Welcome to the fourth and final week of this Month of Meditation! I am glad you're here.
The Sanskrit word "mantra" is a word or phrase that has been used by many as a point of focus throughout time. 'Manas' translate to 'mind' and 'tra' translates to 'tool' - a tool used to steer the flow of thoughts coming in through the mind. Repeating this mantra or phrase again and again trains the mind just like we train our physical body. When you complete reps and sets in the gym you are building strength and endurance within the muscle. The mantra can be thought of like a exercise for our brains. Instead of allowing our thoughts to run wild like a child on a sugar high, we can traverse the mind bringing focused attention to one thought only. The mantra.
When choosing a mantra it is important to keep in mind the difference between mantra and affirmation. "Unlike an affirmation, a Sacred Mantra is not a saying we use to motivate or empower ourselves. A mantra is sacred because when we use it, we are calling upon the strength of all the great saints, masters, and traditions that have used it before us for support, spiritual well-being, and deep connection."- The Practice
There are thousands of mantras, sacred verses, and prayer words in every tradition. Here is a list taken from Barb Schmidt's book "The Practice" offering examples of mantras from different traditions. You can pick one that resonates with you. Think of these mantras like a song you like. You can't exactly explain why but when you hear and feel the sound it brings you peace and happiness.
For our Monday morning session we are going to use the mantra "OM" together.