One of the most effective Sanskrit mantras is Om, or Aum. It raises one’s vibrations, brings peace and clarity. It is not a word with a specific meaning attached to it. Therefore it does not lead the mind anywhere, not even to a contemplation of the meaning of the word that is being chanted. The mantra can certainly become meaningful to those who chant it, but that understanding comes from a deeper space within us, not from the mind. Last but not least, it is a very short mantra and, so, very easy to learn!

Some other mantras from the Hindu and Buddhist traditions:

Om shanti shanti shanti. This is a mantra that brings peace, calmness and serenity.

Om mani padme hum – Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus. In Tibetan, this mantra changes slightly:
Om mani peme hung.

So hum. Another short mantra that helps one go within. It can also be “chanted” silently – say “so” on the in-breath and “hum” on the out-breath. You may find yourself quite naturally switching words after a while (ie. “hum” on the in-breath and “so” on the out-breath). Let it happen.

Once your chosen mantra brings you into a meditative state, let yourself be led where you go. You might find the chant changing slightly, in tone, rhythm or even in the order of the words/syllables. Or you might find yourself so still and so receptive to God, or your own Higher Self, that you stop chanting. Just go with the flow and know that everything that comes to us in meditation is good.

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