What do I think of during the Hare Krishna meditation?

The Hare Krishna chant involves moving the fingers on the beads and vibrating the chant softly. As the tongue vibrates the divine sound, the ears take in the vibration, and the fingers steadily move the beads, we potentially enter a divine realm. The mind however is active and may not cooperate with our endeavour to connect to God. Radhanath Swami quotes scriptures to explain the nature of the mind; “Mind could be the best of our friends and the worst of enemies. When controlled he is our best friend and when uncontrolled, he could be our worst enemy.”
What are the different thoughts that arise in the mind, and how do we cope with them? Which of these thoughts are conducive to our practise of mantra meditation and how do we flush out undesirable and negative thoughts that arise while chanting the Hare Krishna mantra? These are some of the questions this section will attempt to answer.

Mind strikes during peak hours

Mind strikes during peak hours

Many chanters have expressed that the mind comes up with the best ideas and plans during our chanting session. Also on many occasions, it’s during the middle of the chanting that we feel sick, pain in the various bodily limbs, and general discomfort. Later as we complete the rounds, the mind has no ideas, and even the pain seems to disappear.

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Making the right choice

Making the right choice

One of the common challenges to confront while chanting is to try and bring the wandering mind back to the Holy Names of Krishna. Many chanters express helplessness in dealing with the mind; they feel it’s virtually impossible to pull the mind back while chanting. However it’s possible for the mind to be attentive during the Hare Krishna yoga sessions, but the secret lies in following two simple but effective steps.

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Three stages while dealing with the mind

Three stages while dealing with the mind

Radhanath Swami says that our goal is not to be great controllers of our minds. We want to instead purify the mind so that it can be offered for Krishna’s pleasure. At this stage, a Hare Krishna chanter endeavours to please Krishna in all aspects of his life. While chanting, and rendering various types of services, his focus is on pleasing the Lord. At this stage of devotional practise he is less worried if he has controlled his mind perfectly.

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Trust God and distrust the mind

Trust God and distrust the mind

One of the major stumbling blocks for a Bhakti Yogi has been to contend with the restless mind. Few teachers openly discuss this subject matter. Many spiritualists implore us to not worry too much about the mind. Popular meditation classes and yoga sessions avoid touching this sensitive topic lest the prospective candidates get discouraged from pursuing spirituality. But ignoring the mind while discussing spirituality is as incongruent as a businessman refusing to think of money. A spiritual path offers challenges at each step of progress, and most of these challenges deal with the mind’s protest to accept a sublime path.

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Yogi, mind your mind

Yogi, mind your mind

The Hare Krishna meditation helps the Bhakti Yogi see his own mind. As we sit down to chant, the devotee offers prayers to God and sermons his mind to cooperate for the next few minutes that he resolves to chant. However no soon does the chanter begin his session, the mind goes on a world tour, initially surveying the room, and then carrying us to our childhood, and then planning for the future- living all experiences except the present. That’s human mind- the enigma for the Bhakti Yogi.
The yoga science teaches the art of observing the mind and gently prodding …

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