What are Mantras? A Mantra is a word or sound repeated to help you bring your focus to one particular place. Primarily, they help you concentrate during your meditation practice. Mantras originate from Hindu and Buddhist teachings.
One of the most known Mantra is the Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra.
If we break it down, the first word Om is the Universal sacred vibration/sound of the Universe – Om, AUM, Ohm comes from Indian religions. The word Mani means “jewel” or “bead”, Padme is lotus flower, which is sacred in Buddhism and Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment. The Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra can not be simply translated into one or to sentences, especially in the English language. Take a listen to His Holiness giving a brief meaning in what can actually be put into words.
Another Mantra and the one that helped me through a very difficult period of my life is the So Hum Mantra. So Hum is a naturally occurring Mantra in our every day life and even called the Universal Mantra due to the vibration frequency it carries – it being our normal breathing rhythm.
- Sooo is the sound of inhalation, and is remembered in the mind along with that inhalation.
- Humm is the sound of exhalation, and is remembered in the mind along with that exhalation.
The So Hum Mantra translates into the English language as I am that/that I am. Using the So Ham Mantra throughout your day can bring miraculous results. I recall one night that I was underway (on a ship, hundreds of miles from shore and NOT a fun cruise) and just deciding that I need a break and found a spot behind a machinery room fuel pump, sat cross legged, put my Mala in my hand and went at it. Doing this throughout my day really helped calm me and detached from from the negative energies that we trying to plague me. Another use for the So Hum Mala that I had incorporated in my life recommended by my meditation teacher was before bed, until I fell asleep (I was having difficulty falling and staying asleep) and in the mornings as soon as I woke up before getting out of bed. It truly did work wonders and I am currently trying to reincorporate that routine once again. Reciting Mantras can help you set the tone for your days and even life. You don’t have to practice a specific religion or follow one strict doctrine, anyone can recite Mantras, whether they are a Hail Mary, Holy Father, So Hum or even your own choice of words.
That brings me to this question: Can you make your own? About two years ago I took a workshop on Mantras, both of the traditional sense and a personal development one in which the Coach instructed us to make a Mantra for our life – I chose Happy, Free and Loved.
I wanted to be happy regardless of what physical/emotional/life ailments I was going through.
I wanted to be free not only of that chapter (extremely toxic relationship and work environment) of my life, but of all the social constructs that kept me feeling like I could never fully be myself, so in simple terms free of the limits I was placing on myself and the power I was letting outsiders have over me.
And Lastly loved. Something inside you chatters when the person to whom you gave your purest love to turns out to be someone they are not. When over and over and over you are told you are not lovable, that you are the reason for things being fucked up, when bonds are made and broken like nothing and many more that I will not mention. This includes both romantic partners as well as platonic (friends, family,etc) lovers. I’ve lost best friends of 10+ years because my line of trust is so thin and till this day I can say that I only have maybe 2 people of which I’ve known for 5-10 years that have continuously been in my life despite our errors made because our bond is greater than our minuscule hiccups – and that is rare.
So my answer is yes, you can create your own Mantra. Some may even call it an affirmation, just do what works for you. That personal Mantra I actually did and do have it tied to a Mala bracelet and from time to time recite it.
So here is what YOU can do to easily incorporate this practice in your life:
- Identify what is plaguing you: Is it stress, anger, sadness?
- Choose your Mantra and/or intention. Take a couple hours one day and write down what word(s) come up when you try to channel a positive view in your situation. Perhaps combine your personal Mantra with one of the two listed above or even go ahead a google all the other types of Mantras their are and one might choose you.
- Set up a space or determine when you’ll be reciting a Mantra to help you get started/comfortable. It can be while you drink your morning coffee, in traffic, on a bolster in your home, in bed, anywhere really.
- Get your hands on a Prayer Mala or Mala Bracelet. A prayer Mala has 108 beads, this is how many times you’ll be reciting it if you choose it. A Mala bracelet has less – mine has 26 and thats because it was made for me. Typically if should be 27.\
- Just be. Breathe, live in the moment, do not focus on anything specific, just recite your Mantra and don’t fight wondering thoughts; acknowledge them and let them be on their way.
And a side note, this discipline won’t happen over night, so please be patient with yourself and do not let the meaning of a Mantra take away from its basic nature. Do not let your mind get attached, simply feel and let your mind quiet itself. For centuries Mantras have been recited without even knowing their meaning. But please so your research and don’t recite a summoning spell hahaha.
Let every word, deed, and thought be motivated by selfless love and compassion for all beings.
~ Love & Light,