[credit: Sue O’Kieffe]
Silent, frequent repetition of a mantram—a word or phrase with spiritual significance, sometimes called a Holy Name—is an ancient spiritual practice, a form of prayer that is known to reduce stress and related symptoms. It can be used at work and at home, fitting naturally within any faith, philosophy, or lifestyle.
In 2005, a pilot study tested the feasibility and efficacy of a 5-week (90-min per week) intervention on mantram repetition in a sample of ambulatory veterans. 62 outpatient veterans participated in the study by completing pre-and posttest self-report questionnaires on stress, anxiety, anger, quality of life, and spiritual well-being. Wrist-worn counters were provided to track mantram practice.
Findings: Mantram repetition significantly reduced symptoms of stress and anxiety and improved quality of life and spiritual well-being. [Journal of Holistic Nursing – dec 2005, vol. 23 no. 4 395-414 ]
My conclusion: If it works on highly stressed veterans, it’s enough proof to me!
The most famous mantra is “Aum” – an oldie but a goodie, you really can’t mess this one up too badly. The “Om” is the sacred sound of Hinduism and is said to mean, variously: It Is, Will Be or To Become.
Then comes “Om Mani Padme Hum” (Ohm Mah-nee Pahd-may Hume). This one’s from Tibet and it means, roughly, “Hail the Jewel in the Lotus.” The jewel in this case is the Buddha of Compassion.
Other mantras from the Ancients are:
“Namo AmitaBha” – Homage to the Buddha of boundless light.
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” – May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
“Ham-Sah” – The Hindu meaning I am THAT.
Rama (Rah-mah) – Eternal joy within [Gandhi’s mantram]
Shalom (Shah-lohm) – Peace, wellness Sheheena
(Sha-khee-nah) – Feminine aspect of God
You can come up with your own mantra, an affirmation that resonates with life transformation and resonates with you. Examples of modern day mantras:
“Love is the only miracle there is.” – Osho
“Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.” – Laura Silva
“I change my thoughts, I change my world.” – Norman Vincent Peale