Saturday, May 14, 2011

Moving with the Mantra


A mantra is a mystical energy encased in a sound structure. The purpose of Mantra is to protect the mind from wandering, lead it to the divine within.

Some mantras are inherited  - they come to you from your family customs or religious traditions. 

Some mantras are taught to you by a Guru and you make them a part of your life.  You know what they mean, how to say it, what to do with it, what it does to you.

Some mantras ease into your life so subtly and silently.  You hardly recall how or when they became a part of your day. They stick to you and they reveal their meaning slowly, gently... purifying you each step of the way.

It does not matter how the Mantra comes to you. I believe that the mantra chooses you and not the other way. The purpose of all Mantras is the same to purify, strengthen and guide. You begin to move with the Mantra, one step at a time.

Many (many) years ago, I was introduced to a Mantra. While I did not know what it meant, there was something about the way, the sounds of the Mantra called out to me.  The Mantra unknowingly struck a chord deep within. I began to recite it, not knowing what it meant.

A few years passed this way and then someone told me, that it is the Mantra of compassion, the jewel in the lotus. Om Mani Padme Hum.

Om Mani Padme Hum

Few years passed and then someone taught me what it meant.

Om, composed of ‘A’, ‘U’ and ‘M’.  Om signifies the body, mind and spirit. Om is the primordial sound that created the universe. Om the waking, the dream, the deep sleep. OM the enlightenment.

Mani means a jewel. A jewel is capable of removing poverty or deficiency. Likewise a mind that is like a jewel can remove deficiencies. Helps you find peace - when there is turbulence, compassion, when there is hatred.

Padme a lotus symbolizing the wisdom. Lotus blooms in the muck. It overcomes the slush, opens into the blue sky and looks at the sun.

Hum, the indivisibility of method and wisdom. Put simply the method you will choose will affect the wisdom you will gain. The wisdom you have, will lead you to the method you will choose.

Years went by.  Each time I saw or felt some deficiency outside of me; or  felt the muck around me I chanted the Mantra. The chanting soothed me down.

Eventually the mantra lead me to a space where it did not matter whether there was a deficiency or muck. I began to chant it more often. The chanting moved me into a state of better clarity.

One day, I was chanting the Mantra as I walked my dogs. It suddenly hit me, the deficiency is not outside, the muck is not outside. The deficiencies and the dirt I seek to change is within. WITHIN. The chanting moved me to look deeper within.

Om Mani Padme Hum

While it took many years of moving with the mantra, I feel the journey has just begun.

(Photo Credits : Christopher J. Fynn, Anand R P)

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