Choosing your mantra

Mantra recitation is a powerful tool used to focus the mind and replaces the endless, internal chatter of our thoughts. They have been used for thousands of years in both Indian and Tibetan spiritual practices. The literal translation of the Sanskrit word mantra is "mind vehicle;" broken into two parts –– the root, man, meaning “mind,” and suffix -tra meaning “tool.”

In western culture, a mantra is understood to be an intention or positive affirmation such as “I believe in myself.” Mantras consist of several syllables, usually written in Sanskrit or Tibetan, and are typically recited in conjunction with a particular meditative practice or deity. On the surface, mantras provide a virtuous object to focus the mind. On a deeper level, mantras help practitioners achieve insight to the nature of consciousness by offering a particular ‘energy and knowingness.’

In Tibetan Buddhism, mantras are a way of calling on a deity and the sounds of the mantra are said to manifest the perfect embodiment of the deity called upon. The following mantras are the ones most commonly practiced in Tibetan Buddhism. There is no requirement to be Buddhist to use these mantras in your daily practice; they are available to anyone who chooses to use them.  

Ancient Mantras of Tibet

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OM MANI PADME HUM

Pronounced: Om man-ee pad-me hung
Boddhisattva of Compassion– also known as Chenrezig (Tibetan) or Avalokitesvara (Sanskrit)

One of the most powerful mantras for attaining enlightenment. This mantra is the most commonly used mantra in Tibet and is believed to be the most powerful mantras for attaining enlightenment because it said to embody all of the Buddha’s teachings. It can be used anytime to cultivate compassion  and help alleviate all forms of suffering. 

Gemstones associated with the Boddhisattva of Compassion: Howlite, Quartz, Moonstone

Malas associated with this mantra:
Illumination Mala, Empowerment Mala, &  Mala

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OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA

Pronounced: Om tar-eh too-tar-eh too-ray so ha

Female Bodhisattva of Compassion, "The Mother of Liberation"– also known as Green Tara / Jetsun Dolma (Tibetan)

This mantra is believed to offer freedom from mental delusions and destructive emotions such as anger, jealousy, attachment, doubt, and ignorance. She is also associated with nature and the moon.

Gemstones associated with emanations of Tara: Jade, Moss Agate, 

Malas associated with this mantra:
Liberation mala, Unconditional Love mala, & Divine Grace Mala 

TAYATHA OM BEKADEZE BEKADEZE MAHA BEKADEZE RADZA SAMUNGATE SOHA

Pronounced: Tie-ya-tar, Om beck-and-zay beck-and-zay ma-ha beck-and-zay run-zuh sum-oon-gut-eh so-ha  
Medicine Buddha– for Healing

This mantra is used to alleviate physical or mental afflictions, dispelling ignorance, hatred, and attachment. The Medicine Buddha is often called upon when a loved one is sick or dying. This mantra is also used after the death of a loved one to help them during the transition between death and rebirth. 

Gemstones associated with the Medicine Buddha: Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire, Carnelian  

Malas associated with this mantra:
Conscious Healing mala, Perseverance mala, &  Serenity mala 

Modern Mantras

Western-style aspirations for use anytime throughout the day.

Loving Kindness & Compassion

“May all beings be happy and be free from suffering”

 “With an open-mind and open-heary, I radiate tranquility”

"May I be filled with love, kindness, and radiate compassion"

General Wellness

“I will choose to be happy and love myself today”

 “I am [Brave, Bold, Fearless, Worthy, Talented, Intelligent, Grateful]”

“I will continue to be authentic and honor my truth”

To Combat Anxiety & Depression

“I will not worry about things I cannot control”

“I will observe my thoughts without judging them”

“I breathe in relaxation and breathe out tension”