Choosing a Mantra: Mantra Practice Guidelines
There are many factors that can go into the decision of choosing a mantra.
- One consideration is whether you are choosing a mantra for ongoing use or to meet a particular intention at a particular time.
- A mentor or guru may help in this decision, and/or may suggest or assign a mantra.
- For those without personal guidance, Eknath Easwaran provides expert advice in his book, The Mantram Handbook: A Practical Guide to Choosing Your Mantram & Calming Your Mind
- Expert Gary Kraftsow notes that different mantras and how they are chanted have different therapeutic and energetic effects that can be studied, and that we can explore for ourselves. (See quote below for more specifics.)
The Differing Effects of Different Practices
The main factors that determine the effects of the sounds that are used are their particular vowels and consonants (varna), their pitch (svara), and their volume (bala)… We can explore for ourselves how these various sounds resonate in our own bodies. There seems to be universal agreement that higher pitched sounds tend to resonate higher in the body and energize the system, while lower pitched sounds tend to resonate lower in the body and calm the system; and that louder sounds tend to awaken the energy and externalize the attention, while softer sounds tend to pacify the energy and internalize the attention. – Gary Kraftsow