Using the Japa Kit and Your Daily Practice

Topic Progress:

Just like in the 7 Day Workshop, this course is designed to go along with a daily chanting practice.

By the end of the workshop you took, we asked that you try chanting for about 20 minutes. At that time you might have used a timer. Now, you’ll start using the Japa meditation beads that were sent to you (or you got some other way).

The video above will show you just how to use the beads. You’ll see that chanting with beads is measured in “rounds” of the japa mala, or string of beads, instead of minutes.

Experienced chanters take from 6 to 10 minutes to complete one round of the japa mala. So, the 20-minute session you did in the workshop would be about 2 to 3 rounds of japa.

Once you’re familiar with how to use the beads, you can try using them for your meditation session today.

For this course, there is no fixed requirement for your chanting time. But to get the most out of the course we suggest you try to do a minimum of four rounds for these next few days. In subsequent sessions, we will get into the topic of fixing your practice with a set number and what that should be.

A review of some tips from the first day of the workshop:

  1. Pick a good place.  Yes, its possible to meditate anywhere, even at a rock concert.. but it’s easier if you’re in a quiet place where you won’t be bothered and meditation can be your focus for the few minutes you’ll be practicing.
  2. It’s better to meditate earlier in the morning when you are fresh and alert.  The more you let your day go before meditating, the more distractions to deal with.  And the earlier you start the more you get to live the rest of your day with the clarity that came during your practice.
  3. Early morning is best but it’s no big deal to chant later in the day so long as you’re staying consistent with the length of time.
  4. Sit or stand comfortably with your back and neck as straight as you can.
  5. You can keep your eyes open, closed or half closed, whatever helps you stay attentive and not sleepy.
  6. When you’re ready to meditate, take a moment and remind yourself your focus only needs to be with the meditation for the next few minutes.
  7. Don’t worry when your mind wanders. Just let go of those thoughts and bring your focus back to the sound of the mantra.
  8. Remember, this is your time for meditation and nothing else.