations are converted into realization and are established into the conscious, subconscious and super-conscious minds. Holding the attention uninterruptedly on the true Cosmic Vibration (Aum), and not on an imaginary sound, is super-conscious chanting. The mind and body are completely still at this point while the awareness expands.
According to Paramahansa Yogananda, “Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith and intuition are like highly explosive vibration bombs, which when set off, shatter the rocks of difficulties and create the change desired. When we avoid speaking unpleasant words, even if they are true, we create a positive change. Sincere words or affirmations repeated with understanding, feeling and willpower move the Universe to render help in our difficulty. When we appeal to the Higher Power with infinite confidence, it is important to cast out all doubt otherwise the arrow of our attention will be deflected from its mark.”
By starting our chants or prayers with a “thank you”, we create a positive mindset. This also helps to eliminate doubt. The mechanism of chanting is essentially a three step process. The first step requires the conscious mind to have a goal. The seed of this target is then sowed into the subconscious mind. Once sufficient power has been accumulated, the seed moves to the super-conscious mind or Divine Consciousness, where it starts to manifest results physically. After sowing the seed, do not pluck it out frequently to see whether or not it has germinated. Give the divine forces a chance to work uninterruptedly. This can be done by cutting the cords after finishing the chants.
Sit facing north or east and keep your spine erect throughout. If you’re sitting on the floor, seat yourself on a woollen blanket. This is due to the Earth’s electromagnetism. Take deep breaths and do a few rounds of abdominal breathing. Doing 3 cycles of Pranic Breathing will be quite beneficial. Relax the body and keep it motionless, and don’t let it slouch or become stiff.
Empty the mind of all restless thoughts, and withdraw its attention from bodily sensations, like heat and cold, sounds and so on. The most ideal time for affirmations is immediately after awakening in the morning or just before going to sleep at night. This is when the active conscious mind becomes relaxed and the much more powerful subconscious mind is more accessible. Groups may meet at any suitable hour.
It’s best to do it in quiet surroundings as far as possible. If the group is gathering at a noisy place, ignore the sounds and attend devotedly to your practice.
There are affirmations and chants that develop the intelligence aspect, devotion aspect and the willpower of the chanter. As one uses different affirmations, the mindset should also change accordingly. For will affirmations, the chanter should be aware of their Ajna Chakra and have strong determination. For devotional affirmations, awareness should be on the Heart Chakra. For intellectual affirmations, the awareness should be on the Forehead Chakra accompanied by clear reasoning. More advanced practitioners can be aware of their Blue Pearl during the chanting. It’s important to be aware of the purpose of the mantra or affirmation to increase its effectiveness.
In all affirmations, intensity of attention comes first, but continuity and repetition mean a great deal too. Impregnate your affirmations with devotion, willpower and faith. Do so intensely and repeatedly and be mentally de-attached about the results which will come about naturally. Being attached to the result is like uprooting the seed repeatedly. The seed simply perishes!
All affirmations of the conscious mind should be impressive enough to permeate the subconsciousness, which in turn automatically influences the conscious mind. Strong conscious affirmations thus react on the mind and body through the medium of the subconscious. Still stronger affirmations reach not only the subconscious but also the super-conscious mind, which is the magic storehouse of miraculous powers. One’s attention should not be allowed to lag. Straying attention should be brought back again and again like a lazy worker and repeatedly and patiently trained to perform its given task.
Thoughts have to be understood and applied rightly before they are effective. Ideas first enter man’s mind in a crude or undigested form; they need to be assimilated by deep reflection. A thought without soul conviction behind it has no value. That is why persons who use affirmations without comprehending the truth on which they are based – man’s unity with God – get poor results and they complain.
Many processes are involved between the sowing of the affirmation seed and its fruition. All conditions of its growth must be fulfilled to produce the desired result. The affirmation seed must be a living one, free from the defects of doubt, restlessness or inattention. It should be sown in the mind and heart with concentration, devotion and peace and watered with deep, fresh repetition and boundless faith. You must joyfully and enthusiastically look forward to chanting. It is not a chore!
During group affirmations, the group should take care to affirm with an even tone, even mental force, even concentration and an even sense of faith and peace. Distracted minds lessen the united force born of affirmations. Therefore one should not make bodily movements or become mentally restless. The concentration of all members of the group is necessary for success. Chanting together in a group generates a lot of power. If the rhythm is broken or the chant is not happening in synchronicity, the potency will quickly dissipate.
In group affirmations, the leader should read the affirmations rhythmically. Then the audience should repeat the same words with the same rhythm and intonation.
“When you are passing from one stage of chanting to another, the attitude of the mind should also change and become deeper and more concentrated. The aim is to unite chanter, chant and the process of chanting into one. The mind should enter the deepest conscious state – not unconsciousness or absentmindedness or sleep, but a state of such focused concentration that all thoughts are sunk into and merged with the one central thought, like particles drawn into an irresistible magnet.”
Always avoid mechanical repetition. This meaning is found in the Biblical injunction, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God In vain.” Exodus 20:7. Repeat affirmations firmly with intensity and sincerity and your desired target will soon materialize.