Last Wednesday at our monthly Sangha I spoke about the importance of establishing a daily routine and part of the routine I spoke about was starting the day with a mantra. But what exactly do I mean by mantra?
Some people have their own mantras that they say each day. These mantras may have been given to them by their spiritual teacher or guru, or maybe they found them in a book, on the Internet or heard in a song. These mantras when said repeatedly day after day become very powerful and have many positive effects on the person who uses them. These mantras are a wonderful practice, but what if you do not have one? What if you don't feel a connection to Hinduism, it's language and practices, or do not feel like incorporating something so "spiritual" into you day? Well the answer is simple, use a positive affirmation. So instead of waking up and saying "Om Namah Shivaya", or "Om Mani Padme Hum", say "Today is going to be a great day" or "Today I am going to try to focus on the good".
I am calling them morning mantras but you do not have to limit them to the morning. They are intentions for the day, so repeat them throughout the day and see how effective they can be. After a few weeks you will notice your mind becoming more aware and you will start to catch yourself out when you are not being true to your morning wishes. It might help to stick with the same mantra for a week or more as you train your mind to be more positive, gentle and aware. Once you have noticed your morning mantra has become a new way of thinking think of another aspect of your life that needs attention and choose a mantra for that. You may need to go back to some mantras now and then to give yourself a bit of a reminder while others might not need much time at all. It all depends on your thought patters and how deeply certain ideas and habits are ingrained. Some thoughts as you know have a habit or hanging on. Think about how long it took for certain thoughts to form, it will take the same amount of energy and repitition to remove them. But don't worry it can be done, all you need is the right intention and awareness.
To help everyone on their way I have decided to start an ongoing post on morning mantras/affirmations. I will continue to thinking of new ones and hope that you will give me some great suggestions too.
Here is my first list of morning mantras.
- "Today is going to be a great day"
- "Today I am going to try to focus on the good"
- "I will smile more today"
- "Yesterday is gone, today is here"
- "I will remember to breathe better"
- Positive thoughts, positive actions, positive me"
- "It's good to be alive"
- I am going to acknowledge all the good things that happen today"
- "My emotions don't control me"
- "Eat well"
- "Find time for silence and stillness"
and for the last mantra a quote from a very great man Ghandi
- "Be the change you want to see in the world"