One of the first formal meditation techniques I learned, at an Ananda Yoga center in Palo Alto in the autumn of 2003, was a simple mantra.
We were instructed to repeat silently—mentally—with each inhale, “I am,” and, with each exhale, “peace.”
Practicing this way even for just a few moments, I felt like peace was pervading my entire body and mind.
I have shared this method with countless yoga students over the years, but I’ve moved away from mantra meditation in my own personal practice, in favor of other techniques.
Recently, though, a dear teacher brought to my attention the value of purification practice. When I admitted that I don’t have a regular purification practice and asked her for a mantra, she suggested that I chant Gayatri mantras each morning for 20 minutes.
I dug up an old mala and diligently have begun to start each morning meditation with 108 repetitions of a sacred mantra, counting each one on a bead—sometimes aloud, sometimes internally.
I am an amateur again, reconnecting with my beginner’s mind.
Here are the classic mantras I’ve been working with, in case you’d like to incorporate this powerful method into your spiritual practice. May they be of benefit:
2. Ganesh Mantra
Ganesh, the elephant god, is known as the remover of obstacles, a deity of prosperity, and the lord of new beginnings—and writers. Ganesh’s mantra is, “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,” which is loosely translated into modern American English as, “Hey! Wake up the root chakra energy of transformation and move through obstacles. Yay!”
3. Om Mani Padme Hum
“Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ” is the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra associated with the bodhisattva of compassion. The sacred syllable “om” is believed to be the primordial sound of the universe. The word “mani” means “jewel” or “bead,” “padme” means “lotus flower,” and “hum” represents the spirit of enlightenment.
4. Gayatri Mantra
“Om bhur bhuvah svaha
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yonah prachodayat.”
The modern translation via Deva Premal and Miten is: “Meditating upon the adorable, enchanting, and radiant source of all things, we awaken to the divine light of pure consciousness.”
Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus
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