Make Your Own Mantra
A mantra is an ancient meditative practice that aids in creating an optimal experience. Sakara, a sanskirt word for "the manifestation of thoughts into things", reflects the idea that we are the agents of change in our own lives; we have the ability to live the life we want as the person we want to be. Repeating mantra aids in that manifestation of personal contentment through repetition of focused, conscious desire.
Mantra and its practice are part of ancient Vedic tradition first developed by wise spiritualists who connected the sounds of the natural world around them to a greater universal energy. They saw sound and its vibrational quality as the audible manifestation of the energy to which we are all connected. They recognized that no matter who or where in the world a person is, if one sit’s quietly long enough, one can hear those connective sounds, and not only that, but can achieve peace through the concentrated practice of listening and repeating them. The sages began to mimic such sound patterns that they heard as a form of meditation, achieving a greater sense of clarity, awareness, and transcendent peace. This same concept, thousands of years later, can be appropriated to bring us closer to our highest self and to achieving what we most desire.
Traditional mantra meditation uses existing Sanskrit hymns and chants that have been shared and practiced apart of Vedic tradition. These mantras are typically vocations towards certain deities for blessings specific to them. The sounds of these prayers said in repetition are meant to induce a deeper meditative state, such as when a lullaby soothes a child to sleep, The linguistic nature of traditional mantra and the quality of their sounds works to quiet mental chatter and fosters a peaceful environment for the body and mind to exist.
Here are three examples of traditional mantras:
- Om (ohm): The simplest to repeat, yet a powerful acknowledgement of connection between all beings.
- Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (lo-kah sah-mah-stah sue-kee-no bah-vain-to): Asking for peace and contentment for all living things.
- Om namah shivaya (Ohm nah-mah she-vah-yah): an acknowledgement of the power, beauty, and unique perfection of another being.
Personal or unique mantra is another way of approaching the practice and benefiting from it. Just as is true of thoughts, there are no right or wrong mantras. Rather, your mantra is based on personal experience, and holds power as an individual and unique expression of what you most desire. Whether it be aimed at manifesting security, deep connection, pervasive self-confidence, or release from suffering, the only requirement of mantra is that it is authentic.
Spend a half hour with your journal, preferably in the morning when your mind is fresh, free-writing about what it is you desire at this moment in time. Without over-analyzation or personal judgement, let it flow freely. Writing it down will help you to gain clarity on what is most pertinent for you in the current moment.
Decide which idea, goal, concept, emotion, etc., it is what you want to focus on first. Once you have a sense of it in your mind, turn it into a declarative statement. Imagine you already have what you are looking to attract as part of your reality. For example, if you’re yearning for body peace, write down “I am happy in my body, perfect as it is”. If it is financial security you desire, try something along the lines of “I have everything I need to live abundantly.” Finding a romantic partner can be turned into “I am open and ready to receive great love.”
Again, your personal mantra is an authentic, individualized expression. A concentrated effort to help you achieve stillness, and peace and ultimately aids in creating the your optimal reality. Whatever that is for you at this moment, is right. As a side note, you can have multiple mantras at the ready, however when meditating with the mantra, it is important to repeat only one at a time in order to focus your energy towards one thing instead of smaller efforts towards multiple goals.
D.I.Y Mantra Recipe
- Spend 10 minutes journaling about what you want
- Refine to what speaks to you as your main focus
- Write it in the form of a declaration
- Practice your mantra daily- sitting quietly or as you walk
Try incorporating mantra into your meditation practice and pay attention to what arises for you and to where you take flight.