1. Begin a mantra for new beginnings and removing obstacles - Ganesh Mantra
2. Designate a notebook for your 30-days-it can be a specially designed journal, or a generic notebook. The notebook I'm using is in the picture. For today, just write your name on the cover.
Mantra Meditation: A symbolic and meaningful gesture to recognize new beginnings and to clear obstacles is to work with the Ganesh Mantra. Reciting mantra is also a form of pranayama (breathwork/energy movement) so I find it particularly helpful in beginning a new practice.
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 by Dennis Gaumond.
I use mala beads (see picture) to count the 108 recitations, but you can use any method (chanting with a CD, rosary,string of pearls, counting on your fingers, etc.) Tradition tells us to recite once in the morning and once in the eventing and throughout the day as we are able. For our journey, I suggest that we recite the mantra once a day, 108 times. Try to find a time of day that you can consistently work with the mantra.
I plan to recite my mantra after I have a cup of coffee in the morning, before I eat breakfast. I commit to doing this daily for 30 days (tradition says to work with a mantra for 40-days, FYI)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.
To begin learning it, you may want to chant along with this rendition. I suggest closing your eyes when chanting.
You may not notice any changes right away, but mantra meditation is powerful and I don't know anyone who has worked consistently with a mantra, and not experienced benefits.
If chanting out loud does not resonate with you, an alternative is to write the mantra in your notebook, perhaps 20 times.
This is my translation, but you may google and find other more scholarly and literal translations. I believe this captures the essence of the mantra's intention:
May our new journeys be met with joy and prosperity and clear of obstacles and hassles.More on Mantra Meditation.