This image is of the Sanskrit mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, transliterated into Tibetan script.
We need to place a guardian at the gate of our awareness to keep the demons of our mental processes from distracting us, and mantra is one way to do this.
The word mantra means ‘mind protection’ in Sanskrit. A mantra is a short sacred sound or phrase, usually with spiritual significance.
A mantra carries a vibration and frequency that extends beyond the simple meaning of its words. In the highest sense, mantras carry thought waves that can energize the prana through constant repetition and they can reach deep into the subconscious mind to access the collective consciousness. More simply, using mantra can help overcome mental chatter, and prepare the way for an expansion of consciousness.
There are many forms of yoga, each dealing with different aspects of our being. For instance, hatha yoga involves physical postures or asanas. Kundalini yoga works with the breath through pranayama. Bhakti yoga has to with devotion. Dharma yoga expresses itself by being of service. And mantra yoga involves the centering the consciousness within through japa — the repetition of certain universal root words/sounds representing a particular aspect of Spirit.
Mantras can be in Sanskrit, English, Hebrew, Latin, or other languages. They can be ancient and passed on from guru (teacher) to devotee (student). In cases like that, they may have a strong connection with a long spiritual tradition. They can also be created by an individual based on their personal values, needs, or issues.
Typically, mantras are statements of profound spiritual truth that resonate with the person repeating them. They may also be short affirmations that are easily repeated. In fact, it is in the repetition of a mantra that power lies.
A mantra that many people might relate with is simply I AM. One way to use it is to say ‘I’ as you are breathing in, and to say ‘AM’ as you are breathing out. You may like to expand it to say ‘I am – alive’ or ‘I am – love’ and it will have a similar beneficial effect.
Affirming simple, basic truths can help to clear the judgments and ego attachments that normally clutter our thoughts, thereby opening us up to a greater sense of inner peace. So, whether you are using an ancient mantra or a personal one that you create, we hope you will try using mantra to empower your soul and spirit, and to become your highest self.
Get The Latest From InnerSelf
OM MANI PADME HUM
OM (AUM) is a most basic and powerful mantra. It can be chanted alone or as part of another mantra.
A familiar mantra used by millions of people worldwide is the six-syllable mantra, OM MANI PADME HUM. This is a good mantra to begin using because it carries a lot of power due to the daily repetition by very many people from ancient times until today. When translated literally, it means Homage or Praise to the Jewel in the Lotus Indivisible.
OM invokes the universal seed sound of all sounds, the spirit of creation, of universal oneness.
MANI is the jewel, which stands for the highest principles, the method, or way to enlightenment.
PADME is the lotus of wisdom which grows into great beauty from the mud of material existence.
HUM designates their union and indivisibility.
This is a very simplified explanation of a complex concept, and it really isn’t that important to know the underlying meaning because the mantra carries a power that transcends language. Dean and I use this mantra a lot as it is easy to say and it is quite effective.
OM TARE TUTARE TURE SVAHA
This is another very special mantra that we learned from His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a workshop on Patience many years ago. It is called the Green Tara Mantra.
This mantra is an invocation of Tara who, according to the Tibetan world view, is a mother goddess of compassion similar to Quan Yin, Mother Mary, or even Mother Earth. She is the ultimate mother you can call on in times of need.
TUTARE means swift action and TURE means to dispel sickness and misery. So, we invoke the Universal Oneness and invite Tara to come swiftly into our lives to dispel any sickness or negativity that might exist.
SVAHA (also pronounced Swaha or Soha) is a concluding declaration, somewhat like Amen or So be it!
SO HAM (sometimes spelled ‘SO HUM’) is called the natural mantra because it follows the natural sound of the in and out breath. You inhale SO, and exhale HAM.
SO means ‘That’ and HAM means ‘I’. Thus, the mantra means ‘I AM THAT.’
The inhalation of SO is an inward sucking sound. It might feel funny at first, but with practice it can work.
Repeat a Mantra and Focus on Your Breathing.
Mantra Practice 1: I AM, I AM, I AM
Mantra Practice 2: OM MANI PADME HUM
Mantra Practice 3: OM TARE TUTARE TURE SVAHA
Mantra Practice 4: SO HAM, SO HAM, SO HAM
Copyright 2018 by Dudley Evenson and Dean Evenson.
Reprinted with permission of the authors. All Rights Reserved.
Published by Soundings of the Planet. http://soundings.com/
Quieting the Monkey Mind: How to Meditate with Music
by Dean Evenson and Dudley Evenson
Quieting the Monkey Mind shares some basic principles of meditation along with a wide array of sound tools and practices that can be used to take one into deeper states of inner peace and meditative bliss. No matter where you are in your meditation practice, this book presents useful tools and techniques that will allow you to access deeper levels of inner stillness leading to a more rewarding sense of self and personal empowerment.
About the Authors
Married since 1970, Dudley and Dean Evenson are internationally renowned musicians and co-founders of the respected music label Soundings of the Planet. They have produced over 80 albums and videos and have performed their music and meditations worldwide with such luminaries as the Dalai Lama, authors Joan Borysenko, Iyanla Vanzant, Deepak Chopra, Larry Dossey, and many others. Find out more about them and their work at http://soundings.com/
Music by the Authors