Deep Meditation uses a mantra, which is an internal sound that resonates within the body and mind. The mantra does not have any literal meaning, though it is derived from the Sanskrit language, and sometimes meaning can be ascribed to the words. But for the purposes of Deep Meditation, it is purely the acoustic quality of the sound that we are interested in. Just as the musical vibration of an instrument travels through the air when the instrument is played, so does the mantra resound inside of our inner space when we think it.
So, the mantra is not uttered out loud, but instead uttered silently, inside of the mind. This immediately points our awareness inward, towards stillness, peace, and our center of consciousness. In yoga, it is called pratyahara, or inversion of the senses. To go deep, we must turn inward.
The crux of Deep Meditation is making the mantra your own. As the phrase implies, the technique does not hinge upon some strict, disciplinary mindset. Quite the contrary. Making the mantra one's own is a mode of exploration, experimentation, and friendly acquaintance with one’s mind and inner scenery. The mantra is repeated in the mind, and returned to, with ease and finesse. It is not like a sledgehammer bashing through mental walls. It is like a flashlight illuminating the recesses of a dark cave. It is like a broom sweeping out a closet. It is like a vehicle that can be driven along the vast highway of our interior landscape.
The goal is not to repeat the mantra forcefully. The goal is not to cling to the mantra rigidly. The goal is to enrich and refine the mantra into inner silence, bliss, and ecstasy. How do we accomplish such things with the mantra? By handling it with care, playfulness, curiosity, flexibility, and any other qualities that you might find useful in generating traction inside. It is YOUR mantra, and YOUR meditation. The mantra is your song, your narrative voice, your shadow, your subconscious and conscious vibration. It is about trusting your own instincts and intuition to guide you into your truth and your paradise.
The mind will get lost off the mantra, sometimes for even the majority of the session, and this is totally fine. Getting lost is part of the magic. Getting lost enables enrichment. What causes strain and discomfort is a resistance to the natural flow of getting lost. The more we allow the flow, the less friction there will be. If it feels uncomfortable to return to the mantra, there is no need to return to it. You can stay off the mantra until you feel ready. This is an extremely important point, and gets to the essence of going with the flow.
In short, use the mantra when you feel like it. Give yourself an abundance of permission and latitude.
Here are some common qualities that the mantra can take on:
Malleability: The mantra can change into many forms, with a wide variety of rhythm, tone, shape, texture, and so forth
Solubility: The mantra can merge with inner silence and other thoughts/feelings/internal scenery
Resonance: The mantra can be felt resonating inside
Spaciousness: Using the mantra can expand one's sense of self, inside and out
Traction: Using the mantra can move one's awareness through inner space
Allowance: Using the mantra can allow the natural flow of consciousness to unfold, i.e. to let what needs to come up, come up
Transcendence: Using the mantra can take one into deeper levels of bliss, beyond normal limitations
Just like any skill or activity, with time, a familiarity arises, and we become more comfortable with using the mantra. It is a pleasurable habit, and one that is addictive in a healthy, positive way. The recommended time for practicing a session of Deep Meditation is 20 minutes, before activity, up to twice a day. So, in the morning before work, and in the evening before dinner, would be typical times to meditate.
The barometer of meditation’s success is reflected in how we feel after the session. Sometimes a session itself can be a little rocky or internally noisy, but if we feel better afterwards in the subsequent hours, that is the true test. Obviously, the ideal scenario is for the meditation session to be perpetually blissful, but in reality, we have to sift through our respective matrixes of embedded patterns, memories, desires, connections, karma, and so forth—some of which are not all unicorns and rainbows.
Comfort is key. It is important to sit in a comfortable posture and allow your body to shift throughout the session, if need be. If your legs are falling asleep, you can move them. If your nose is itching, you can scratch it. Your breathing can often change during the course of the meditation, and breathing can be closely linked to the mantra. However, you don’t have to deliberately synchronize or de-synchronize your breathing in relation to the mantra. All connections with the breathing, or lack thereof, are acceptable.
Here is the base mantra:
Again, I AM is just a sound, and not intended to contain a literal meaning or affirmation (as in, “I am human”).
