The bad and ugly of Japa

I’ve begun to read Chapter 6 of Bhagavad-gita to get a sense of how I should chant.
I try to sit down alone, close my eyes and chant without moving for a little time.
Keeping my back and head as straight as possible. It becomes apparant that I’m
restless. Not in the – I need to do these ten things. No, I become restless because I think
that this Japa is well… a bit boring. Nothing happens during it and my mind wanders a bit and it’s easy. Then I direct my mind back to listening to the mantra. My mind tries to wander, but I keep it there.

That’s when I feel the pressure. It’s uncomfortable. My mind is uncomfortable with the direction I’m keeping it in. The longer I restrain the mind, the more pressure it feels. The pressure grows to pain. It becomes painful for the mind to listen to the chanting.

All I’m doing is sitting still and chant – and it’s painful for my mind. Huh – go figure. It grows even more painful. I feel every itch on my nose, hair, back, ear, that one hair that keeps itching on the neck. I’m trying to be devotional and increase bhakti – but instead I feel the body even more pronounced than before. We are supposed to learn that our consciousness is the soul, but here I’m chanting and meditating on the body. There isn’t any spiritual bliss in sight.

I feel hungry. But I have dedicated to chant a specific number of rounds before I do anything, so the hunger just have to be there. The mind just wants to get up and feed the body, and I feel the pressure of the mind gets even more painful. It’s so painful.

I crawl myself through those last couple of rounds, and with a clear relief when I’m finished.

That was just one hour…

Oh dear… what have I gotten myself into?