Enriching Your World with Japa meditation
A Sacred Japa meditation with Delamay Devi
Gathering and meeting for the first time was such a joy, it meant the beginning of a beautiful retreat week together. During the introductions I gave out the precious malas for the Japa meditation practice, that Mala Spirit had made exclusively for our Delamay Devi Yoga retreat. The mala was specifically designed to represent and hold the energy of the sun and the moon, the masculine and feminine, the yin and the yang. They have 108 beads plus a center piece calved out of cow bone, one side the face of the moon, the other side the face of the sun and this was wrapped in a fine silver work which made it glisten and shine beautifully. The intention of the yoga retreat was to Manifest the Goddess in all forms through meditation, visualisation, dance, writing, meditation with Japa practice, yoga and more.
The days that followed always began and ended with a 2-hour practice in a sacred space overlooking the peaceful rice fields and surrounded by lotus ponds. In the mornings the morning mist would greet us and our eyes rested on the emerald green shades of the fields and in the evening a chorus of frogs and other wildlife would ignite the air as the sunset and melted beyond the horizon.
Everyone was given their own personal mantra to work with depending on which Goddess they resonated with. Each practice began with a meditation to feel centred and grounded, and then we would begin 108 rounds of mantra as Japa meditation practice with our mala for our specific Goddess. With our eyes closed, our focus internal and our thumb and middle finger connecting to each bead while a mantra was being recited in our minds the vibration of the space shifted as each bead was being infused with potency and energy of the Goddess that became heightened everyday. We began to build a special relationship with our Japa mala, they became a living presence in our daily practice and they seem to deepen the connection within the group.
Japa meditation practice is centuries old, different cultures have their own way of connecting with the divine. Taking time out to sit in meditation and have your internal gaze and awareness on a single point is truly magical; it takes you into a trance like timeless state where the outside world fades away and all that matters is your breath, the mantra and this sacred repetition and vibration that you are calling in. From my experience a Japa practice is a fantastic way to introduce people into meditation. Some meditation practices ask you to still the mind but for beginners this can be impossible because they may find themselves having an internal dialogue about how hard it is and then lose sight of the actual goal or lesson here. When we are given something to focus or concentrate on, the mind has a sense that it is still in control because it has a purpose but this way we are able to trick the mind into becoming still or not as flighty when we have a single pointed focus, in this case a mantra.
At the end of our week together, our malas had become part of our daily attire, they had come everywhere with us from the massage spa, the water temple, our visit to Bali’s only female priestess and they had found a place on our yoga mats during practice. They had become a symbol of our connection to our female ancestors, our connection to the beautiful island of Bali where the malas were lovingly made and of course our connection to the Goddess, which was strengthened each time we completed one cycle of 108.
A mala has the potential to enrich your world, not only in meditation but also in your daily life. As humans we seem to be constantly striving for something and having a regular Japa practice can be a constant reminder of staying present with where you are, being grateful for what is and it gives you time out so you can tune in to what is vibrating in your soul.
Visit Delamay’s website and meet her at one of her retreat, www.delamaydevi.com