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7 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 11:29AM #1
Phyllizz
Posts: 126
I just got done reading an article in Unity magazine "Living in the Present"  by Eknath Easwaran. He talks about choosing a mantra and repeating it often especially when doing mechanical things like washing dishes. He says a mantra should be a holy name like Jesus, Allah, Rama. Any suggestions?

Following is a quote from his website:

“Can I make up my own mantram? How about Peace?” “Peace” is a beautiful word, I know, but not any word will do as a mantram. I strongly urge you to choose a mantram that has been sanctified by long use – one of proven power, that has enabled many men and women before you to realize the unity of life. The roots of such a mantram go far deeper than we can ever know when we begin to use it. This profundity enables it to grow in our consciousness.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 12:04PM #2
Phyllizz
Posts: 126
I found a few - "God and I are One" - God is all There Is" - "Let Go, Let God".
Being from a Catholic background I have difficulty with God and I are One.

Any help would be appreciated. Phyllis
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 2:57PM #3
Zeddicus
Posts: 34
Years ago I started going to a temple that practiced a form of Buddhism known as Shin (or Jodoshinshu) and also incorporated Zen (known as the Zen-Shin Sangha).  The only real "practice" accepted in Shin is the repetition of the Nembutsu (literally, the "name of Buddha").

There were several different forms, but the three main ones were:

The six syllable version:  Na-mu - A-mi-da - Butsu. (the "u" is silent)

The four syllable: Na-man-da-bu

And the three syllable: Na-man-da

My Sensei translated them to mean, "I am one with infinite Wisdom and boundless Compassion"  He would also say that that by calling the name of this Buddha (Amida), we are calling our own inner Buddha Nature.  I use the four syllable version on a very regular basis,  What I personally like about it is the fact that (being in Japanese) I don't over analyze the words as I would if they were in english... but the spirit of the words are still very present.

Zedd
(ps.  If anyone is curious on the exact pronunciation of these just ask:))
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2008 - 5:48AM #4
Teka
Posts: 277
Zedd ,  I'm one who uses a mantra with no meaning,  so one in a foreign language would probably suit me.  Since I had a meditation practice long before I found Unity I have definite ideas about what a meditative state feels like, for me.  When I have tried to use words that have  a meaning to me I don't quiet my mind.

Of course in the guided meditations they use at  church  I  can usually stop my  slide to silence long enough to hear  the  message .   At home I pray  before and after but  during I want as silent a mind as  possible.

I'm probably not using meditation in the way   Unity intends.  Who  knows.   When I've had conversations about it with  other church members  I can't get a  fix on what they are doing.  Many seem to use a lot of visualization.  I see things at random when I meditate, but I don't seem to be able to do it to order.  In particular I rarely see the famous 'white light'.  Sometimes I get the impression that they are using what I would call self hypnosis. If I want to creatively  visualize something I have to hypnotize my self.  That's a whole different  mental exercise to me.

There is a  group here who  use the word 'Marantha'   which they say  is Aramic for a phrase that invokes Christ.  That might work for me if I didn't know what it means.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2008 - 10:47AM #5
Phyllizz
Posts: 126
Hi Zedd,
I've been using one of your suggestions "The four syllable: Na-man-da-bu" and I really like it. From what I understand is that training your mind with meditation and mantra helps when your facing a problem or crisis - you are able to focus better. I'm having a small crisis right now and my thinking is all over the place. Using this mantra is helping me. I've tried doing the SOM suggestion of taking a negative and reversing it into a positive. This works when I'm not under any stress. However when I'm upset my mind doesn't believe the positive statement it keeps going back to the negative. Thanks, Phyllis
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2008 - 1:30AM #6
Zeddicus
Posts: 34
[QUOTE=Phyllizz;329226]Hi Zedd,
I've been using one of your suggestions "The four syllable: Na-man-da-bu" and I really like it. From what I understand is that training your mind with meditation and mantra helps when your facing a problem or crisis - you are able to focus better. I'm having a small crisis right now and my thinking is all over the place. Using this mantra is helping me. I've tried doing the SOM suggestion of taking a negative and reversing it into a positive. This works when I'm not under any stress. However when I'm upset my mind doesn't believe the positive statement it keeps going back to the negative. Thanks, Phyllis[/QUOTE]

First of all I wanted to make a quick side-note regarding the literal translation of the Sanskrit word "Mantra":

man:  "to think";  trai: "to protect of free from the phenomenal world"

So a mantra is literally "thoughts that liberate our mind" from the bonds of error.  As New Thought students we know the power of the spoken word and learn to form our own "mantras" (or affirmations).

Secondly, just remember to be patient.  Allow yourself to go through the process of your experience without the burden of expectation.  Instead of asking questions like: What *should* I be doing? How *should* I handle this? (in other words, "should-ing on yourself")  Stop... ask, instead: What am I learning from this experience?  How is being "here" leading me into the realization of Oneness?  I've found such questons are much better for my spirit and hopefully help me in becoming a more loving and compassionate person.

Zedd
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2008 - 1:44AM #7
Zeddicus
Posts: 34
[QUOTE=Teka;326532]Zedd ,  I'm one who uses a mantra with no meaning,  so one in a foreign language would probably suit me.  Since I had a meditation practice long before I found Unity I have definite ideas about what a meditative state feels like, for me.  When I have tried to use words that have  a meaning to me I don't quiet my mind.[/QUOTE]

Sensei Ogui would often say before the chanting meditation portion of our practice: "Do not worry about the words, what they say or mean.  They are simply the form we use to go through and beyond.  When you chant, chant with your WHOLE self:  mind, body and breath."

It is interesting how some of us have conditioned our minds to accept only the things we can comprehend intellectually.  Unfortunatly, in the process we disregard many precious treasures.

Zedd
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2008 - 7:21AM #8
premendra
Posts: 53
Reg. Phyllizz's query: “Can I make up my own mantram? How about Peace?” “Peace” is a beautiful word ":--
You can always make your own mantra. as far as "peace" is concerned its synonym in Sanskrit is a well known mantra "Om Shantih, shantih, shantih". Only thing I would suggest is that you can try to search out one out of many synonyms of "peace". and whichever is more rhythmical to utter silently, is best for you.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2008 - 7:26AM #9
premendra
Posts: 53
"God and I are One" is a wonderful mantra and in Sanskrit it is "aham brahmasmi".  "God is all There Is" is also a famous mantra from Isha Upanisad, "Isavasya idam sarvam yat kinchit yam jagat". These two mantras in English should serve your purpose.
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7 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2008 - 7:38AM #10
premendra
Posts: 53
The Zen Buddhism like all other forms of Buddhism has been derived from India and has retained Sanskrit words and mantras in modified forms. Sangha itself is an Indian word meaning union or congress or federation. Thus "Nembutsu" is nama (name) + Butsu (Buddha).

In the six syllable version: Na-mu - A-mi-da - Butsu, "namu" may be a modified form of sanskrit word "nama" meaning 'name' or more probably it is "namo" which means " I bow down to, i.e. I pray to". Amida is a Japanised form of "Amita" which means "inexaustible" or "infinite". Thus the whole mantra means "I bow down to infinite Buddha".

The four syllable: Na-man-da-bu is a beeja form (or abbreviated form) of the long verse. In the beeja form, only a few letters from each word are selected and the letters symbolize the word.
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