For clarity, we will summarize the basic points on japa that we have already discussed:
• Use a mantra that has been given by your guru. If you have no personal mantra, use the universal mantra Aum.
• Rotate your mala with your middle finger, using the thumb and ring finger for support. Use your right hand.
• Don't cross the sumeru bead while rotating the beads; turn the mala so that it is rotated in the opposite direction.
• Relax your mind and body but don't sleep.
• Don't concentrate. Be aware. In concentration one withdraws the attention from all sides to one point. In awareness, one pays attention not only to that one point, but to all the thoughts that arise. One does not wrestle with the mind, but slowly tames it by being a witness to all activity.
• If necessary, alternate your practice between baikhari, upanshu and manasikjapa. If the mind is disturbed stick to baikhari; if
1 For details on the subject of awareness refer to Book I, Lesson 3, Topic 5 Book II, Lesson 13, Topic 5
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