Moola MantraAs we start our daily life in 2017, it is a good time to reflect on how we went about our daily meditation practice last year and make some changes. If you find it hard to meditate because your mind gets distracted, then maybe reciting a mantra is for you.
 
Both mantra and kirtan (which you hear a lot of on Soul Traveller) are the highest form of expression of egolessness that enables us to connect directly with our spirit. Kirtan, which we cover shortly, is a form of Bhakti devotion, a symbol of pure love that can resonate with our spirit when we sing. Likewise, mantras affect our spirit when we say them and can help us to connect directly with our True I.
 
During 2016, I started reciting mantras and seeing powerful results. In fact, my positive attitude towards circumstances around me was really boosted by the aid of mantras. My chosen mantra, was the Moola Mantra – a vedic Sanskrit mantra, the grand daddy of mantras. Even without knowing its meaning, the words carry an energetic signature that will empower you. However, when you know the meaning and chant it with feeling in your heart, the energy will flow a million times more powerfully.
 
So what is the difference between mantra and meditation? Music legend, George Harrison said,
“It is the same sort of thing…(Mantra) has a quicker effect…silent meditation is rather dependent on concentration but when you chant, its more of a direct connection with God.”
 
Put simply mantra or chanting is practical meditation that can be used when the mind is unwilling to focus. It clears away the dust in our mind and allows us to focus on something other than our ego-self.
 
If God or Spirit or universal energy is within us then we are chanting directly to our spirit within, the god within and the power of the chant loosens the chains that Super-Ego has around it.

“The effect of chanting…is liberation from the concept of false egoism. False egoism is exhibited by thinking oneself to be the enjoyer of the world and thinking everything in the world to be meant for the enjoyment of one’s self only. The whole materialistic world is moving under such false egoism of “I” and “mine” but the factual effect of chanting the holy name (God) is to become free from such misconceptions.”  

A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Awakening spiritual consciousness and freeing ourselves from ego through sounds and mantras have been recognized and understood throughout history. Sir Francis Bacon, St John, St Augustine, all knew the value of singing to free our True I. Even King David in Psalms said “Sing aloud a new song!”

Christianity teaches us to call on the divine name of Jesus with the lips, in the spirit, in the heart; Islam invokes the names of God at the beginning of each chapter of the Koran; Buddhist teaching claims that by chanting the name of Buddha, we receive liberation from the cycle of reincarnation; and the Hindu scriptures revere the name of Krshna as bestowing all spiritual liberations when chanted.

Whatever religion or spiritual inclination, mantra meditation offers us the opportunity to connect with our spirit and awaken our true consciousness, purifying our heart from the contamination of the Super Ego.

I mentioned that the Moola Mantra was my chosen mantra, here is what it is and what it means (thanks to Deva Premal’s Moola Mantra album):

Moola Mantra

 

If you want to sit down and listen to some kirtan versions of the Moola Mantra, some amazing versions are below (just click the image to visit their page to listen or buy the music). My favourite this year has to be Joss Jaffe’s version who has enlisted the help of Dave Stringer, but they are all equally as amazing and all touch our spirit.

Deva PremalJoss JaffeHarmony

Lou Van Stone

 

So Let’s get Started with Mantra….

Find a mantra that works for you. There are many available that can provide powerful meditation points. Begin looking on Youtube or listening to Soul Traveller Radio (www.soultraveller.net) and find one that resonates with you. Make it a short one that you can remember. The Maha Mantra is one that has been spoken and sung in so many different forms. You would know it from George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”. What does it do? It awakens the natural happiness within you, allowing our True I to surface. Here it is below if you wish to use it. Hare is pronounced Ha-Ri.

“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

                  Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”

It doesn’t matter what religion you are, just think of Krishna as another name for God, or if you aren’t religious think of it as universal life force, spirit or your inner-self.

Another great mantra is “The Mantra of Compassion” that is used by Buddhists worldwide and probably the most common mantra used in films and documentaries.

“Om Mani Padme Hum”

This mantra purifies the egos – pride, jealousy, desire, ignorance, greed and anger, transforming them into their true nature…their mirrors of patience, awareness, detachment, humility and liberation.

We also talked about the affirmation “I Am That…I Am”. Another mantra you can say is the simple one word mantra that literally translates to “I Am That”

                  “Ham-sa”

It is the sound of our own breath…Inhale on “Ham” and exhale on “Sa”.

Now for the challenge! Say your chosen mantra 108 times each morning for the next week. It should take about 15-20 minutes. Document the changes you notice in your day like how you feel, think and act. Write it in your journal at the end of each day.

Chant your way into 2017 with a mantra that will empower you and give you focus.

Namaste.

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As program manager and host of Soul Traveller Radio, Shayne's intention is to bring about change through his love of independent and conscious music. With a background in IT and media marketing, Shayne also runs ST Media - Positively Digital - http://stmedia.me - which helps artists and companies with media and marketing.