What is a mantra, you ask? A mantra is a word or phrase repeated over and over again during meditation. But using mantras for meditation involves a lot more than just sounding like a broken record. They’re generally sacred in nature – a name or sound that both uplifts you and helps you keep your focus during meditation. In other words, they’re designed to change you.
A Long Time Ago …
It all started with the ancient Hindus, but the use of mantras for meditation has since spread – mostly through the Far East – among Buddhists, Taosts, Sikhs and others. Today, Western peeps on a spiritual path also create mantras. Many of them seem more like affirmations, but the ones that are short-n-sweet still work nicely for that all-important transformative effect.
The thing about mantras for meditation, is that they give your brain something to do. Yes, spiritual mantras are meant to transform you just by uttering them again and again, but there’s a lot to be said for saying something just to keep nonsense babble at bay.
An speaking of nonsense babble, rather than just giving you some meaningless drivel like “my shoes are green,” or “I love pickled herring,” (which, for keeping your mind busy during meditation, does have it’s benefits. But let’s face it, this is ‘broken record’ material and nothing more), here are some tried and true mantras to help you use meditation for transformation.
From the Ancients
- “Aum” – an oldie but a goodie, you really can’t mess this one up too badly. The “Om” is the sacred sound of Hinduism and is said to mean, variously: It Is, Will Be or To Become.
- “Om Mani Padme Hum” – this one’s from Tibet and it means, roughly, “Hail the Jewel in the Lotus.” The jewel in this case is the Buddha of Compassion.
- “Namo AmitaBha” – Homage to the Buddha of boundless light.
- “I am that I am” – This is one of the Hebrew Torah’s most famous lines, and it was God’s answer to Moses when Moses asked for his name.
- “Ham-Sah” – The Hindu variant, meaning I am THAT.
- “I love you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank You” – Ho’oponopono (Hawaiian) Mantra.
- “Love is the only miracle there is.” – Osho
- “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
- “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.” – Laura Silva
- “I change my thoughts, I change my world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
Want to put some of the above to the test?
Here’s a free online meditation audio track to send you on your Om way!