The Magic of Mantras
Four powerful ways to use your voice for transformation
“The human voice is the organ of the soul.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There is something enormously powerful about sounding a prayer or a decree. An intention that is spoken has an emanating energy to it, that a silent prayer or intention only whispers on the inner. By sounding out the calls from our soul, we project them into our external reality and create change.
The call of the soul is a primal human expression and it adds a powerful dimension to meditation practices and rituals. In most of the courses I offer, there is an element of sounded intention or affirmation – whether to deepen the energetic process of Mudras or Chakra connection or with rituals – as a tool for healing, clearing negative energy from the personal or collective field and manifesting change.
The new season of Dawn Dreaming, outdoor charity meditations here in Singapore, focuses on some of the world’s greatest mantras. If you are based further afield, read on for four of my favourite mantras to work with, and why.
Mantras to connect deeply with the breath
To enter a meditative state, we need to settle down the central nervous system and thought activity first. The most accessible and direct way to do this is by focusing on the breath. The breath, brain and nervous system are linked in very cool ways that we can work with. I have a whole chapter on these connections in my book Spirited.
Using mantras to help settle the awareness onto the breath can be very centring. It moves the mind into witness mode – as you are commentating on the act of breathing. You create a space internally between the body’s function and your centre of awareness. This is the internal space of meditation. The breathing needs to be nasal for the settling to occur, so when introducing mantras, you can say them internally or even better, state them to yourself in between the breaths. Some very simple, but effective breathing mantras are:
“Receive” (then inhale), “Release” (then exhale)
“So” (then inhale), “Hum” (then exhale)
“Breathing in” (then inhale), “Breathing out” (then exhale)
“I breathe in peace” (then inhale), “I breathe out love” (then exhale)
Mantra to bring the awareness into presence
Once that settling has occurred through the breath, the state of consciousness can shift into much deeper restorative modes. People often describe this plunge ‘into the deep now’ as quite a visceral experience. It’s when the entire system – mind, body, heart, and energy field aligns and ‘clicks’ into coherence. It feels fantastic on all levels. It is when the physical body starts to heal and regenerate, and it is where the deeper states of meditation can be accessed. When I feel that ‘plunge’ occur, I honour it with a mantra. My all-time favourite mantra for this purpose is Thich Nhat Hanh’s:
“I have arrived.
I am home,
in the here,
and in the now.
I am stable.
I am free.
In the ultimate, I dwell.
There is a power in the simplicity of these statements – a very resonant truth. My tip is to learn them by heart, so you can decree them from the heart.
Decree to open the heart
There are many beautiful mantras to open the heart space for meditation. Gratitude, Compassion, Forgiveness and Loving Kindness meditations all require activation and opening of the heart space for the vibrational alchemy to occur. A powerful mantra that I love to use for this purpose is the Reiki affirmation. To enable a flow of healing Light through the healer to the person seeking healing, the Reiki practitioner must expand their heart space. It is a similar process in Shamanic Healing – the Shaman must transform their awareness to ‘the hollow-bone’ and I suspect every energetic healing modality requires a displacement of the small ‘I’ and an opening of the heart, so that a higher flow can be accessed.
To open up the heart for Reiki to flow, there are five simple but powerful affirmations used. In my experience they are far more powerful when sounded; when decreed as statements of truth. These statements work beautifully in meditation too. They are a fabulous way to start every day.
“Just for today, I am free from anger.
Just for today, I am free from worry.
I am grateful for everything.
I work hard on myself for the better.
I am kind to all beings.”
As with all Divine Decrees, the magic is in the experience of them. These simple five statements have such a profound opening effect on my heart space and therefore my entire system, it’s tricky to put into words. Just try them and feel it for yourself!
Mantras to ‘rotate’ consciousness
The Japa Mala and the Holy Rosary:
It’s quite trendy these days to wear Japa Mala beads or Rosary beads as necklaces, however, the true spiritual use for them is far, far beyond aesthetics. In fact, dedicated practitioners of both the Japa Mala and Rosary never wear them, and when using them, keep them hidden.
Integral to practising Japa is the mantra. Whilst there are four types of Japa: audible, whispered, mental and written, it’s the audible/sounded Japa that we currently practice in my classes. The mantra can be a personal mantra given by a teacher or in a dream, or any of the themed Sanskrit mantras to engender certain states and transformations.
The word Japa means ‘to rotate’. I find this process simply delicious. By gently and steadily repeating the mantra whilst rotating through the 108 beads, the consciousness is gently ‘rotated’ towards the highest truth of the mantra, enabling an embodiment of that truth.
Sometimes I will practice Japa with an affirmation; a statement of truth that I wish to nurture and grow within myself. For example: “I am unconditional love,” or “I am free.” Other times, I repeat one of the ancient Sanskrit mantras. Try my version of “Om Mani Padme Hum” to embody compassion deep within your heart, your inner spaces and every cell of your body.
Another form of a ‘rotating’ mantra is the Rosary. My mum has a deep and abiding connection to The Holy Mother through the Rosary. She practices it every day and it was our household prayer of choice when growing up. The Rosary works in the same way, and the sounded mantra or prayer is the invocation and worship of the Divine Mother, Mother Mary and all that she represents: compassion, unconditional love, healing, protection, and guidance. There are 54 rotations in the Rosary, which is interestingly exactly half the number of rotations of the Japa. I love to ponder what the real connection is, between the two – perhaps in sacred numbers, or perhaps influences gathered by early church pilgrims through Northern India in the 12th century.
Sometimes I wake slightly earlier than the predawn meditation time and I am prompted to practice the Rosary. I dedicate each decade to a woman in my field who is seeking healing and wholeness. It is an enormously powerful way to use the Divine Decree and connect to the healing powers of the Divine Feminine with women in need. I love it!
Keep meditating and don’t be shy to make some noise when you do!
If you have any questions or thoughts about the magic of mantras and the powerful ways you can use your voice for transformation, get in touch. Please visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. Wonderful new offerings are coming in 2023. Subscribe at www.daniellevandevelde.com/subscribe for notifications. You can also register your interest in the Spirited Living membership, and together, we will explore this magical life and how to engage with it.
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