"We are custodians of great power, but we do not think about it or sometimes even believe it. To most of us, power is something that exists outside of ourselves, and no one seems to have control over the events and conditions of his or her life. It can be an internal condition, a relationship, a chain of events, an organization . . . there is always something out of control.

"Complicating matters, there is little in the way of reference material — spiritual or otherwise — that explains what tangible, accessible power really is or how to get it. To be sure, there are many self-help books that show us how to control our habits, and develop new and better ones. There are also books that instruct us how to communicate more effectively, and build better personal and business relationships. But nowhere are there clearly defined and explained texts that tell us how to have an immediate, powerful effect on our environment through the application of some kind of personal force.

"In the West, we are not at all accustomed to the idea of having a personal force or power. We are well aware of the power of government and other institutions. We respect and even admire the brute force of machines that power our economy. We are all becoming better informed through the power of mass media, but it, more than anything else, can convince us that real power lies outside of us. In fact, in the West we are faced with a de facto conditioning that all power is really external to the individual. Part of the lure of the computer is that it increases our sense of personal power and our impact on the world, but for all its tremendous advantages, it is still external.

"In the East, the idea of personal power has been commonly accepted for centuries. It is a paradox that, while there is great poverty in many Eastern nations, there is also a history and legacy of great spiritual power from Rama, Krishna, the Buddha and others. Like Western religious leaders, these Eastern figures stated clearly that whatever they have attained, we can also attain. There are, of course, many different methods taught for accumulating personal power for spiritual and material advancement. The one that has been taught to me and that I present in this book is mantra meditation.

"Mantra meditation is not only something one practices, but a radical re-envisioning — of ourselves, our lives and our ability to create the future we desire. The principles of mantra meditation are based on a classical Eastern model of how the universe operates, and our place and purpose in it. In this model, the universe is composed of energy, and the most important thing we can do in order to manifest the kind of life we want is to tap into that energy, specifically in this case through the power of sound.

"Through the application of Sanskrit spiritual formulas, energy comes into our body that dissolves our difficulties and improves our lives. Over time — sometimes many lives — our karma becomes exhausted, and we become spiritually free of any worldly bondage. Then we are presented with a new set of options as evolving entities.”