Keeping to our dedication to National Meditation Month, this week’s Love Note introduces mantras and affirmations as simple tools to add to your meditation practice.
What is a mantra?
The translation of the Sanskrit word, mantra, is “instrument or tool of the mind.”
Mantras are sacred sounds in the form of syllables, words, prayers, phrases, or hymns. They are commonly used in the practices of Hinduism and Buddhism, however, I believe we can use our own language, culture, or religion to create our own mantras.
I see mantras as our own personal statements, our living epithets, so to speak, and can change during different times of our lives. Personally, I use different mantras daily in my meditations or repeat previous ones, depending on whatever is being called to my spirit.
A Mantra, tool of the mind, aids us in slowing down the monkey mind of our incessant, unruly, and incontrollable thoughts. It’s challenging to focus on a mantra and a thought at the same time. Try it now….
Am I right?
A mantra can be as simple as the Sanskrit word Om or Aum, which is translated as the universal sound, vibration of the Universe, the Creator, or as I’ve learned it to be, the translation of the Great “I am”. Or you may use “I am peace” or Om Shanti (Sanskrit).
There are many different Sankrit mantras and different interpretations of them all. Choose a mantra that connects to your heart and soul. Choose Sanskrit or choose English. Choose a scripture from the Bible, the Quran, or the Torah and make that your mantra. Choose what feels good and comfortable to you.
Then take your mantra and sit with your eyes closed in your most comfortable meditating position. Begin to repeat the mantra slowly over and over again in your mind’s eye while deepening and expanding your breath. You may also gently whisper your mantra, softly and gently parting your lips.
While I meditate, I like to connect and feel my mantra in my heart and/or my third eye, the chakra of intuition. I allow myself to feel it fully within my heart and impress it deeply within my mind. I try to become that mantra by feeling it deeply and completely.
Do what feels right to you and simply practice. Start with 3-5 minutes of meditating and then gradually build to two 20-minute sitting meditations daily.
What are Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements or self-talk; the process of affirming something to ourselves.
We create affirmations as declarations to counteract old, limiting, or negative beliefs that may keep our minds in a perpetual state of negativity or overly focused on the past. Affirmations allow us to create a new belief and a new way of thinking.
If your internal belief has been, there’s never enough for me or I’m always lacking in money, friends, and love, your affirmation might sound like one or more of the following:
I am abundant. The Universe is abundant. The Universe always provides for me. There is always enough for me. I am abundant in love, health, and money.
Whichever affirmation you choose that resonates for you, you can then use as your mantra for your daily meditation, repeating your statement in your mind’s eye or in a gentle whisper over and over again.
Allow the words to sink into your heart. Become what you’re saying by feeling them. Remember to breathe deeply and imagine your mantra touching every cell, tissue, muscle, and fiber in your body.
If you’d like guidance or have further questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you.
Love & Gratitude,
Photo Courtesy of Ryan Amaral, Bermuda