This blog is especially pertinent in the wake of the post-election stress so many are experiencing. There is perhaps no one who is untouched by it, no matter where they reside in the world. But we, here, in these United States, feel the sharpness of division, no matter what our politics. Even those who wish to have nothing to do with politics, are profoundly affected, most of all by the deep divisions that have been highlighted by this process. What is our recourse now and how do we move forward with positive energy?
What if you knew how to be happy, not in some flippant manner, but in way that is hopeful about a better future, and that you knew a way to sustain this positive vibration over the weeks, months and years that will follow this election? And that you can sustain this vibration despite the strong sense of divisiveness you see, sometimes even in your own family or neighborhood? Wouldn’t that be, sort of, the “secret” to life?
And what if I told you that the secret to this secret was this thing called mantras? That, precisely, is the subject of this article, or blog, or whatever you want to call it.
The purpose of this blog is to offer a perspective on how to address the strong emotions and concerns of the present moment and to provide a method that is practical to help heal the sense of division many feel today and in the period to follow. It is important to find some kind of empowerment in times like this. And, if inspired, to share it with others.
Mantras, as we will see, are a tool to help us feel different, feel better, function from a higher state, despite outer circumstances. And through this inner power, we learn to affect our outer circumstances. This, in a nutshell, is the Mastery of Mantra. And never was there a time that it was more needed.
The actual secret is not simply “mantras” by themselves. While it is true that these are indeed remarkable spiritual tools, with remarkable spiritual properties, one needs to cultivate a deeper understanding of these sacred sounds and a knowledge of how to use them skillfully.
Today, there is a rich interest in mantras in the west. This is truly exciting! But it is also a bit worrisome, because people with little or no knowledge of their power, or value, or proper application, are teaching them—mantras, that is. Even so, it is good that more and more people are attuning to mantras as a result.
The good news is that mantras are exceptional tools with the capacity to penetrate deep into the psyche, into the depths of human consciousness. They are catalysts of great spiritual power and can awaken a sweeping range of spiritual experience.
However, when mantras are not used knowledgeable or skillfully or within the proper contexts and framing, they may awaken experiences that one is not ready for. Or they can precipitate sensitivities in our energy centers (aka “chakras”) that can cause imbalances. This is why we study them with someone with competence.
It is also is why mantras in themselves are not the real secret to happiness, or success, or enlightenment. The secret lies in knowing how to use them skillfully.
So how to use mantras skillfully? Obviously, this is not something that we can cover in a simple blog. But we will try.
Let’s take look now at mantras and mantra practice and ask some questions?
First, what is a mantra? This is such a rich question, and it can take volumes to fill. One of the best definitions for a mantra in my extensive study and practice is that it is a tool for the cultivation of higher consciousness.
We must of course, in this context attend simply, without being too heady, to the questions: What is “consciousness”? And what exactly is “higher consciousness”?
To keep it simple, let’s refer to our basic consciousness as our vibe. You give off a vibe, as does everyone. Some people give off a real strong vibe. Some are magnetic, drawing you irresistibly toward them. Some people make you curious. Some people give off a vibe that clearly tells us to keep a distance.
And environments give off a vibe, too. Like a dark alley in a rough neighborhood at night in contrast to children playing together in a playground. The former is dark and foreboding while the latter is light and playful.
But we can enter into a dark alley at night feeling strong and confident within ourselves or we can watch children playing while fretting and fuming about something going on inside us.
So consciousness, in this very basic sense of the word, is the vibe we give off. If this is so, how do we change our vibe? As long as we have good vibes, that’s pretty cool. We like it. Others like it. But then, when we start to give off bad vibes, we push people away. Or we intimidate. Or manipulate.
There are all sorts of things we do with our vibe. And it is always changing, which is why we must learn to maintain a steady, positive vibe. And we are always using it: our vibe. Sometimes it is working for us, at other times it is working againist us. Is there a way to manage or vibe, choose our vibe, refine our vibe?
Absolutely! Enter “mantras”, the preemminent tool to change your vibe, that is, to transform it from a lower state to a higher state.
Anger, resentment, loneliness, anxiety, frustration, depression, apathy, disempowerment, these are all lower vibes indicative of lower consciousness.
Love, joy, peace, good will, exuberance, excitement, happiness, empowerment, goodness, good fortune, abundance, these are indicative of a higest vibe and higher consciousness.
More than ever we need positive vibration at this time. Most of the time, we are trying to get from lower vibratory states to higher vibratory states.
As you know, water is always seeking a lower level, it is always flowing downward. Similarly, consciousness, our vibe, is always seeking a higer state. We want to be happier, more joyful, more peaceful. We want to experience more love and kindness and goodness in our lives. We feel deprived when our consciousness lacks positive qualities. It’s all in the vibe, isn’t it?
This is why having tools to transform our vibe from lower to higher consciousness are invaluable. And just as important is learning how to use these tools effectively.
Once your grasp this understanding, you can grasp, to a degree, how mantras can be used to change your vibe, your consciousness, from lower to higher.
A mantra is not just a phrase you repeat. A mantra is actually a form of sacred speech that has certain magical potencies to it. It is a tool that is comprised of entirely vibrations, specifically spiritual vibrations. It is particularly the spiritual vibrations contained within the mantra that can transform your consciousness from a lower to higher grade no matter what the external circumstances are.
What is even more powerful is coming to the direct realization of how affecting your inner state is a stepping stone to also affecting your outer circumstances. Once you learn to skillfully affect your inner state of consciousness, your vibe, so to speak, to raise your vibration to a higher state, no matter what the external circumstances, you start to realize that you can also affect your environment and circumstances in real and powerful ways. There are three dimensions to this skill—presence, purpose and precision. We will explore these in our free live webinar Nov 19.
Keep reading. This blog continues …
For now, one of the first things that should strike you from this development of thought is that there needs to be a direct corelation between the sound and the experience or vibe of consciousness. In other words, the degree to which a mantra can affect or influence our vibe or consciousness is related to way in which it is said or uttered.
We cannot expect to say a mantra any way we like and have it produce exactly the same vibe or effect, could we? So what is the vibe being produced when you say the mantra, or hear someone else say the mantra?
This is very important aspect of skillful mantra practice although not the only one. It is however, the first we shall focus on. Are you ready to focus on this aspect? For instance, if the purpose of our practice is strength, inner strength that is, then not only the sound, but the way it articulated should also generate a vibration of strength.
So how can we, at this time of unrest, use a mantra to create peace, first within ourselves, and then in our environments? You want to say the word “peace” as well as the mantric form of it “shanti” in a way that actually expresses peace. “Be the change you wish to see”, Gandhi once advised. So we begin with our spiritual practice. Be the peace you wish for your family, your community, your world.
Use both the English and its Sanskrit equivilent “shaanti” in a ways that truly embodies peace in this moment. Keep trying and pay attention to how you are saying it. This is even more important than saying it. Watch your mind. Gently love it into feeling peaceful in this moment. The mantra is a means to articulate this peace so keeping trying to say the words in a manner that simultaneously generates both the feeling and the meaning.
If you can grasp this method with a simple mantra like this, you are well on your way to the Mastery of Mantra.
May your peace bring you happiness. And may your happiness bring peace to others. In this way, let us work toward making ourselves and our world a bit more peaceful. And just a bit happier.
If we don’t do this, we will be pulled down.
And a negative vibe will take over. Is this what we want?
Be an oasis of peace unto yourself. And our world will be better off for it.
Engage life from this peace. Do the work you must do from this peace.
Even engage some of the hard tasks you must undertake from this peace.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti …