Oct 28

Mantras

As I’m sure you know by now, I encourage everyone to develop a daily meditation practice, even if it’s just for five or ten minutes. You can find some short guided meditations on my site to help you:

Guided Audio Meditations

But along with my daily morning meditation practice, I also say a number of mantras throughout the day. What are mantras?

A mantra is a sound, a word, or a phrase repeated over and over again.

You can repeat mantras silently or aloud. Or, you can whisper them.

I say mantras as I take walks, run errands, or exercise.

You can also use mantras as a part of a formal meditation practice. If you choose to do this, after taking a comfortable position with your spine relatively straight and your hands resting in your lap:

Let your mind whisper your mantra, repeatedly. Let your thoughts come and go, but keep repeating the mantra.

How does repeating a mantra help you? It creates an anchor, so that, just as in meditating on the breath, you train your mind to return over and over again to your chosen focus.

But more than that, the words you repeat to yourself can make a change in how you feel: They can make you feel stronger and more peaceful, or weaker and more anxious.

Mantras are traditionally used in various spiritual traditions, and if you find one of these mantras that resonates with you, you can use it. Some of them are:

Om or Aum: In Hinduism, this mantra signifies that you are connecting with the essence of all of life.

Shanti or Om Shanti: This mantra signifies that you wish peace to all.

Om Mani Padme Hum: This Buddhist mantra is pronounced: Om mah-nee pe-may hoom (or hung). It signifies “The jewel of consciousness is in the heart’s lotus.”  This means that whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever problems you have, you carry the seed for health, happiness, and well-being (and even enlightenment) inside of you.

You can also say a short prayer from whatever religious tradition you follow.

Or perhaps you’d rather choose one of your own making. Some suggestions are:

Peace, Trust, Calm, Focus, or Harmony.

I often combine two words, using one on the inhalation and one on the exhalation such as:

Trust, Peace. Trust, Peace. Trust, Peace.

Or use an affirmation, such as: All things conform to the right thing for me now, quickly and in peace.

“I change my thoughts, I change my world.” – Norman Vincent Peale