MRI Mantras

What’s it like to be sealed inside a coffin while being subjected to horrendously loud sound and electromagnetic radiation? That is an MRI (magnetic resonance imagery). I sometimes wonder about our health care system. It is like they develop imaging machines based on medieval torture chambers. I am glad the images produced help to see what is hidden to our eyes, but it seems the medical engineers disregard the humans involved in the process.

Enough whining. As I lie here entombed, feeling the vibration and listening to the interminable drone of the magnet, I toggle through several mantras to find one I can chant along with the sound’s rhythm. OM MANE PADME HUNG seems to be the best match. I chant and visualize the radiation emanating out from the chamber, blessing all beings with healing energy.

As long as I maintain the chant and visualization, removing any emphasis on my own discomfort, I am able to relax a bit into the experience. The moment I feel the coffin-like weirdness and get into panic mode, I am ready to press the emergency button. But when I return to the rhythmic of chanting and visualizing healing energy blessing all beings, I can again relax and breathe deeply.

It is nice to have built-in mantras to rely upon in challenging situations. Of course, this takes practice. With repetition, chants become part of skillful means to address whatever happens. They become ‘hard wired’ to the extent one does not even have to think about them. They spontaneously arise to meet any situation, and every mantra is dedicated to be of benefit to others. Getting over being preoccupied with oneself erodes the unpleasant edge of all difficult experiences.

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