With the popularity of yoga and meditation on the rise, mantra is a word many of us have heard.
But what is it and how do we pick one?!
This article is your guide to finding a mantra for your japa meditation practice and everyday life.
What is a mantra?
A word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation, originally Hinduism or Buddhism.
The word (mantra) can be broken down into two parts: “man,” which means mind, and “tra,” which means transport or vehicle. In other words, a mantra is an instrument of the mind—a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.
- The Chopra Center
The Sanskrit language, the original form of mantra, carries a deeply healing vibration when spoken out loud or said silently. The English translation or your own inspired word / phrase can be just as healing if it sparks your interest - that is energy in action!
Begin with inspirational words and phrases.
How do you desire to feel? That is how you cultivate a mantra.
Find the feeling and use that word / phrase by itself -or - add an ‘I am’ in front of it for full embodiment.
Ex: ”I am so stressed out by my family. I desire to feel at peace, to rest, to be more loving and present.” There’s a lot to work with here, pick the one that feels best:
Breath in, Peace. Breath out Peace.
Breath in, Peace, Breath out Stress.
I am Peace.
I am Peaceful.
I feel rested, whole and complete.
Love. Love. Love.
I am Love.
Feel the vibration of these magical Sanskrit mantras.
This is a sample if the vast world of Sanskrit mantras. You can find the pronunciation of many of these on YouTube and Spotify.
OM - This mystic symbol carries immense pranic life force energy and is considered the most sacred mantra in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism.
So Hum - I Am. I am pure consciousness, acceptance, love, contentment and joy. This is my essential nature, I am a wondrous miracle of life.
Shanti Hum - "I am peace."
Om Mani Padme Hum - Invoke compassion.
Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu - "May all beings everywhere be happy and free. May our thoughts, our words and our actions contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom."
LAM, VAM, RAM, YAM, HAM, OM (Silence) - Use these seed sounds as tune up to unblock each chakra. Each sound aligns with one of the seven major energy centers.
Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha - The Hindu deity Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, to the rescue! “Salutations to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, we call your name!” Chant this mantra to clear your path when you feel stuck or creatively blocked, when you need a change of perspective or when life feels especially challenging and you’re not sure why.
Aham Brahmasmi - Affirms the truth, "I am the wholeness of consciousness, I am totality of existence." This mantra is the central essence of the Advaita (non-dualism) philosophy. "I am God, I (and all the creations) are the same as the creator."
Aleem Namah - Opens our awareness to our true essence as the source of all love, strength and joy in life. "My true nature is love and joy." Aieem is the divine wisdom principle operating in Nature. Namah means “I open my individuality to its true universality.” This mantra syncs your intelligence up with cosmic intelligence so that all your decisions are serve your evolution.
Do I use one mantra for my entire mala? Do I use the same mantra all the time?
No. No, You don’t have to. Some say it is dedication to use one mantra and maybe that is your path. Others promote the fluidity of what needs to evolve. We’re all so different, observe your own mind, try it out a few different ways.
Take Chris S. for example, this story is BEAUTIFUL!
“I haven’t been wearing my mala as of lately. I felt really disconnected from it and even a feeling of disconnection from my universal purpose.
Today I meditated for the first time in a while with my mala and it was otherworldly. I didn’t have a mantra going in. Rather I asked the universe for guidance and immediately “I am thankful” came to me. I didn’t specifically repeat what it was I was thankful for but rather just saying “I am thankful” about 1/3 around my mala, “awareness” came to me. “I am thankful for my awareness” continued with me throughout the rest of my meditation.
I felt so connected and grateful for how grounded I felt/feel. I was also grateful for how forgiving my mala was to me for me neglecting it and it’s power”
On your path to finding the mantra you need in each moment -