We are living in very interesting times. Times that can be confusing and stressful; times in which our worlds (inner and outer) feel like they are being totally rocked. As our outer world seems to be going through upheaval at an increased level, our inner world may also feel more tumultuous as we internalize what is happening “out there”. And, what is happening “out there” is reflecting what is happening within, reminding us of what is still being healed.
Our inner and outer worlds are inextricably connected and even though there are potent outer actions we can take to help create change and healing in the world, in my view, the most powerful healing that will occur is when we make cultivating inner awareness and peace our top priority.
It is through peace in our own hearts that we can clearly hear the call to action from our true self. It is through a deepening into our own true nature that our actions spring from unconditional love.
As a kirtan singer, I am blessed to be surrounded by the power of mantra; my life has been truly enriched by the healing and transformative power of these “sound formulas”. Because mantras are “sound vibrations” and not words spoken in everyday conversation, they have a unique power; the mind can be led to a place of stillness and peace. Mantra can be a beautiful tool for focusing our intentions and for transformation to occur with more ease in our lives.
There are various ways in which we can experience the healing effects of mantra: through japa mantra repetition (repeating a mantra using a mala, with a set number repetitions); by singing Kirtan or chanting mantras in a group; by listening to recordings of mantras; and by holding a particular mantra with us at all times, perhaps repeating it mentally each time we do a habitual action, like opening a door, sitting down, picking up our phone etc.
A book that I highly recommend for discovering and learning about various mantras is “Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations for Personal Power, Health, and Creativity” by Thomas Ashely-Farrand.
Here are 5 mantras that I love and use on a regular basis.
1. Lokha Samastha Sukino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere be happy…May all beings everywhere be free
2. Om Namoh Bhagavate Vasudeyvaya
A mantra calling to one’s own soul (also known as the “indweller” which is in complete union with all of creation) and to one’s own power of consciousness to continue deepening into true nature
3. Maha Mrityunjaya
Om Tryambakkam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pustivardhanam
Urvaruookameva Baandanaan Mrityormoksheeya Maamritat
Known as a “Great Liberation Mantra” which can facilitate awakening as well as invoking the healing and protective power of Shiva (the Transformer)
4. SHANTE PRASHANTE SARVA BHAYA UPASHA MANI SWAHA.
This mantra helps us to invoke supreme peace and to surrender fear into its formless source
5. Gayatri Mantra
Om Bhur Bhuvaha Svaha Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo
Devasya Dimahi Diyo Yonah Prachodayat
A call for Light to shine, dispelling darkness and illuminating our intellect so that we (and all beings) may awaken to our true nature
I hope these mantras can help serve you in a deepening into more peace, healing and clarity. How has mantra played a part in your own wellbeing and healing? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Join Brenda McMorrow in London, Ontario for her 5th year of Kirtan Academy: Bhakti Heart Fire. Whether you have a desire to lead Kirtan, incorporate chant into your yoga practice or teachings, or simply receive its benefits in your own life, this immersion will guide you toward these goals.