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Hi,. I am really enjoying mantras and affirmations. The practice helps!  I am Christian and I am confused about Sanskrit mantras.  what is everyone’s thoughts on this?..  Not sure how to ask my question right now..but the universe and God knows...

Gillian if this question not appropriate please delete...😊🙏

 

 

 

Edited by Bluebabee

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@Bluebabee - Definitely appropriate! I see nothing wrong with this question whatsoever. This community is a place for learning, so it's great 🙂

Can you elaborate a bit more on the confusion aspect? Is it related to why they're practiced, what the words mean, or something else?

Though I'm not sure I have the answer to your question, a bit about my experience with mantras:

 

When I did my yoga teacher training, I had never chanted before. I was thrown into it as every day we chanted Sanskrit mantras for at least 30+ minutes in total. Some days, it came naturally to me. Other days, I stared down at the sheet I was reading from with a sense of.... frustration and disillusionment to be honest. The associated thoughts were something like, "What am I even saying? What is this?"

But as I leaned into the practice, my mind stopped trying to 'figure it out'. My heart opened to it and I experienced the great power that came from the practice. Now I practice mantra repetition when my heart feels called to it, so not everyday. Sometimes it's for me, other times it's not.

 

Let me know if this helps at all or if I'm off the mark with your confusion. Maybe someone else has some input too!

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Perhaps you don't have to use those complex mantras where meaning plays a role. For example, if I were Christian I wouldn't use mantras associated with deities like Blue Buddha or Green Tara. But there are plenty of mantras that are non-specific or even without meaning, so you can easily use those.

On the other hand, Christianity also has its own version of mantra meditation, at least in Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity. I read a little about it so I can't offer any in depth advice. I believe it's called monologistic prayer, where you use one word like "Lord" or "Jesus" or a verse and then repeat it a certain number of times. I don't know much more about it but maybe it's something you can research. I think it's really important to adjust your meditation practice to your spirituality if it's in any way possible, it will make it much more powerful and effective.

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Thank you!  Your insight is extremely helpful for me.  I am a spiritual being that has felt somewhat trapped by conditioning. Somehow my idealistic nature sees a forest and not only a tree wants to capture TRUTH without limitations. So many spiritual teachers came through this world with so much good offered. Unfortunately guilt and fear (ego) got nurtured very young yet I want to breath light and God and embrace everything that feels right and healing.  We all have our paths and I am learning slowly my identity that feels conflicted.  I really like how you mentioned the word “meaning” ...that word is everything to me. It also inspired me to try to bring forth my own song of light. Something to create  musically with meaning without voices of the past telling me what is right or wrong. I will explore as well the non specific mantras as you suggest too. Thank you!

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Gillian you are on the mark too! This is about meaning and conditioning. The scary idea about worshipping more than one God..  This is what I don’t understand. I really love the music of Deva Premal. Love the style...it resonates in my being...but..something catches me and makes me conflicted. Lol..why am I so complicated.. oh well.. just is right now. The answers keep coming in time.  I’m also going to try to write my own but sounds  that have meaning possibly without words in this dimension but mean everything to my soul. 

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8 hours ago, Bluebabee said:

Thank you!  Your insight is extremely helpful for me.  I am a spiritual being that has felt somewhat trapped by conditioning. Somehow my idealistic nature sees a forest and not only a tree wants to capture TRUTH without limitations. So many spiritual teachers came through this world with so much good offered. Unfortunately guilt and fear (ego) got nurtured very young yet I want to breath light and God and embrace everything that feels right and healing.  We all have our paths and I am learning slowly my identity that feels conflicted.  I really like how you mentioned the word “meaning” ...that word is everything to me. It also inspired me to try to bring forth my own song of light. Something to create  musically with meaning without voices of the past telling me what is right or wrong. I will explore as well the non specific mantras as you suggest too. Thank you!

Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

I think it's also worth keeping in mind that Dalai Lama himself always mentions that specific meditation techniques are not what makes Buddhism a religion and that he sees them as mind training and mind training can equally be useful to anyone regardless of their religion. Buddhism is a bit more complex than what we are used to in the West, and it encompasses its own psychology, epistemology, etc. And if you draw on psychology you are not using anything religious.

And I agree with what you said - it's really all about meaning, and you can actually come up with a mantra that holds special meaning for you, so it will be spiritual and you won't have any doubts about it. At the end of the day, we all do something similar when we modify and create our own phrases to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity. From my perspective as a teacher and a therapist, what's important is that when you use them ,you feel that they resonate with you. One of the way that I use to "judge" mantras and phrases is how my body reacts to them.

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15 hours ago, Bluebabee said:

The scary idea about worshipping more than one God..

Oh! This also invites me to share that during kirtan when we chanted to a particular deity, I would connect more so with the meaning ('meaning' once again) and symbolism of that particular mantra/God/Goddess. So Ganesha, for instance, is about overcoming obstacles. I would connect with that energy within myself, and let the power of the music, devotion, and the group singing to move me 🙂 

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😳 I am not giving up. I am trying to break all the chains.  I am not a religious person only because the rules did not make sense to me.  I am the process  transformation and many breakthroughs happening.  Your advice resonates with me so much.  What it is about and how the energy, music, devotion is what helps and heal. 

7 hours ago, Gillian Sanger said:

. So Ganesha, for instance, is about overcoming obstacles. I would connect with that energy within myself, and let the power of the music, devotion, and the group singing to move me 🙂 

 

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I do love to do the mantra's. Plus with Qigong we do droning and sounds that resonate with the body chi energy systems.  Each of the organs and specific meridian have a balancing mechanism with sound.  Called "The 6 Healing Sounds" using sounds like hisssssss, chuuuuu, hoooooo, shiiiiiii, etc during movement.  Music is a big part of the combinations of breathing, stretching, balancing, sounds, and tempo.  You tube has these from Master Mungtung Gu.  

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