Today I continue the series on Contemplative Spiritual Practices. These practices, many of which come out of the Christian Contemplative tradition, are adaptable to anyone, regardless of your religious beliefs or background. Today, we will explore Mantra Prayer.
Om Namo Yehoshua
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with you.
Om Mani Padme Hum
Sita Ram Sita Ram Jaya Sita Ram
Om Mata Om Mata Om Shri Mata Jagate Mata
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
Gan Gan Ganapati Namo Namaste
Mantra prayer in its simplest form is the repeated recitation of a word or phrase. In our Western culture, we are most familiar with the Catholic rosary and its requisite prayers, The Hail Mary, The Apostle’s Creed and The Lord’s Prayer as a form of mantra prayer. The rhythmic repetition helps to draw us into a calm, peaceful, perhaps mindful state, not unlike the relaxation that is facilitated by a mother rocking her child. I can recall the number of times I have used the Hail Mary in this way during times of intense anxiousness, worry or fear. Mantra prayer can become an even more meaningful form of meditation when we not only recite the word or phrase, but bring our mind into focused concentration on the words and their meaning. The combined efforts of mental focus and rhythmic repetition help to draw us into a deep state of peaceful calm where we are able to be open to the fruits of contemplation which include: insight, wisdom, knowledge, guidance, healing, comfort, direction and understanding.
Examples of Mantra Prayer
Here is a Youtube link to my Kirtan teacher, Ragani as she leads mantra prayer in its Kirtan format: KIRTAN
And here is a link to the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, another form of mantra prayer: ARAMAIC Lord’s Prayer
And here is one from the Taize community in France, Ubi Caritas (where charity and love are, there is God) TAIZE
How to do it
Mantra prayer is really quite simple:
1) Choose a sacred word or phrase that has meaning to you. (you might choose one from the list above)
2) Focus your attention on the meaning of the word or phrase
3) Silently or aloud in word or song, repeat the phrase over and over and over
4) Rest in the peaceful calm facilitated by this mode of prayerful meditation
What sacred word or phrase has meaning to you?
How might you begin to incorporate mantra prayer and meditation into your daily spiritual practice?
Authentic Freedom Ministries