While practicing mantra meditation, the mind will wander. When the mind wanders away from the breath, you then determine where your mind has wandered.
People often wish to avoid physical pain and painful emotions. Instead you are going to feel those things, also you are going to identify where the pain is and take your mind there. If the pain is in your neck, you take your mind to that place and feel that pain, and the mantra becomes “pain.”
If you are experiencing a painful emotion, you will identify which emotion it is, and you will use the word which describes that emotion. The mantra may become “feeling angry,” or “feeling sad.” Once again you do not avoid it.
Let it happen. Feel it. And when you notice it has passed you can go back to observing the breath, using the “rising” and “falling” mantras again.
If you feel calm. The mantra becomes “feeling calm”. And that feels good. But it is ok when it passes. We are not hoarding the good things. We are accepting that thoughts, emotions, and sensations come and go.
To be continued…