Say what?? What is a mantra? Swami Rama defines a mantra this way: “A combination of syllables or words corresponding to a particular energy vibration. The student, when initiated by a qualified teacher, utilizes the mantra as his object for meditation. As he practices over a period of time, the mantra gradually leads his meditation deeper and deeper. Through constant mantra repetition, both during meditation and in active life, the power of the mantra and its inner significance will gradually unfold as its latent mental and spiritual energies are released.” (Meditation and its Practice)
As my yoga practice has evolved over the past several years, this definition has come to make sense to me. In the world of addiction recovery, I have a much different view. My addictive mind is very active and potentially destructive throughout my active life. There have been literally thousands of times that I have needed a way to shut my mind off. I needed a ‘go to’ place for my mind. I needed a place where my mind could experience a separation from the ongoing, irrational, nonsensical, crazy thoughts. I was taught to find a “go to” place for my mind. This could be a phrase, a song, a pictorial memory, a scripture; anything that would stop the craziness going on in my head. Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Come on, admit it! I have never spoken to anyone who doesn’t fight with crazy thoughts now and then.
The gift of mantra and a ‘go to’ place both serve me in the same way. Whew! I love my mantra, my go to place. I love being out of the trap of my uncontrolled thoughts. I love the peace while I am in my ‘go to’ place, my mantra. It puts my mind beside restful waters. I pray you find yours.