One of the first formal meditation techniques I learned, at an Ananda Yoga center in Palo Alto in the autumn of 2003, was a simple mantra.
We were instructed to repeat silently—mentally—with each inhale, “I am,” and, with each exhale, “peace.”
Practicing this way even for just a few moments, I felt like peace was pervading my entire body and mind.
I have shared this method with countless yoga students over the years, but I’ve moved away from mantra meditation in my own personal practice, in favor of other techniques.
Recently, though, a dear teacher brought to my attention the value of purification practice. When I admitted that I don’t have a regular purification practice and asked her for a mantra, she suggested that I chant Gayatri mantras each morning for 20 minutes.
I dug up an old mala and diligently have begun to start each morning meditation with 108 repetitions of a sacred mantra, counting each one on a bead—sometimes aloud, sometimes internally.
I am an amateur again, reconnecting with my beginner’s mind.
Here are the classic mantras I’ve been working with, in case you’d like to incorporate this powerful method into your spiritual practice. May they be of benefit:
“You are a cosmic flower. Om chanting is the process of opening the psychic petals of that flower.” ~ Amit Ray