Every year we hope the holiday season will bring us lightness in the heart and the joys of sharing, but these expectations go unfulfilled more often than not.
The truth is that when you add to your usual hefty load of tasks—traditional holiday shopping, late-night cooking, overeating, holidays card writing, festive email replies and more, there’s barely any time left for enjoyment, contemplation, wonder and love.
For thousands of years the great sages of India and other spiritual traditions have delivered nearly magical sets of sounds that can shift your mood, heal a hurt, change your breathing, enhance love, calm the heart and more. These sounds have been traditionally called mantra, which loosely translated from the Sanskrit means “an instrument for auspicious thinking.”
The effectiveness behind mantras is well known to those who practice traditional yoga. When you give the mind a positive sound for concentration, an unexpected door to peace and quiet opens up. Even more importantly, energy builds in the body and the mind is refreshed.
While we can find innumerable mantras in the Indian traditions, the most common and well-known is ‘OM’, for eons considered the primordial sound of creation. Many yogis and mantra practitioners can hear OM in deep meditation.
Chanting OM after a long and hectic day can prepare you for a sound and refreshing sleep.
Mantras are available to you at any time you need to feel more centered, they’re sound-based tools for well-being and can be chanted aloud. But when chanted mentally—they have been known to be more profoundly effective.
It goes without saying that you can mentally chant mantras anywhere and especially on your train and plane trips, or at any time when you are not driving a vehicle. In fact, mantras can temporarily change your consciousness and take you to subtler states of awareness.
These sounds cannot be used when your intense concentration is required. But they are rescue tools for regaining your peace after work and refreshing your mind during the holiday season.
by Lalitha Devi
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