One of the themes I have discussed in my teaching lately, is how mantras can both tend to our spiritual and practical needs. Of course, there is really no difference, but practically speaking, there is a distinction.
At times when we approach a mantra, we are looking for transcendence… a way to rise above the day to day, and find peace and stillness. At other times, we are looking to invite specific support and guidance through mantra practice. Both of these desires are absolutely valid and honored when it comes to mantras.
One mantra that I recently taught is Gate Gate Pāragate Pārasaṃgate Bodhi Swāhā. This mantra means: gone, gone, gone beyond, fully gone to the other shore, and so it is. This is a perfect example of a mantra for transcendence. This ancient powerhouse helps us to rise above, so that our worries and problems disappear, and have no power over us. This mantra is a retreat into our essential nature beyond the ups and downs of life, an important place to go within ourselves, as it gives us a peaceful and fortifying reprise from the struggle.
Other mantras though, such as, Oṁ Śrīṁ Mahā Lakṣmyai Namaḥ, call upon gifts from the universe in tangible ways. This mantra is to the Goddess of fortune, Lakshmi. It is a mantra that we can use to seek the support we need in life around success, money, sustenance, prosperity and abundance… and there is now shame in asking for this kind of help.
Every day I apply the power of these ancient sound healing miracles in my life, and invite you to do the same. I find they help me get out of my own way (out of my head) and lead me into my heart where I can attract the meaning that my soul yearns for. Mantras help me to be receptive to all kinds of gifts, and in ways that I wouldn’t have imagined. More and more I discover that life is just waiting to deliver these gifts… as long as I am open to receive them.