So in the past, I have informally used a mala (prayer beads similar to a Catholic Rosary) and would use it to count my breaths. It has 108 beads and you use it to keep track of how many breaths you are counting. I’ve also used mantras like Om Mani Padme Hum (the Great Mantra of Compassion) that is well-known. I’ve also used it to keep myself on track when using gathas by Thich Nhat Hanh — see my article.
But as I was watching a movie today, I was inspired to find a mantra for healing. The movie had nothing to do with spiritual growth or healing but there was a word that made me think it would be good to use for a mantra.
So, I did a little research to decide what I was going to start with. I decided I’d look around for the next week unless something comes to me before that. By then or sooner, I will start my day and end my day with a mantra.
Om Mani Padme Hum means “The jewel of Consciousness has reached the heart’s lotus” according to Thomas Ashley-Farrand. This is the most chanted mantra in the world. Well, things like OM, AUM, etc are probably used more often because they are powerful seeds but the great compassion mantra is a very popular mantra used in yoga, meditation, chanting, etc. It is suggested to use this mantra when you want to united body and mind.
Om Shri Dhanvantre Namaha is at the top of my list. It means, “Om and salutations to the Celestial Healer” according to Ashley-Ferrand. That one would definitely be applicable to my journey right now and could not steer me wrong.
Another may be Om Purnayei Namaha, “om and salutations to She is who complete, unified, and perfect, without limitations of any kind” (Ashley-Ferrand). I like the idea of invoking the feminine aspects of the universe. My mom has had a great devotion to Mary of Lourdes and in invoking the feminine, that gives me a connection to my mom and her spirituality. It also reminds me of a mentor of mine who died of breast cancer almost 20 years ago. I like to believe that her energy is something I can connect with when I am in need.
The last idea I have right now is Shambhala. It actually isn’t a mantra. Shambhala is a mythical kingdom in Hindu and Tibetan where the teachings of the Buddha are said to be preserved. It is also the name of a lineage of Buddhism founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche from Tibet. It supposedly means a place of peace, tranquility, and happiness. A student of Chogyam Trungpa is Pema Chodron who I think of as a root teacher of mine.
So, those are some ideas that I have. What mantras do you use in your practices? I’d love for you to share them here and tell us why you use it in your practice. Once I decide, I’ll come back and post.
Until then, may you be at ease and be peace.
“Homage to Tara our Mother who conquers disease as its medicine”
Shakti Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Ferrand.