Mantras aren’t just for Nag Champa scented fisherman pants wearers.
Mantras were originally in Hinduism and Buddhism – a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
So yeah, pretty much exactly what you thought it was.
The word mantra can be broken into two parts: “man” which means mind, and “tra“ which means transport. Simply put, a mantra is a tool for the mind. A powerful thing. Who doesn’t want to wield the mind like yoda battling Count Dooku with his light saber? You want swift moves and lightning fast reflexes, you don’t want to end up like that kid from the YouTube video who had to move schools and states because he was being bullied because of his un-jedi-ness.
Skip to 1.30 above you’ll see what I mean
So, some Mantra housekeeping items:
- Much like a seed, a mantra begins from a tiny speck. A noise. A vibration. More on this in a bit.
- It’s also is supposed to transcend the activity of the mind. You know the activity I mean, the one that makes you think of remembering to grab your movie stub to take to the parking lot after the movie so you validate it to get the $5 discount, instead of watching the movie.
- It’s a vehicle to help you access heightened levels of awareness.
- In Yoga, asanas are postures of the body and mantras are postures of the mind. I don’t know what they mean by a posture of the mind but when I think of it I see a tiny little man doing yoga inside the space where my brain is (I have yet to have this confirmed for sure, I mean have you ever seen your own brain?)
- Mantras are silent and have no meaning.
You thought it was all statements and posters made from different sized fonts with a vintage overlay? Dead wrong.
According to Dr. David Frawley when your mantra is carefully chosen and used silently, mantras are said to have the ability to help alter your subconscious impulses, habits, and pain. They have also found out that meditation actually creates MORE grey matter in the brain. Fo’ realz yo. More on that here. [link]. And if you’re super keen to learn more, check out Norman Doidge’s book, The brain that changes itself. [link]
So back to when I said that mantras were like a seed, a vibration. They’re also called a bija, which is the sound vibration the Universe was making at the time of your birth. First thing I thought when I read this was hot damn I should package that up and sell it. (Insert evil pensive look here.) Think about how brilliant that would be: “Your personal mantra sound from the moment of your birth, comes with bonus water bottle.”
Here’s my big takeaway on the whole mantra thing:
The way I think of it, is that if you say something over and over and over, is that your brain will begin to detach meaning from those sounds, and the sounds themselves are what help you begin to centre and focus.
Try this, say “Blehm oopee caaaa”
You guessed it, I made that up. Now say it 10 times in your head. Rhythmic right? Doesn’t mean anything though. While I do think there’s benefit to having a mantra that’s actually a something you attribute meaning to, e.g.
I can. I will.
I think the act itself is where the real benefit is coming from.
So you don’t have to go and read a boring study about grey brain matter, here’s your actionable take-ways:
Meditate for 27 minutes every day
for some serious grey matter boosts
No? Try it for 10. Every day.
No? Try 5.
Think of mantras and meditation in a similar way. Develop the discipline of clearing your mind so you can focus and have a calm happy life.
And just for fun, type in the comments a mantra you’ve had in the past, I’d love to hear from you!
And if you want to chat some more, come and join the fun over at the Barefoot Hustle, a place for entrepreneurs to discuss and figure out how to make it in the new age of online marketing. Just click the image below and I’ll see you over there!
Lots of love,