Because of my own response and the response of my clients to the mantra I share at the end of this post, I’ve spent some time contemplating and researching the experience and purpose of a mantra. Through this attention I have deepened my relationship and understanding of the mysteries of mantra and the role they play in self-imagining, becoming all that I am. Here are my thoughts.
“Mantra” is a Sanskrit word for “an instrument of thought,” and is seen as “that which protects the mind.” A mantra has surprising protective power. No mantra should be invoked casually as if naively playing at being spiritually ideal or rigidly as if blindly obeying some guru in order to be spiritually correct. A mantra, in our times of the consciousness soul, the self-aware soul, needs to be chosen responsibly and spoken responsibly. The mantra needs to resonate and harmonize with the body and soul of the individual in the moment and on the path of inner development.
You speak a mantra out loud or silently as if you are chanting with the stars or whispering to the flowers.
The gift of a mantra is stillness, not the corpse-like stillness of death, but a the vibrant stillness of life poised to fully experience and evolve.
CONNECTING TO THE DIVINE
Spiritualized, a mantra provides a verbal formula that through repetition in meditation or prayer links you to the Divine. It is an invocation of spiritual states. Spiritual mantras are impersonal and archetypal. They serve to empty your soul. Anyone and everyone can chant the same mantra and the purpose and significance remains universal. What I find in working with mantras of the spiritual kind is the need to pay attention to the resonance you feel. Spiritual mantras are universal, we have many different mantras to choose from, all equally pure in their divinity. When choosing a spiritual mantra be sensitive to how it calls out to you.
I have worked with spiritual mantras from Eastern Paths and Western Paths. I have worked with some for many years and some for a few days. Trust yourself in choosing the spiritual mantras you work with. A mantra is not a discipline, or something you should stay with because it comes from some great teacher. It needs to feel alive, sparkle with light, radiate with warmth, sing in your being and move your soul with vital force. Do not hesitate to let a mantra go if it doesn’t feel right.
CONNECTING TO THE SELF
Personalized, a mantra is an expression of few words that cultivates in your soul a focused, centered, empowered, grounded and ennobled selfhood, to fill you with your own incarnated divinity A personal mantra always has “I am” living in it. The purest personal mantra is simply those two extraordinary words. “I am” is the universal name, but its significance is unique to the one who invokes it. You might want to say the this pure personal mantra four times a day (dawn, day, dusk, night) using three, four, seven and twelve repetitions. I am. I am. I am. …
Like the spiritual mantras, a personal mantra must feel personally right to a very deep level. On saying a personal “I am” mantra you will feel the personal rightness of it very soon. In some way you will feel more you. Your core self in body, mind and spirit feels a growing harmony in your life, more rooted in your life, an inner direction that leads you to the core truth of your life and the ability to sustain an inner confidence through all kinds of trials.
You can write your own “I am” mantra or it can be written for you.
A POWERFUL PERSONAL MANTRA
I am safe. I am calm. I am awake. I am nourished.
12 words of well-being. Repeat them with confidence and consciousness; feel yourself relax into the fulness of life.
Feel each word and become each word. Feel and become “I”, “am”, “safe”, “calm”, “awake”, “nourished.” Each word truly felt stills you and invites you to unfold .
Begin each day with this mantra. Let it be your lullaby that hums you into sacred sleep. Before you need to make a choice or a decision, take a deep inhale and a long exhale and then speak the twelve words of well-being. Speak the mantra before telling the truth, making love, meeting with your colleague, paying your bills. Say it while taking a shower, doing the dishes or folding the laundry.
One of my clients calls this “the miracle mantra” and will repeat it over and over while she takes her morning walk.
Another client thinks of it as tuning her instrument of life so her being makes harmonious music that calls her soul to dance.
Yet another client pointed out this mantra offers an acronym — SCAN. The root of the word scan is to look searchingly. So confidently invoke the mantra while scanning your body and soul for the safe, calm, awake, nourished presence of “I am”.
I am safe.
I am calm.
I am awake.
I am nourished.