Select a repeated phrase that appeals to you. The repeated phrase has appeared in every major religious tradition, West and East, because it fills a deep, universal need in the human heart.

For Christians, the name of Jesus itself is a powerful repeated phrase; Catholics also use Hail Mary or Ave Maria. Jews may use Barukh attah Adonai; Muslims repeat the name of Allah or Allahu akbar. Probably the oldest Buddhist repeated phrase is Om mani padme hum. And in Hinduism, among many choices, is Rama, Rama, which was Mahatma Gandhi's repeated phrase.

Choose whichever version of the Holy Name appeals to you; then, once you have chosen a repeated phrase, do not change it. If you do, you will be like a person digging shallow holes in many places; you will never go deep enough to find water.

Unlike focused attention, which involves sitting quietly and silently repeating a memorized passage, the repeated phrase can be repeated under almost any circumstances, and it is so brief that it will come to your mind under even the most agitating circumstances. (In fact, that is often just when you will want it!)

The repeated phrase is most effective when repeated silently in the mind. Repeat the repeated phrase whenever you get the chance: while walking, while waiting, while doing mechanical chores like washing dishes, and especially when you are falling asleep. Whenever you are angry or afraid, nervous or hurried or resentful, repeat the Holy Name until the agitation in your mind subsides.

It is best to use a formula that has been sanctioned by centuries of devout tradition. If you repeat it sincerely and systematically, it will go deeper with every repetition. It can be with you even in the uttermost depths of your consciousness, as you will discover for yourself when you find it reverberating in a dream or, deeper still, during dreamless sleep.

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Adaptation of an article by Eknath Easwaran

Author's Bio: 

Sharon Redd, M. Ed., is the founder and president of TAPHealth Inc., which designs health and productivity promotions combining cutting-edge scientific research and the latest in behavioral research for greater follow-through and sustainability. She also serves as president of the National Wellness Research Institute, a non-profit organization that conducts wellness-related research dedicated to advancement in the areas of productivity, health/disease management, work/life balance, and cancer research.

While surviving a grim cancer prognosis, she used her 30 plus years of experience as an educator, psychotherapist, executive coach, and consultant to create a successful personal productivity and lifestyle change program that produces results long term.

She developed the Totally Alive Program (TAP) that has been successfully used with various populations, from employees; to patient’s diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, CFS, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, to those merely interested in prevention and wellness enhancement. Sharon is a visionary in the fields of human consciousness and health promotion, and disease management.

Sharon’s latest book, Totally Alive: Simple Ways to Live Healthy Longer has practical, simple tips and tricks on how to live a healthy lifestyle. In addition to her M.Ed., Sharon is a licensed counselor and has earned therapeutic certifications in Bioenergetics Analysis, EMDR, and Imago Relationship Therapy. She has served as a supervisor for licensing professional counselors, a continuing education provider for healthcare, as well as other professions, and has served on the Omega Institute Faculty.