A mantra is a simple phrase or a sound that resonates deeply within us. It is a phrase you repeat over and over again. One of the greatest mantras I’ve ever used is the Tibetan mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum. The phrase is perhaps one of the most widely used mantras in our world today and for good reason.
For newly practicing yogis or mystics like me, a lot of confusion can arise when repeating the mantra. Little thoughts surface to the top of my head like, “What does this even mean?” “Why am I doing this?” However, once you begin to practice the mantra a little bit every day you can feel a difference. It’s true.
The first step to practicing the mantra is hearing it outside your body through your ears, saying it aloud and truly thinking about its meaning. So, if you begin to practice the mantra, Om Mami Padme Hum, you begin to think about it and you inquire “Well, what does this mean?”
According to Ram Dass, author of novels like Be Here Now and The Only Dance There Is, Om means, like Brahma, that which is behind it all, the un-manifest. Mani means jewel or crystal. Padme means lotus, and Hum means heart.
So on one level, what you’re essentially repeating is that the entire universe is like a pure jewel or crystal right in the heart or center of the lotus flower, which is me, or you, and it is manifested, it comes forth in brilliant guiding light, in manifested light, in the center of your own heart.
So to begin chanting mantras, you start off chanting Om Mami Padme Hum and what you’re saying is, “God in pure energy is like a brilliant crystal in the middle of an emerging lotus, manifest in the center of my opening heart.” You repeat it over and over again while in a state of serene relaxation and you feel it in your heart, and what you’re essentially experiencing is a trip. You’re experiencing, an awakening of your conscious perception. Informally experiencing a journey through the gateways of your corpus callosum all the way to the right hemisphere of your brain where you’re expansive and one with the cosmos.
The benefits of this practice have lasting and serious beautiful psychological effects. Instead of thinking, “Gosh. I didn’t get the job promotion I wanted today.” “I wonder if, Bob, is ever going to call me today?” Instead of all the brain chatter, which crowds our minds on a daily basis, our inner roommate, you go into a mantra and you are. Once the mantra has been going on for a while, it begins to change its nature. Instead of it being stuck in the upper part of your body, in your head, the humming and prayer move down to the center of your body and resides in the middle of your heart. Now, at this point, the linguistics or meaning of it has become irrelevant to you, and you have entered a deep meditative state of unconscious flow (Alpha State of Awareness.) This is the state of deep relaxation that is extremely beneficial for your health. When a mantra is performed correctly, the point of its practice is to become synchronized with the peculiar vibration and harmony of the universe. You’re essentially “in-tune.” You’re at peace.
Here is a beautiful mantra that is meant to evoke peace, love and understanding. May your day today be full of love.