Mantras are phrases that can be very useful in helping us to reprogram our minds and our lives. Our reality is based on our perception of it. So by repeating a key phrase, we are able to cleanse or clear our perceptions to help us to see more clearly. Mantras can also be seen as prayers, which are often said to different aspects of The Creator.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
My personal preference is to use ancient mantras that are said in Sanskrit. I find that it causes me to focus a little bit more. There also seems to be some magic to what has been used for many years, almost like a pre-blazed trail to send prayers to The Creator.
Here are some of my favorite mantras that I am currently using daily. Translations are taken from Mind Body Green, while the uses listed are my own.
“Om Namah Shivaya“
Translation: “I Honor the Divinity within myself,” Mind Body Green.
Uses: This mantra can be very useful to improve confidence and self-esteem. I have found it to be very helpful when I am feeling anxious, particularly when facing a decision. This is a prayer to the God-aspect of Shiva, the creator and the destroyer. Destruction of that which no longer serves is often needed as a catalyst for change for something better.
“Om Gan Ganapataye Namo Namah“
Translation: “I pray for blessings and protection,” from Mind Body Green.
Uses: I use this mantra when I feel that there is an obstacle in my way; which is often my own ego. Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and this is a prayer to this aspect of God.
“Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu“
Translation: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all,” from Mind Body Green.
Uses: I use this one for general happiness and well-being. I use this the most when I am working with a patient whom I find challenging. In fact, I have this incantation written on one of my folders that I often use when I am working with my more emotionally challenging patient populations.
It is recommended that you repeat the mantra 108 times. Mala, or prayer bead necklaces, have 108 beads that can help to keep track of your repetitions. Mala bracelets are smaller and have fewer beads, requiring more rounds depending on the number of beads.
I often perform my mantras after my daily meditation, so that my mind is more clear. However, I also perform the mantras throughout my day when I find fear, anxiety or fatigue begin to creep in. At night when I have difficulty sleeping is another great time to do them.
While I have a tendency to perform the mantras most when I am feeling troubled, I do my best to remember to perform them when things are going well, also.
If you find that the mantras above do not resonate with you, I recommend that you find others that do. A quick “innerweb” search for mantras can get you started. Or you could make up your own. Mantras, I find, work best when I am in alignment (even if it’s just a little) with their message.
It is my hope that you also adopt the habit of using mantras. For me, it has been life-altering.
Keep calm and mantra on!
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