A mantra is a syllable or word we repeat to help us pay attention, to help us concentrate. In this extended meditation, we explore what holding a mantra might look like in practice and how it opens up space for us to expand or focus our awareness.
Instead of fixating on a problem like we're so wired to do, what if we shift our attention one degree and pay attention to everything that isn't a problem? Not in a cheesy way because we're optimists and we want to be sun-shiny, but because we're realists and we realize that we have this habit of just zooming in on a challenge so much so that a sense of oppression can totally dominate our awareness.
In Jungian psychology, there’s talk of threshold guardians — challenges that show up when we're about to get somewhere significant in our life. These challenges can be personified in mythology as demons and beasts and villains, or we can just interpret them to be our own emotional barriers.
If you decide you want to develop mindful awareness in a way that’s constantly benefitting and uplifting you moment to moment in life, you will most certainly encounter these threshold guardians. What should you do when this happens?