Did you make resolutions this year? I decided to start a 40-day mantra meditation instead...no, this doesn't mean that I will be retreating to the mountains to sit in silence for the 40 days (although that does sound tempting).
Instead I'll be reciting a mantra 108 times at least once a day for the next 40 days. While I attended Frog Pond Yoga Centre in Princeton, MA for a teacher training course, I was introduced to japa ("repetition") mantra meditation by one of our instructors, Kali. This meditation technique resonated with me.
I find saying a mantra out loud helps to keep my monkey-mind from jumping around, plus I like the sound of the sanskrit words (although not so much my chanting voice!) I also silently recite the mantra whenever I think to, and this is helpful when I'm driving, waiting on line, on the subway or other situations that can easily become stressful.
I use mala beads to count the 108 recitations, but you can use any method (chanting with a CD, rosary, etc.) Tradition tells us to recite once in the morning and once in the eventing and throughout the day as we are able. If you miss a day, the "rule" is to start the 40-day cycle over again. I'm a little more lenient with myself. More in-depth (and scholarly) directives are in the book, Healing Mantras, shown below.
The first mantra I was introduced to, and that I'm going to work with for the next 40-days, is a mantra for new beginnings and removing obstacles - it is a traditional Ganesha mantra.
Would you like to join me in working with this mantra?
Sanskrit Words: Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha
Pronounced: Aaaooom Gum Gah-nah-pat-ah-yeh Nah-mah-ha
Listen to the mantra
One of my favorite versions of this chant is Track 9:
Attracting Abundance: Mantras for Prosperity
Go ahead and say it once, 108 times or however many you like and may you begin to embrace new beginnings and remove obstacles in your life!
A great resource on mantra meditation the book shown below. I refer to it when I'm feeling stuck or when I want to manifest something in my life (prosperity, healing, courage). The author provides mantras for nearly any situation: