You're Here Now - The Power of Mantra
It is powerful, efficacious and deserving of respect. A mantra is like meeting the Buddha or Bodhisattva himself
- Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche
A mantra is something that we say to ourselves on a regular basis.
The regular repetition of a message to the Self is known as affirmation.
Back in November 2020 we showed you how to reframe core beliefs through affirmation:
Affirmation is one way of driving a message into the subconscious thereby creating belief.
We speak to the Self all the time. When our messages to self are unconscious, often the things that we say are negative, for example: I’m so stupid, I’m so tired, I never learn, nothing ever works for me.
When we choose to word our mantras consciously, and to affirm them regularly, we can positively change our beliefs and mindset, thereby improving our body chemistry and sense of wellbeing.
Ask yourself the following question:
“What do I say to myself every day?”
Phrases might include the above: I’m so stupid, I’m so tired, I never learn, nothing ever works for me, along with others such as: I never learn, I’m no good at this, I’m so fat, I never have any money, I’m so busy, I have no time, I’m so disorganised, I’m so rubbish.
Now ask yourself
“What is it that I need to hear every day?”
Here is where you choose to word your new mantra carefully.
Ask yourself exactly what it is that you want to achieve.
Keep your mantra simple with one single purpose – you can design more than one mantra.
Make time to regularly repeat your mantra to yourself. Speaking into a mirror is a fascinating way of doing this because of the resistance and discomfort that speaking positively directly to the Self brings up for us.
In the recent Netflix film ‘Don’t Look Up’ one of the characters is shown using affirmation to calm his symptoms of anxiety as he is about to announce something catastrophic to the masses. The short and succinct nature of his affirmation suggests to the viewer that this mantra has been well thought out and is one of his strategies for inducing calm. It appears to be a mantra for bringing about a state of mindfulness or presence for him and as such it is perfect.
We have spoken about the benefits of mindfulness or presence in many of our articles:
When we maintain a mindful state, we are concerned with only that which is in front of us. When we are consumed with the past, we must rely on memory and when we focus on future events, we must use imagination. Both are a product of thinking, and both can be distorted in a negative way to suit the old, outmoded strategies for keeping us safe that stop us from moving forward and that we are moving away from.
In ’Don’t Look Up,’ Dr Randal Mindy’s regularly repeated mantra is
‘You’re here now’
In this simply worded affirmation, the subject is ‘you'.
You alone are responsible for your wellbeing.
With this mantra you do not seek to focus on shaping the environment to bring comfort. The work is done inwardly and is personal to you.
The word ‘here’ relates to your immediate surroundings. The four walls, ceiling, and floor. The chair you are sitting on. The building you are in. The vehicle you are travelling in perhaps. The sky and fields. The river. It suggests a need to move away from thinking and into heightened awareness.
The word ‘now’ encourages focus on the present moment – whatever that is. The present moment is all that we have. It is the one thing that we can be certain of, and it is the only place where we can take action to affect change. The present moment is the only place where we have actual power.
If you would like to try this mantra out for yourself, try sitting and connecting with each word in turn. Examine what each of them means for you. Where do you feel them in your body? Try to get the true sense of presence that is associated with those words. By doing this you will evoke that same response each time the mantra is affirmed. You can choose to use this one as part of your regular wellbeing ritual, in times of need or to word your very own mantra which has special meaning for you.
For more information about the benefits of using mantras and how to create them, look at our book ‘How to Rise – A Complete Resilience Manual’