Difference Between Mantra and Silent Meditation

Q: Dear Ana and Ravi, I attended the 10-day Vipassana retreat and I'm just back. I am a little confused, we were told that Mantra Meditation can absolutely not be mixed with Vipassana.

For the past two years I have immensely enjoy my Kundalini practice and find all the Mantra meditations very helpful and effective in my life. I certainly do not want to give that up. On the other hand Vipassana is a valuable technique also I was wondering if, lets say, I can blend my Kundalini practice and Mantra meditation with Vipassana or will I have to choose just one?

A: Thanks for writing and congratulations on completing the Vipassana retreat! We are sure that whomever told you not to mix practices meant well, because it is true that one's results are better when one has a primary path as opposed to doing a little bit of everything. Nevertheless, it is perfectly fine to mix Vipassana and mantra meditation. There is no reason why those practices can't enhance each other. Ultimately, meditation and Spiritual work are all part of the same constellation of techniques which are meant to be used to inform one's life for mental clarity, focus, inner knowing, and Spiritual uplift. Trying to impose those types of rules is missing the forest for the trees. That type of admonition presupposes that each of us doesn't have the capacity to decide for ourselves what works for us. Each of course is the best expert with regard to our own inner and outer lives, and that's the way it was meant to be. Too often, well meaning people, whether they're doctors, politicians, or meditation teachers, succumb to the politics of control, without even be aware of that dynamic.

The mantras in Kundalini Yoga are Names of the Infinite and the resonance of the creativity of Creation. They create a powerful vibratory effect that can reconfigure us along more powerful and subtle lines. In the manner that sound waves are used to clean delicate machinery, mantras create an inner resonance that can clear away subconscious debris so that we can be free of the pain and patterns of the past. Mantras are deeper forms of silence.

The various mantra meditations in Kundalini Yoga are able to penetrate more deeply in the one's psyche and engender more powerful forms of transformation. Another way of putting it is that silent meditation helps us to open a trap door to our subconscious to see what's in there. The K. Yoga Mantra meditations actually go down into the cellar and clear things out. It is our understanding, that when one does a practice like Vipassana, it will give you the tools to be more successful in your Kundalini Yoga Meditation practice, in much the same way as doing hatha yoga gives a person the tools to really capitalize on their Kundalini Yoga practice. The mantra meditations in Kundalini Yoga are powerful, profound, and amazing, and an absolute gift of grace. We hope that you will trust your experience and continue to embrace your Kundalini Yoga Meditation practice!

We wish you joy, health, and abundant blessings!