Each thought we think creates a little groove in the wiring of our brain. What we say to ourselves has a deep impact on our vibration, our mood, our energy at large and what we transmit. Thoughts determine how we meet ourselves, others and every single day a new. Thoughts are beyond powerful. In particular the art of the spoken word is critical in designing and creating our life.
What is a mantra?
Mind is Mantra. The term ‘Mantra’ originates from Sanskrit, the classical language of Indian and the liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and translates as ‘tool’ or ‘vehicle’ for the mind. Mantras can be anything from sacred syllables, to sacred words, vibrational formulas or full sentences, that are recited silently within, spoken or sung outwardly.
The power of words
We often tend to forget that we have the ability to intentionally choose positive, more expansive thoughts to change our life for the better, especially when we find ourselves ensnared in the shackles of negative self talk. I like to think of mantras as a replacement of these unkind words and stories with ones that are of service to me. They can serve as powerful reminders of my own values and qualities that need ‘re-membering’ and that constitute my true self. It is as if I am taking stock of who I am and what matters to me.
How mantras work
Mantras create a specific sound, a frequency that conveys a directive into our sub-consciousness. Mantras, whether they are in Sanskrit or any other language, can be utilised to achieve certain results. Mantras can be prayers, little love notes to ourselves, invocations or even powerful commands or demands (think spell casting ;) ).
There is no universally applicable, uniform definition of mantra because mantras are used in different religions, and within each religion in different schools of philosophy.
The stronger the faith, will-power and emotion attached with the Mantra, the stronger its impact. This applies to both ways – to negative and positive thoughts.
The more we recite or chant mantras, the more the vibration of a mantra spreads from the depth of our brains throughout our entire body. If we embody a mantra we signal the universe that we are here and available to receive whatever we wish for. Since the thoughts we think create the reality we live in, singing, chanting, speaking, or repeating mantras silently can make a difference.
How to use mantras
We all know the self-sabotaging voices that often stick to our minds like old chewing gum. Almost every human is 'guilty' of reiterating the old narratives of “I can’t”, “I am not worth it.”, “It’s not going to work out.” or “I am not good enough.” Time to dust off the co-webbs of self-loathing and create new neurological pathways in the brain.
Mantras and affirmations can be really used any time and during any life situation. Whether you want to start or end the day in e.g. gratitude or with a specific mantra that resonates with you, a new week/month/year or moon cycle – the choice is entirely up to you.
Traditionally most mantras are recited 108 times with the support of a Mala (prayer beads) that consist of 108 beads. In spirituality 108 is a sacred number with manifold meanings. I personally feel drawn to the meaning of 108 depicting the reality of the universe: 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.
To create your own mantra practice or mantra meditation we encourage you to pick a moment during your day to retreat to your own sacred space (read here on how to create your own sacred space) and sit or lie in stillness, sink into your own breath, your heart and your seat, while taking your mind and body through the process of recitation or even chanting.
Here are some examples that can be used on a regular basis:
- OM: the sound of the universe is supposed to have a grounding and all-encompassing effect
- SO HAM or HAM SA: I am that (one syllable on the inhale, the other on the exhale)
- OM NAMAH SHIVAYA: I bow to consciousness within myself. – reminder of your own divinity and self-confidence
OM GAM GANAPATAYE NAHAMA: I bow to the remover (and placer) of obstacles – for new beginnings, new activity, a new day/cycle
OM SHREEM MAHALAKSHMIYE NAMAHA: invocation for abundance, to see abundance in every aspect of life
- OM TARE TUTTARE TARE SVAHA / OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA: invocation for compassion for self and others, bridging the gap between one self and someone else in conflict or dissociation
English mantras/affirmations (or in any other language):
- SUKSMA/THANK YOU/...: to call in and install the sensation of gratitude
- THIS TOO SHALL PASS
TODAY, I CHOOSE…joy / love / laughter…
- I AM enough/worthy/healthy/powerful
I AM guided and protected
I AM PEACE
Mantras in your own language give you the freedom to create any healing mantra you could potentially need for yourself.
Please note that every experience with mantras and affirmations is unique and subjective.
We are curious to hear from you: how was your experience with some of the suggested mantras? Is there one that stood out the most for you? Or are you using any of your own? We would love to hear your comments!