“That which protects and purifies the mind” (Sanskrit), mantras are seeds implanted in the mind, catalysts for developing greater awareness.

They are sounded repetitively in a steady rhythm, either aloud or inwardly, the repetition allowing the sound to work in to deeper levels. Many have no logical meaning, so that the mind does not get caught up in analysing.

This inward repetition can be started at any time and place. Chant for 5 – 15 minutes, fading into silence as you direct the energy inwards, then sit in the silence for as long as you need. As with all sound work you will feel the effect in the silence after the sounding.

See the mantra section for more on individual mantras.

There are thousands of ‘traditional’ mantras, as well as ones created for you as an individual. One well known is Om Mani Padme Hum – The Mantric chant to the Alokitesvara, Buddha of Divine Compassion. Usually translated in the West as “Hail to the jewel in the centre of the lotus” it has a multiplicity of meaning, working on many different levels.

  • Om addresses the Absolute or Creator, being the universal sound (Latin Omnes – all, everything).
  • Mani, the jewel, is the Divine that dwells in the heart, referred to as padme, the lotus.
  • Hum represents our individual self as a spark of the universal consciousness.

According to Venerable Ngawang Tashi Bapu, a translation of the inner meaning is

“transforming body, speech, mind into pure body, speech, mind through the practise of love and compassion inseparably with wisdom”.

See the mantra section for more on individual mantras.

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