Deva & Miten take a quantum leap with the mantras, offering them in cyberspace as a free 21 Day Mantra Meditation Journey by Mentors Channel.
Meditation is often suggested as an antidote to stress, but it’s a daunting concept for many, bringing up images of sitting straight-backed on hard floors for hours…doing…what? And who has the time to sit still in the midst of a daily schedule that demands constant attention as it reels by like the nightly news on fast forward?
In recent years, a solution to the stress dilemma has traveled from the temples of India and Tibet to yoga studios, music festivals, concert halls, living rooms, and bedrooms, in the West: the chanting of ancient sound formulas known as mantra. In Sanskrit, the language used in the chant tradition, “man” means mind, and “tra” means “to free from.”
World renowned mantra-chant artists Deva Premal & Miten have been on the leading edge of this new music genre phenomenon for over 20 years, carrying mantras from the ashrams of India to concert audiences worldwide. They find that mantras offer a bridge from the physical to the metaphysical realms, a tool for bringing relaxation and consciousness into our daily activities. As Miten notes:
“We all know the power of sound. We all recognize the difference between a baby laughing or a police car siren, because our bodies respond emotionally, to different sounds. Mantras are crystallized moments of sound that actually create defined responses in the body/mind system.”
Deva & Miten suggest that we experiment with ways to bring these potent “crystallized moments of sound” with us into our busy days. For example, if we find our minds on hyperdrive, darting from item to item on our to do list while moving through rush hour traffic or jammed supermarket aisles, try taking a deep breath and repeating the mantra OM SHANTI OM, either out loud or silently. OM is the essential sound of union, and SHANTI invokes the sense of universal peace and well-being. We don’t need to know the meaning of these sounds to feel an immediate shift in our stress level.
The effect goes deeper if we spend a few minutes each morning, or at night before sleep, chanting our chosen mantra, and then carry it with us throughout the day. As Deva suggests, the mantras bring a new depth and awareness to simple acts:
“Here we have something we can integrate into our daily flow without stopping our daily flow – for instance, while driving or at work – the mantra can infuse our actions, and remind us that every moment has the potential to be an act of grace.”
Different mantras are said to open different energy pathways and enhance different activities: supporting physical healing; tapping into our inner strength in the face of obstacles; creating a blessing when preparing food, or before love-making. Miten points out that:
“The Sanskrit language is energy based. It is not a descriptive language – it carries the actual sound equivalent of the manifestation. Hence Prem, which means ‘love’, is the actual energetic vibration of love. Repetitive chanting of the word Prem, believe it or not, opens our perception, and brings us in touch with a direct, personal experience of love itself.”
Each mantra is a key that opens a particular door for us, but all lead to the same place in the end, a place of inner centering and peace. Deva suggests:
“As we repeat the beneficial sounds of the mantra, our muscles begin to relax, our breathing deepens, we slow down and return ‘home’ to ourselves. Eventually, we enter into the silence that is always there beneath our rushing thoughts. For me this experience is the real pinnacle of the mantra, when the vibration remains, but the words are gone, the sounds are gone, only this very vibrant silence remains…an ecstatic silence.”
Recently, Deva & Miten took a quantum leap with the mantras, offering them in cyberspace as a free 21 Day Mantra Meditation Journey. The program attracted over 64,000 participants from 201 countries and created a worldwide wave of mantra meditation. This free program is being made available again online by Mentors Channel beginning September 10, offering a good opportunity to explore the transformative power of mantras as a path to meditation.
Nicole Danziger is a free lance writer and editor who spends a lot of time sitting still with eyes open in front of computers, and some time sitting still on a cushion with eyes closed.