The following is a beautiful invocation to begin your sadhana (spiritual) practice, as it sets the tone of intention and introspection. Mary was taught this invocation by her teacher Mukunda, founder of Structural Yoga Therapy. She begins her personal practices and the classes she teaches with this invocation. You may recite it outloud or silently to yourself; ingest the meaning with the intention that it reveal its deep essence to you.
"With great respect and love, I honor my heart, my inner teacher. Namaste."
Mukunda shared that the sanskrit words for this invocation are: Om Nama Shivaya. You might want to contemplate and meditate on this for deeper understanding. This is a very powerful mantra and may be repeated for as long as you would like as a meditation. Repetition of mantra is called japa. You may use Indian prayer beads (mala beads), in which you repeat the mantra 108 times, the number of beads on a full strand. See below, for more information regarding this mantra.
1. May all of the wicked return to good;
May all who are good obtain true peace.
May all who are peaceful be freed from bonds;
May all who are free set others free.
2. Blessings upon all the people on earth;
May all the world's rulers uphold what is right.
May only good fortune befall everyone;
May all the world's creatures obtain happiness.
3. May the rain fall when the earth is thirsty;
May all the storehouses be filled with grain.
May everyone here be free from harm:
May all who are good be free from fear.
4. May everyone know a life of joy;
May everyone live a life of health.
May everyone see only good in this world;
May everyone soon be released from pain.
5. May everyone overcome all their woes;
May everyone see only good in this world.
May everyone realize all their desires;
May everyone everywhere be glad.
6. May our mother and father be blessed;
Blessings upon every creature on earth.
May our works flourish and aid everyone,
And long may our eyes see the sun.
Universal MANTRAS FOR CHANTING
Asato Maa (Lead us from unreal to real) Sat Gamaya
Tamaso Maa (Lead us from darkness to the Light) Jyotir Gamaya
Mrityor Maa (Lead us from the fear of death to knowledge of immortality) Amritam Gamaya
Om Purna-mada Purna-midam (Thou art every One and ever whole) Purnaat Purnam-udach-yate (From you this perfect world was born) Purna sayah Purna madaya (Yet should all this world disappear from view) Purnamevah Va-shish-yate (Still you would always be the same.)
Loka Samastaa Sukino Bhavantu (May the entire universe be filled with peace and joy, love and light.)
Atma Hrdaye (My true nature is the heart) Hrdayam mayi (The heart is my true nature) Aham amrte (I am the bliss of the heart) Anandam brahmani (The heart that I am is the unending Bliss of oneness)
Om - The sound of source. Om is the most meaningful of all mantras. It alone can help you attain peace of mind. It alone is the essense sound of all. Most mantras begin and end with Om.
The Bible (John 1:1) says: "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." Philosophers, who have studied the Vedas and this teaching of the Bible, equate Om with God = The source of all.
Soham - Meaning: I am that or I am that I am. A universal mantra, the breath mantra. Repeated silently: Soooooo on the Inhale, Hummmmmmmm on the Exhale. This is and feels so natural as SO is the vibration sound of the inhalation and HUM the exhalation sound. Allow the exhalation to be longer than the inhalation as it will increase the relaxtion response. Click here if you would like to link to a website for more information and practices for using this potent mantra.
Om Nama Shivaya - Meaning as taught by my teacher is noted above under the title INVOCATION.
Click here for a link to a website I recommend for understanding the meaning of this potent mantra. The mantra can also be chanted as is presented by Krishna Das, a well regarded kirtan chanting leader. Click here for his very energizing version of this chant from his album Pilgrim Heart.