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Formulaitng and utilizing mantras for specific purposes

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  • Formulaitng and utilizing mantras for specific purposes

    I was first introduced to Buddhism via Thich Nhat Hanh. In his teachings he suggests using 'gathas', which I take to mean phrases thought or spoken at certain times to cultivate mindfulness.

    Some are used for meditation, such as 'breathing in peace, breathing out kindness' and some are used to help support mindfulness through other activities such as 'washing up, I know I'm washing up'.

    I haven't had much experience with them and basically forgot them until recently when I was puffing on a cigarette. I formed my own 'gatha'
    - 'breathing in toxins, breathing out longevity, breathing in I harm my body, breathing out my wallet empties'. I think these alongside each inhalation and exhalation whilst smoking. I started doing this because I found that my attention often wavered when smoking and also because I want to reduce the amount that I smoke (and eventually quit!). I've found that whilst repeating this gatha I am much more mindful when smoking
    and smoke less at a time, roughly half as many drags. This is no doubt due to the fact I am reminding myself of the negatives and then I just naturally want to butt it out.

    I share this because it helps me and it may help another. Also I'm interested in other people's experience with gathas, or whatever one wants to call this practice.

    May your day be permeated with bliss

  • #2
    I think I would call it "Training the mind."
    I think what you described is very helpful in lessening old harmful tendencies (defilements!)
    We have to care enough about ourselves to do whatever works and to keep chiseling away at ignorance.
    Thanks for sharing.



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