Staying Sensitive In A Not So Sensitive World: Mantra Practice

Growing up I felt more at home in nature then in the classroom. I felt overwhelmed and anxious in groups, like there was just too much going on at once and I couldn’t keep up. Being an emotional creature, I could cry at the slightest sadness or shudder at a hint of fear. I felt raw to a world where every one else seemed numb. Then I discovered that I was not alone.

In fact, more and more people are being deemed highly sensitive people and there is now a simple online test to determine if you are one of them, but chances are good if you are reading this you are! Highly sensitive people are naturally intuitive and empathetic; they feel everything -- emotions, textures, sounds, etc. -- more than others. It can be maddening to be so sensitive in a not-so-sensitive world, but with tools like mantra and meditation we can use our sensitivity as the gift that it is.

One of the benefits of yoga/meditation practice is that it helps you set up filters to process information coming in.

On the physical level the filters are the senses, the immune system, the mucous membranes, the skin and digestive tract.  We can “clear the filters” on these systems by taking time in nature, unplugging, meditating, withdrawing from sensory input or conversely making noise from deep inside or chanting.

We can drink water, bathe, play by water or take cold showers.

 We can also check in with our attitudes towards the physical body and the physical world. If we view either as filled with waste or toxins we will create additional stress in our body in reaction to our aversion. We can shift our attitude from being bombarded by the outside world, to being deeply connected and in harmony with the world around us.
When we engage in physical practices, such as yoga, we can heal our relationship to the physical without trying to change what is, but to feel the perfection in who we are as we are. Letting things go instead of picking things up to cover something up. This self-acceptance is key for all of us, but particularly for sensitive folks as the negative self-chatter can be an overwhelming background noise that can jam our intuitive signals. Negative self-chatter serves no purpose here so we can use our yoga and meditation to quiet it down.

This takes us to the mind. The natural filter for the mind is meditation and quiet reflection -- without these thingsthe thoughts become cluttered and overwhelming. 

On our inhale we can breathe in the life force that is all around us and on the exhale we can release and let go -- making each breath a meditation and a filter for overwhelming thoughts or perceptions.

We can even bring a mantra to each breath -- in Kundalini Yoga we use the mantra “Sat Nam” which means “I am truth” or “my true identity.” You can inhale “Sat” and exhale “Nam” to clarify the mind and bring yourself back to what is true in the present moment.

Another mantra we use in each Kundalini Yoga class is “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” which translates to “I bow to the wisdom within me.” This is a useful mantra for sensitive folks to encourage us to elevate our focus to our intuition instead of the mind and trust those intuitive insights.

Chanting the mantra “Ad Guray Nameh, Jugad Guray Nameh, Sat Guray Nameh, Siri Guru Day Veh Nameh” is a beautiful practice when we feel the need for protection in highly sensitive situations.

“Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung” is a healing mantra that can help us heal ourselves, our communities and our surroundings.

These mantras are highly tuned vibrations that can ignite profound transformation in our psyches and our physical realities as well.

In our next Sensitivity as Strength article we will take a look at a few meditations that are perfect for the Sensitive Soul!