(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 29 June 2009, Japa Talks)

The importance of attentive chanting is stressed again and again. There are many things one can do to improve one’s performance –  chanting early in the morning after enough rest in a peaceful place, in devotee association. We try to focus the mind especially on hearing the name. I aim at chanting sixteen rounds in about two hours, sometimes it takes a little longer and sometimes it is a little faster. Skipping beads has been mentioned. Skipping beads can happen in various ways, sometimes I catch myself that I am not changing the beads exactly at the end of the mantra and the beginning of a new mantra. This is not good because then one could easily go through more beads than mantras.

Anyway there is so much about attentive chanting – I try to focus and the mind sometimes drifts, when I become aware of it, I try to bring it back. Still although attentive chanting is important, that is not my only meditation while chanting. If that was all there was, then chanting would be a struggle and a stressful activity. Rupa Gosvami in his famous verse: tunde tandvini ratim vitanute tundavali, describes how the Holy Name dances in the mouth and he desires millions of mouths and millions of ears. It is clear that Rupa Gosvami’s meditation is on the wonderful nature of Krnsa. So we may not have the same deep level of absorption as Rupa Gosvami but we can make a start now and besides trying to be attentive, we should also appreciate Krsna’s wonderful nature and how he is so mercifully is present in his name. Then chanting is not just a struggle but chanting becomes fun…

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