Using mantras is a enjoyable and inspiring way to deepen our meditation and is ideal for beginners as a distraction from the thoughts that seem to stop us from reaching higher states of consciousness. On another level, depending on your beliefs and your choice of mantra, repeating a mantra or affirmation can help our connection with the divine as well as neuro-linguistic re-programing for healthier habits.
What are Mantras?
The basic principle behind mantras is that we repeat a word or phrase over and over again, increasing our focus on these words rather than our troubles or thoughts. In spiritual terms, the idea is to is reach higher states of consciousness and enlightenment through these repetitions, while on a more secular level, affirmations are intended to help us to reprogram our unconscious mind with positive thoughts and affirmations for a happier life.
Modern affirmations such as those advocated by wellness experts like Louise Hay, Laura Silva or Wayne Dyer can be as simple as “I am loved and I am worthy” or “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better,” while ancient mantras such as “om,” and “sat nam” carry a deeper spiritual significance, some of which can be very long.
Choosing a Mantra
No matter what mantra you choose to aid your meditation practice, it will be your intention that sets it apart and creates meaning for you. Here you will find a selection of popular mantras to help you get started, many of which you will be able to sing along to on YouTube or purchase a mantra CD to help keep your focus and rhythm.
This is by no means a complete list, and is not intended to offend or relegate any religions or philosophies whose mantras are not listed here.
Mantras for Beginners
Perhaps the most famous of all mantras, the OM from ancient Eastern traditions is a sacred sound which forms the “seed” mantra for many other longer mantras such as “Om shanti, shanti, shanti om” or “Om mani padme hum” and so on. Pronounced A-U-M, putting stress on each sound and allowing the “M” to reverberate throughout your head and chest cavities can be accompanied by focusing on your third eye and sitting in a comfortable position with a straight back. Repeating the sound of the OM should take the whole length of your out breath – making it as long as possible – breathing in through your nose. Focusing on this sound will help deepen any meditation and also help to regulate your breath.
Like the OM, “Sat Nam” is a seed mantra used in many kundalini meditation mantras. In translation it means “true name” or “truth is my identity” and the intention is to connect with your true nature (and therefore God) through the repetition of this sacred mantra. This mantra is an easy one to get started with and helps concentration. The trick with “sat nam” is to try to make sure that the tip of your tongue touches the porous part of the roof of our mouth each time you pronounce the “t” and “n.” The reason for this is because there are meridian points on the roof of our mouth and when we touch these points it stimulates the hypothalamus, activating the pineal gland and thus the pituitary gland for bliss and third eye activation.
Om Mani Padme Hum
One of the most popular Buddhist mantras, “Om mani padme hum” can be used to ignite and deepen our compassion and aid profound meditation. In Tibetan it means “praise the jewel in the lotus,” the jewel referring to Buddha.
Wahe Guru Wahe Jio
Another popular mantra in kundalini yoga and other spiritual practices is the repetition of “Wahe guru wahe jio,” which means something along the lines of “ecstasy through consciousness; how great is God’s infinite, ultimate wisdom.” This mantra can be accompanied with repetitive movements of the arms or in a simple meditative posture, also making sure that the tongue taps the porous areas on the roof of your mouth as you sing.
The Gayatri Mantra is a very powerful mantra, although more complex to learn. It comes directly from the sacred Vedas of the Hindu traditions and is chanted as a prayer. A beautiful mantra for unconditional love and enlightenment.
|“OM BUHR, BHUVA, SWAHAOM TAT SAVITUR VARENYAMBHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YONAHA PRACHODAYAT”
|We meditate on the glory of the Creator;Who has created the Universe;Who is worthy of Worship;
Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light;
Who is the remover of Sin and Ignorance;
May He open our hearts and enlighten our Intellect.