Let’s talk about OM. Believed by yogis to be the very first sound of creation, it resonates throughout yoga studios across the land and is the trademark sound of yoga that also happens to be a lovely-looking symbol. Amen to that, sister! Oh wait, let’s also talk about Amen…
Amen is a word that came to English from Latin, which got it from Greek, which got it from Aramaic, which got it from Hebrew… etc. It has many different meanings in the bible and is also connected to the creation of the Universe.
And while many yogis (in particular the one who wrote that favourite Beatles text ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’) believe Amen was adapted from OM, nobody can disagree that they’re both variations of the same syllable.
In the yogic tradition the word OM repeated as a mantra is a tool to help quieten the mind. In Bhakti (devotional) yoga, singing or chanting OM before the names of God opens the heart and brings bliss. By chanting OM you are increasing the power of your words by calling on the primordial origins of sound.
But the power of words isn’t just a spiritual thing. Everything that we bring into being has sprouted from a word. Not necessarily even a word that was repeated out loud… so whatever you say(!) words are certainly powerful.
Words create things
In the western world (particularly the UK, aha! I’m not going to lie here) we tend to get stuck in negative affirmations. “Ohhh, I’m never going to make enough money! I’ll never meet the one! I look so hideous in selfies!” Your word is my command.
What! You mean we can actually create our own reality? Simply by changing these thoughts to positive affirmations? Well, yes, actually you totally can…
Your words are the paint with which you paint your reality. Choose those words wisely and positively to create a reality that is beneficial for you. And for another tip – use the words ‘I am’ and add something truly amazing afterwards. I AM LOVE. Repeat daily.
So, how do you go about choosing your own mantra? As the creator of your own universe, what you say goes. You can choose a word that empowers you, or one that brings something beautiful into creation. This is what choosing a mantra is all about.
Choosing your mantra
Traditionally in yoga your mantra is given to you by your guru, but if you don’t have one of those lying around then one of the best ways to connect to the power of words to improve your life is by journaling.
Ask yourself how you are feeling and what you want to see changing in your world then put pen to paper for a few minutes. Can’t think of what to write? Start by writing “I don’t know what to write because…” and see what flows.
Instinctively, you may already know what you wish to draw into your life and which words will have a healing power for you. You may be drawn to a simple world such as PEACE or even something fruity like ABUNDANCE. You can also choose a traditional sanskrit mantra such as OM MANI PADME HUM.
NB – If you are choosing your own words, make sure they are focused on positive outcomes. For example, instead of ‘I need healing’ you can choose ‘I am healing’. Every little word you speak is powerful. Use wisely.
Here is where mala beads come in handy, as they give you a physical tool to help bring your mantra to life. As you move around the mantra, one bead at a time, repeat your mantra to yourself and turn each bead between your thumb and middle finger. When you reach the guru bead – the bead that hangs in the middle of the mala, you can reward yourself with deep gratitude.
Then, rather than crossing over the guru bead, return back to where you started this time feeling the mantra deep within your being rather than repeating the words. Imagine how it feels to live this mantra.
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