Here are enhancements to the mantra, which can be added gradually, after weeks, months, and years of practice. For some practitioners, it may be advantageous to skip ahead to more lengthy versions of the mantra, in order to give the mind more to chew on, so to speak. It is something you have to find out through your own practice.
SHREE SHREE I AM I AM
SHREE OM SHREE OM I AM I AM NAMAH
SHREE OM SHREE OM I AM I AM NAMAH NAMAH
And there is another enhancement that can be added into the routine. That is the solar centering enhancement. The solar centering enhancement refers to easily favoring the solar plexus as the location from which to pick up the mantra. The solar plexus is a bundle of nerves in between your navel and breastbone. The solar centering enhancement has a grounding effect, which can be helpful in getting you unstuck from your headspace.
Deep Meditation is about going inward. The mantra is a tool to help achieve that journey. The use of the mantra oscillates between deliberate and non-deliberate, voluntary and involuntary. It is both active and passive. It is a wholesome, integrative technique, and one that is suitable to anyone who is comfortable navigating sound, vision, and the wide spectrum of our human senses. Refining the mantra results in more inner peace, creativity, and freedom. It is a worthy route to travel and devote oneself to.
For further information on Deep Meditation, check out the lessons and books on the AYP website: www.aypsite.org
Also, feel free to e-mail or contact Cody with any questions, concerns, or insights: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cody’s Experience with the Technique:
In 2010, while going through a tumultuous period, I began to practice different forms of prayer, meditation, purification, and basically anything I thought would get me closer to my deepest self, to Spirit, and to a path of betterment.
After a few months of passionately investing my time and energy into these spiritual endeavors, I had what is commonly called a peak experience. I was sober (no drugs or alcohol). My crown chakra opened. I saw a radiant, crystal clear lotus flower blooming above my head. My body was filled with ecstasy. A panorama of saintly figures scrolled across the screen of my mind. I was on fire, and paradoxically, calm and serene at the same time. It was as if my yearning and my efforts had been fulfilled.
The experience didn’t last long, but it changed me. I’ve felt different ever since. More awake, more alive. And other peak experiences have come and gone since then. But the experience drove me to find ways to go deeper, and that’s when I found Advanced Yoga Practices (www.aypsite.org) on the internet. The language resonated with me, and the anonymous teacher Yogani was captivating. I started practicing Deep Meditation and other AYP techniques. I wrote copiously on the online forums. I went to retreats across the country. I did as much as I could to throw myself into this peculiar community with its faceless leader.
There’s much more I could write about in regards to AYP, and I will in due time, but for now, let me cut to the chase. After getting certified in AYP in France in 2017, I returned home with a burning desire to meet Yogani in person. He had been pulling strings from behind the curtain for over a decade, and it was becoming increasingly unsettling. He was kind of like the Wizard of Oz—making extraordinary claims, but never speaking out in the open. I had to confront him, even if he was not in favor of meeting me. So, I did, and we had a short, cordial encounter. Again, I will write more extensively about our exchange in due time.
But what’s important here and now is the effectiveness of Deep Meditation, and how I can best practice the technique and share it with others. I encourage everyone to read the original AYP lessons, and to find out for yourself what works best. My version of Deep Meditation differs slightly from Yogani’s version. My variation has crystallized simply as a matter of being true to my own heart, and to my own exploration within the realm of consciousness and everyday living.
One thing I think Yogani and I absolutely agree upon is the merit of self-pacing and self-directed spiritual practice. It is up to each individual to determine their own trajectory, and consequently, it is our job as teachers to guard and respect that solitude, even as we seek to enrich the community and unite with our fellow practitioners. However, unlike Yogani, I wish to be visible, and to share physical space with my students and comrades. The internet can never replace true in-person gatherings. Never.
Furthermore, for the technique to evolve and flourish, it needs to be practiced and discussed in person, face-to-face. So, that’s where I’m at. Keeping it real. Not operating from behind the curtain. I respect everyone’s privacy 100%, but it’s time to create some actual physical space for a community of like-minded practitioners to join together for a common purpose. It’s time to thrive and prosper—spiritually, materially, and utopian-ly.
Onward and upward.