RAM: The City of Jewels


Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
-e.e. cummings

You are on a date or job interview you feel nervous, there are butterflies in your stomach. Whether it goes well or is a dud you know this feeling. You experience rejection, and you feel a sinking feeling in your gut. Something amazing happens and feel a flutter in your upper abdomen. Sometimes it is easy to have a strong sense of self and other times fear, and self-doubt cloud self-trust. How can you increase your belief in you?

We’ve been focusing on the Bija Mantras. The idea behind reciting of these mantras is that they remove blockages from the related Chakra. Ram is the chant for the Solar Plexus Chakra. Manipura translates into “City of Jewels” which I think is a brilliant metaphor. We often hide where we shine from the world out of fear of rejection or self-doubt.

When you doubt yourself or are fearful of other people’s reactions to your life choices or self-expression you open yourself up to unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and self-sabotaging behaviors. We all have moments of doubt. It happens, it’s all part of being a sensory being. In the Four Noble Truths, we discussed how suffering is caused by attachment. When you are overly attached to the opinions or judgment of others, it makes it hard to walk a clear path and find your groove. Practicing Aparigraha or non-grasping attachment is one of the ways we can experience Santosha (contended optimism), but sometimes we need a little more. Something to keep our drishti on our path.

When you think of the City of Jewels, imagine where it is placed, below the sternum. What’s there anatomically? The center of the Diaphragm, the primary muscle used in the process of inhalation and exhalation. When we are nervous, we tend to take shallow breaths and keep the Diaphragm tight, not allowing it to expand and contract fully, limiting the amount of air we can take in. Shallow breaths are a result of fear, which can be triggered by nervousness and expressed in fight-flight symptoms. Which ultimately affects your ability to feel calm, centered and assured. So now it’s time to call on the CEO of the parasympathetic nervous system to chill us out, through chanting Ram.

If you know that you are a person that could use an extra boost in the self-assurance department chant, Ram 3x in a row once a day for a week. Then check to see if you feel more confident and composed. We can all use a little extra self-love from time to time if you feel that you are confident give it a try as well. As you chant Ram imagine a beautiful city made of jewels and each breath and chant polishing them to vibrancy. Connect to the sensation of what it would be like to reside in such a place.

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