Namaste’ Dear Balanced Souls!
“Mantra” has become a bit of a hot topic, at least in my circles, I am seeing posts, suggestions, and the word “mantra” itself…all over the place! So I thought I would add the Balanced Soul perspective, and maybe make the entire process a bit more approachable, mold-able, and happy-friendly feeling.
Traditionally, mantras are repeated short phrases or words used to focus intention, and identify more with a yearned-for state of Being. Since mantras are the foundation of Bhakti (devotional) yoga, there are lots of mantras in Sanskrit and Tibetan. “Om” is one of the simplest mantras: a bija (seed) mantra, that is meant to help us align ‘small self’ (ego) with big Self (divine Consciousness).
Mantras, though, can be in any language, in any tune or rhythm, and are essentially Affirmations Gone Musical! In older, holy languages (Sanskrit, etc) it is thought that the syllables themselves hold Consciousness and are doorways IN to Union (yoga) with Divinity. In Bhakti yoga, the mantra is used to evoke an emotional state, is USING the emotions, the feelings of the body, the love we have for each other and the Divine, to fuel the practice. It is using our human experiences to connect with What Is Bigger Than Us. Interesting, right?
Some schools of yoga and spirituality are trying to divorce the Witness from the experience, and eschew the experience itself as something that causes suffering, attachment and negative experience. Bhakti yoga (as well as lots of other schools, or currents of yoga) offers that since we are having the experience anyway, we might as well learn to use it and let it carry us, rather than us resisting it, as a way towards spiritual awakening.
So…sorry for the diverging bit on Bhakti…back to making mantras something accessible and fun for you!
You can find lists of mantras all over the internet. I am more interested in helping you decide how to practice with one or two mantras. You can commit to doing 108 repetitions (the number of beads on a mala) of a mantra every day for 40 days. You could sing them in the shower, in the car, buy CD‘s full of them or download them for your iPhone.
But how do you pick one? How do you know which tune? Why is it a nice practice?
Well, look at your Affirmations, or goals, or prayers: what is the theme that you are focused on in your life at the moment?
Financial prosperity and abundance? Lakshmi might be lovely to invoke on a daily basis.
Having your prayers answered and moving through challenges in general? Ganesha is your guy!
Attracting a romantic partnership? Radhe or Sita will get you there.
You can look in to the Archangels and what they specialize in, or other pantheons that are more familiar. I offer the Hindu pantheon to you, because it’s what I work with most often, and I receive lots of support there.
Just want to connect with God/dess? Pick a name, or a sound, or a few words and start chanting! I think this process (when you are making up your own) is best done alone, in your living room, dancing around a little and feeling a bit silly, but totally free to express yourSelf. Whatever tune or rhythm evolves is right!
It’s a lovely practice because as we have discussed before, when we change our thoughts, we change our vibration. We become magnets for the things we are focusing on. Actually, we are already magnets, but we TAKE CONTROL over what we want to attract. The affirmations and mantras help ingrain new thought patterns on our psyche, and we start to attract more of what is good in our lives.
It’s a good song to get stuck in your head: the name of god/dess. It helps you stay wherever you need to be. It helps you maintain awareness of the miracle we are.
Have fun finding your voice, and incidentally, this is great work to heal Vishuddha Chakra
Blessings, peace, and lots of water on warm days
- Hanuman mantra for enemies during travel (prophet666.com)
- My Continuing Mantra Adventure…” (risinghawk.wordpress.com)
- Importance of Guru Bhakti (teachingsofmasters.wordpress.com)
- Mantras, Slokas, Aarti (harikrishnamurthy.wordpress.com)
- Bhakti and Jnana (teachingsofmasters.wordpress.com)
- Shiva Salutation Mantra (prophet666.com)
- Simple mantra to get work (prophet666.com)
- 5 Ways Yoga Heals. From Anorexic to Joyologist. (manifestationyoga.com)
- Spiritually uplifting mantra for the soul – London Free Press (lfpress.com)