Monday, September 27, 2010


Most people may think that a mantra is just chanting “Om” for long periods of time. While this is true, that is not all there is to the practice of Mantra.
Mantras are seed sounds that can cause changes in your mind, body, and in your surrounding environment. The Bible reports that God created with sound. And, God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. ~Genesis 1:3. So, before there was light, there was sound.

We create with sound every day. We create peace and love or war and hate with our words. We create within our minds because we can hear with our mental ears. Studies have found that 75-80% of the time, we worry about our problems. This is ego. Ego likes to think it is a problem solver and wants to be useful so its focus is problems. The problem with ego is that it can wear you down, physically as well as mentally. Mantra can help.

In the Buddhist teachings, this part of the mind that is critical and full of ego is called Monkey Mind. If you think of your mind in its agitated, unsettled state; it resembles a tribe of monkeys in the jungle. The restless monkeys jump from branch to branch in trees; they squeal and scream. They may do this for hours, just as our problem focused ego consciousness does.

This is called Monkey Mind in Buddhist teachings, but it is a universal concept that affects all of humanity. In some cultures, it is called Maya, which means illusion. Other ancient teachings call the incessant critical mind the Mitote (pronounced mee-toe-tay), which has a meaning in Mexico similar to a loud, busy, crowded, and crazy market place.

Taming your Monkey Mind is easy and difficult at the same time. It is easy because the process is simple. Just pay attention. Listen to your thoughts and worries. Learn to identify subtle distinctions between worry and concern. A concern is a question that requires an answer, and can be answered satisfactorily. You can move on after your concerns are addressed. It is good to have concerns because the answers you get help you to make informed decisions.

On the other hand, worry tends to be an endless loop of focus on problems that breed and expand. Worry multiplies until it breeds fear. This manifests as anxiety, which can be felt in the physical body as anything ranging from slight nervousness and hyper-ventilating, to ulcers and migraine headaches, to disease and heart attacks.

Monitoring your mind patterns gets easier as you learn, which is the reason that you do not need to beat yourself up when you find you have that critical, worry loop rolling around in your mind. It is like learning to ride a bicycle, or learning anything; you just practice until you get good at it. Your mind is energy and it is also like a muscle. You need to exercise it, but worry and fretfulness are not helpful exercises for the mind. They are exhausting.

Mantra helps me when I find I have negative thoughts such as angry discussions revolving in my monkey mind. Toning the sound Om vibrates my mind and fills it up so that there is no space for negative thoughts. It is like filling a crack in the wall with insulating foam that expands so cold air cannot penetrate the room. I found the CDs of a mantra teacher, Thomas Ashley-Farrand, 10 years ago while browsing through the metaphysical section of my local bookstore. The results were so profound and so quick that I have been practicing ever since.

The practice of chanting mantra is ancient. One of the most practiced Mantras is Om Mani Padme Hum, which is loosely translated as a Jeweled Lotus or a Jewel in the Lotus. Chanting Om Mani Padme Hum brings joy and peace to your heart. A revered Tibetan Monk, Rinpoche teaches that this Mantra can purify 6 realms.

Everything is energy and energy vibrates. That is the simple principle of Mantra. There are thousands of mantras that you can learn and chant for many different reasons. Some chants are banishing chants that ward off negativity and evil. Some chants are for drawing things to you like love and financial abundance. It seems logical that, since sound can manifest material creation, it can create a space of peace in your mind and heart as well.

Your Infinite Angels, especially Archangel Chamuel, can help you find the perfect Mantra for your situations in life. Your Angels can help you to be persistent and invoke the energy of Ganesh to plow through any resistance to the practice.

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