I am here. I am now. I am enough.
This is what I silently chant to myself when I meditate, particularly when I’m having trouble quieting my mind. As I work to lengthen my breath and feel my lungs filling and emptying, these simple words help me push past the buzz of thoughts and anchor me to the moment. They offer clarity, which in turn, leads to focus and perspective. They are a lifeline at the moment.
Several people commented on my meditation posts about how hard they find it to sit still and empty their mind. I struggle with this too, but I find when I repeat this mantra to myself and focus on believing the words and feelings that go with it, then I come closer to that place of replenishment.
At its root mantra is the repetition of sound. Think of a bubbling creek, or the soft rustle of leaves in the summer. Consider how they soothe and calm. It is it’s own form of meditation. A natural mantra reaching into our soul, enticing and casting a spell once we allow ourselves to really stop and listen. Mantra in your mind acts the very same way. It lulls you, settling and offer respite. Just as nature is powerful, so is the simple repetition of words.
According to Wildmind, a website on meditation that I recently found and enjoy:
The word mantra is said to come from a root meaning “that which protects the mind.” In Buddhist meditation, many things can be used as objects of concentration — as “mind protectors.”
I have never been the kind of person who “tells myself things” so that I can believe them. I don’t make a habit of looking myself in the mirror and peppering compliments that seem false and cheap. When it comes to mind associations I am a bit of skeptic. Admittedly I never really tried until I started using this personal mantra. What works for me is the power it has to quiet the mental chatter. In repeating the same nine words, gradually with more confidence, I physically force all other thoughts from my mind.
Whatever the reason, it works. And the message I’m reinforcing is important. So overall a win-win.
I’m curious. If you were to be honest with yourself, what do you think you would recite in your mind? If you really think about it, what would help you to focus and leave all other thoughts behind?This post is part of my ongoing series for 2011 to pick a new area each month to fully immerse myself for personal growth of understanding. January is mediation.
Image: ‘Autumn Tornado‘ via a Creative Commons license.