Personal programming of our brain and thought is possible and includes the technique of Mantra. As well as the fine well known classical forms of yogic mantra we can find real value in devising our own. These can be comprised of sacred words and prayers from religious and philosophical teachings that we repeat for confirmation or identification with spiritual principles and qualities. The simplest of course are the affirmations we use to help ourselves strengthen the virtues to which we aspire in our Sadhana.
The ancient teachings remind us of the several forms of mantric expression – these being strong, vocalized word or words often chanted in group meditation; the gentle whispered mantra applied in our private meditations; and the one considered to have most potent direct effect upon the individual being the unbroken silent cyclic mental repetition that encourages us to link with the greater Universal Consciousness through our breath as in the sacred “Om” or “Aum”.
Many singers unconsciously or consciously use the science of sound to help voice skills or to stimulate moods and feelings that when magnified in a group emit considerable power and influence. They undertake specific exercising of the vocal chords and apply unique dedication to their art beyond the average understanding. Most of us who could be described as ‘shower time singers’ are not as self disciplined. So for the majority of us the simple guidelines we learn in improving breath control to help formulate and extend the power of our voice and our chanting through pranayama are satisfactory.
The principle of 3 word mantra is simple but helps us isolate and focus upon our individual purpose or values that gives us a wide range of more mundane application e.g. Strength, truth, harmony. The more profound impersonal spiritual chanting of the sacred “AUM” recognizes the triune principles of divinity when intoning.
The 5 fold focus upon the Natural Elements of fire, earth, air, water and ether requires concentration and some imagination to harness one’s mind to an aspiration to understand all the natural spheres of life both outside and within our own nature from the solid physical to the subtlest and invisible realms of the soul.
Seven is a popular choice for artists and those who are attracted to the use of natural light and the symbolism of Light itself. Perceived by us split through the natural spectrum of the beautiful rainbow colours the study of colour itself allows a 7- fold mantra technique that giving a single word to each colour that represents one quality of light itself – red, orange, gold, green, blue, indigo and purple.
Twelve fold mantra is often the choice of astrology students who wish to cultivate each of the human virtues exemplified in the zodiacal signs. Christians find it easy to attune to the mystical symbolism of the 12 disciples or the saints’ calendar as others associate particular powers to the 12 rays used to reflect the radiance of Divine Light. Yogis combine appropriate chants with the traditional physical exercise of Surya Namaskar. Others choose to exercise blending in the Lord’s Prayer as their Mantra.
Find the words that comfortably suit your understanding and your aspiration.
All affirmations and mantra when combined with our powers of visualization and concentration become potentially powerful tools in helping ourselves and indirectly, contribute a positive influence upon those who share our environment.