The word Mantra refers to sacred words or syllables used repetitively in Vedic religious and ceremonial rituals. Mantra is a religious or mystical syllable or phrase, typically from the Sanskrit language.
Historically, Mantras are used as spiritual conduits, words or vibrations that inculcate concentration in the devotee. Mantras are also integrated in religious rituals to remove obstacles, avoid danger, or accumulate wealth. Mantras got their origin from the Vedas of India.
The word Mantra is derived from Sanskrit: Mantra contains two words – man which means to think (or mind) and tra which means tool, – instrument of thought. I have also heard this interpreted as mind, and to deliver – to deliver the mind.
I think of it as a focusing tool that clears away obstacles and centers a person into their true (authentic) self.
The frequent repetition of a meaningful, spiritually coded word can serve as a stress management tool. Studies have indicated that the use of mantras can induce relaxation.
The key is the meaningful, spiritually coding part. In other words repetition of negative belief systems will increase stress related signs and symptoms, while repetition of positive phrases can decrease these signs and symptoms and create a space for the individual to focus their activity constructively.
Any prayer or phrase from a spiritual or religious text that has meaning for you can produce these results.
Mantras are energy-based sounds. The Indian metaphysical tradition explains that the body is composed of the combination of five elements and the first of them is sound. I was trained in the use of sound from a Shinto (Japanese spirituality) perspective and have found that toning is one of the most effective and efficient methodologies in healing.
I am certain this is why singing and music can bring about a profound change in one’s attitude.
Studies in sound symbolism suggest that vocal sounds have meaning whether we are aware of it or not.
One’s subconscious mind can find its solution through meditation and recitation of mantras. A mantra, when repeated constantly during meditation, first loudly and then through silent and mental chanting, changes one’s consciousness.
Other studies have shown that the use of a word or set of words can increase resilience and persistence in athletic endeavors.
This is also useful when dealing with challenging situations where you feel you have no power to change the situation at present but need to maintain a positive attitude.
And it can be utilized in academic endeavors as well to produce a refined focus and tenacity.
My first experience with this concept was de novo while practicing my ice skating jumps. I naturally began to think a word to myself over and over to focus myself on an easy landing. Release and smile. I could see myself landing strong and then releasing my body into the famous arch and smile, arms gracefully yet firmly holding the pose before moving onto my next assignment in the routine.
While facing black diamond ski runs that made my heart race with fear I would repeat gravity is my friend, as I felt my body tuck into the familiar swish and turn racing down the bumps and trying to let go of my need to think about the turns rather allowing the mountain to move me effortlessly.
Pushing through my difficult breathing struggles while running I hear the words I breathe easily, and trust the process. Each gets me a little further before I feel my lungs shut down and I have to stop.
In the 80s and 90s people would refer to getting in the zone.
From my experience a mantra can get a person into a neutral place available for paradigm shifting. It creates the opportunity for a mini-paradigm shift.
Rather than feeling the emotion or attitude that can block success or progress one has a clearing and a space to shift their thinking. It creates internal space for thinking clearly and mindfully, to gather one’s forces toward an end rather than thinking habitually and reactively which will diffuse one’s strength and focus.
If you are faced with adversity that requires internal fortitude and strength use a mantra to help you get an attitude adjustment.
Some words that help:
Breathe. Believe. Love.
Some phrases that are useful:
Let go, trust the universe.
I am loved.
I am supported.
The attitude of gratitude.
If you have a scenario that seems to paralyze your actions, try these phrases:
You feel frustrated and overwhelmed: everyone is doing the best they can.
If it’s about a project deadline: I can do it – focus and breathe.
You feel insecure, unsure of your relationships: I am lovable.
Beginning to feel a loss of control or loss of temper: Breathe. Love. Allow others to be. I don’t have to respond right now.
The trick to finding the right mantra is to find the word that produces relaxation and focus at the same time – the phrase that speaks to the unreasonable expectation or the fear and releases its hold on you.
As you focus on this you will find you get more efficient at choosing effective words and phrases. It is actually quite fun.
I find this is a very effective tool for moving through difficult circumstances and quite manageable for children to develop an inner sense of peace and strength.
See you tomorrow.