The Power of Sound
As a writer and lover of music, the importance of word and sound is not lost on me. Every syllable and truism that rolls across our tongue is a verbal manifestation of our ideas, thoughts and feelings. Spoken word literally brings these energies out of ourselves and into the world. Our words can inspire others, hurt others, bring them to tears or even laughter. Our words can be sung, taught and silenced. In our busy modern world full of excessive chatter, it is time for us to reclaim sound as sacred.
Mantra is a Sanskrit word representing prayer through repeated words, syllables, sounds or utterances. These lyrics can be singular or secular ideas, creative and personal or deeply moving words from sacred texts. Sound is what you make it- literally. You choose what you proclaim. Mantra works powerfully altering the vibration of the singer and the surrounding environment, beckoning or banishing energies.
About a year ago, I was lucky enough to acquire a rescue pup. After much deliberation and thought, I named this sweet soul, Dharma. “Dharma” is a powerful word with ancient roots in many cultures but most associated to Sanskrit and connected to Hinduism. Through these traditions, Dharma can be roughly translated to mean purpose, belief, duty, or cosmic order. This is the word that captures the essence our deepest desire- finding our purpose in this existence. My beloved four-legged Dharma is a young and excitable soul which leaves me and my partner exclaiming the magical mantra, “DHARMA!” over and over, dozens of times daily. And as him and I have sung her name, we been inviting transformational forces into our lives. From career, to personal relationship; finances to behaviors, I feel our lives have truly been altered from the repetition of this spiritual sound.
Consider some of your own experiences. Think about music that moves you to tears, words you can’t stand, your favorite poem, or when your beloved tells you how beautiful you are. Words, in my intuitive opinion are even stronger than sticks and stones because they are made of the one thing that never goes away- energy.
We must cultivate more trust in our power to alter our experience and the world around us. We have been taught that our thoughts, words and actions don’t matter which has oppressed us into submissive apathy. I feel strongly that we have the power inside us to manifest what we need and desire. We have the magic to harness energy anytime, anywhere. Mantra can be done in any language, through song, silently, aloud or with written word. Mantra can be done during meditation, mindful moments, sitting in traffic or any moment when you need to reconnect or get grounded. Mantra is transformational tool that can be used alone or as a heart-opening extra to your current spiritual practice. The power of this practice is in its inclusivity as it is available to all faiths and beliefs. From the Yogic holy word of “Om” to the Biblical creation story, traditions across the globe agree on the power of sound.
I personally enjoy using mantra during my meditation practice as a touchstone to my breath. My go-to mantra for mindful breath meditation is “Here” and “Now.” Inhale, “Here,” exhale, “Now.” Your mantra could be anything that accurately represents what you are expelling or attracting, from abundance to Love; presence to Peace. Ancient prayers to God or Gods, Goddess or self can be a creative discovery of power, sacred ritual and intentional presence.
Here is a list of my favorite mantras to help guide you through your utterance experiment.
LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU // May all living beings be happy and free and may our thoughts words and actions contribute directly to that happiness and that freedom.
SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI // PEACE PEACE PEACE
I LOVE YOU