WHAT IS A MANTRA?
Mantra, prayer, affirmation...these are all words describing the same basic concept. A mantra is a word or phrase used in meditation or prayer and is a personal affirmation that can help you focus on and maintain your goals.
These can be traditional, or you can come up with your own personal mantra. One of the most common and famous traditional mantras is “Om”, which is thought of as the sound of the name of God, or the sound of the universe. A common mantra from the Judeo-Christian tradition is “Ham-Sah”, or “I am that I am”, which was God’s answer to Moses when asked for a name. From the Hawaiian tradition, “Ho’oponopono” is used, which means “I love you; I’m sorry; please forgive me; thank you.”
There are many more traditional mantras from all different cultures and religions, however, the most powerful mantras are put into your own words.
CREATING YOUR OWN PERSONAL MANTRA
To write your own personal mantra, first, think of your intention. What is it that you want to achieve or improve on? What is holding you back from your dreams? Once you are clear on your intention, start thinking of positive words you want to immerse yourself in.
MAKE IT PERSONAL
It may feel strange at first to talk to yourself, but your personal mantra should be personal to you and use “I” or “my”.
KEEP IT SHORT
Limit your mantra to a few words or a short sentence. You will be repeating this over and over, so it should be short, sweet, and simple.
MAKE IT SPECIFIC
While “Everything is good” might be a great mantra, if you really want to take control of your life and initiate change, it needs to be more specific. How will you achieve your goal? How will you improve your life?
KEEP IT POSITIVE
Avoid negative words, as saying negative words, especially repetitively, embeds them in your subconscious mind and can do more harm than good. Instead of saying “I will not worry”, say “I am at peace”. Avoid any words such as “not”,or “never”.
REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE LIMITLESS
Avoid any limiting language by including open-ended, hopeful words such as “limitless”, “infinite”, “anything”. For example, “I can do anything”, or “I am infinitely abundant”.
HOW TO USE YOUR PERSONAL MANTRA
IF YOU HAVE A MALA
If you have a mala, practice reciting your mantra during meditation by repeating your mantra each time you roll a bead with your thumb. A mala consists of 108 beads (a sacred number in Hinduism) and a guru bead at the end by the tassel.
Starting at the guru bead, repeat your mantra 108 times all the way around the mala until you reach the guru bead again. This helps focus your mind if it wanders, and it also helps you keep track of how many times the mantra has been repeated without having to count. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to the beads and your mantra.
Malas can be made out of a variety of materials, but most commonly they are made out of a gemstone, which helps amplify your meditation and intentions. You may want different malas made out of different stones for different mantras, but any mala will do the trick if you only have one.
The best practice for using a mantra, whether you are using a mala or not, is to say your mantra every day for 40 days. Stay focused on the same intention for 40 days and transformation will undoubtedly occur, whether it looks exactly as you expected or completely different.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE A MALA
While sitting in meditation is the most effective way to use mantras, if your busy lifestyle doesn’t allow for daily meditation, you can write your mantra on sticky notes and place them throughout your home or office where you will see them, such as your bathroom mirror, next to your computer monitor, or on your fridge.
You could also commit to not getting out of bed in the morning without first taking a moment to say your mantra, starting your day off right with positive intentions.
No matter how you use your mantra, as long as you fully believe your words and commit to embodying your intention, it will have a positive impact on your life.
Do you have a personal mantra? How do you use it, and how has it impacted your life? Let us know in the comments!