“Dear Anandra, can I have my own mantra please. Can my mantra be for lots of sleep. I have a hard time falling asleep. And so I can take a nap if I’m tired.”
(From Vida, age 7, former magician, currently exploring meditation)
Yes Vida, and adults who are also anxious and tired. Here is one mantra you can sing, and one you can say silently when you don’t feel like singing. Love you.
If you’re looking to learn Sanskrit mantra, I highly recommend studying with someone who reads and writes in Devanagari (the script of Sanskrit). Because the letter forms in Devanagari are different for different tongue placements and aspirated/non-aspirated letters, it would indicate that the teacher is making the distinctions.
At the least, you’ll want to learn from someone who uses diacritical marks in the transliteration system when teaching (dots under and above certain consonants, and dashes above certain vowels, as in the example above). If...
When I read the research summaries offered in the links below, my personal experience corroborates a resounding “YES!” to the many benefits they describe. I’m grateful to have discovered the healing effects of sound, singing, mantra, group singing, and prayer long before medical science confirmed their value, and I’m sure it’s just the beginning. Many medical experts and visionaries agree that sound is the medicine of the future, as it has been an integral part of healing and rejuvenation in Ayurveda for millennia.
After reading my free e-book on mantra yoga or taking one of my mantra courses, you’ve probably decided you want to make precise Sanskrit a part of your chanting practice. Then what!? MOST of the mantra information online is frustratingly not accurate.
Here is a precious list of resources I’ve collected for you. Over the years this post has become a catch-all for other commonly asked questions, like "How do I type in transliterated Sanskrit?" and "What harmoniums do you recommend?" We'll keep updating it for you as we can.
If you don't know what you don't know, how can you learn?
This list is far from exhaustive, but can point you in the direction of learning more about mantras and their beautiful Sanskrit sounds. Since mispronunciation of mantra is widespread, the first step for most yogāsana teachers, mantra lovers, and kīrtan leaders is to learn where our own blind spots are.
Please contact me if you have a great resource to add here!
3 Easy Steps to Better Sanskrit Pronunciation:
1. Here is the least you need to know in 7 minutes…
2. Next, learn...
Musings on the practical transformation I've experienced through my sound-based yoga practice... written while gazing out at the Himālayan range during a 2017 pilgrimage.
Ordinarily our awareness is limited to the sensations within the body. However, when we consciously enter sound, our awareness expands into the space within and surrounding our physical body. This vibratory sphere becomes our “sound body,” if you will, and gives us a visceral sense of transcendence. The dimensional quality is multi-directional; we can go within, to the point of...
This post has been long-gestating within me, as I’ve grappled with my own deeply seated belief systems about “who I am,” and what rights I have to teach mantra and nāda yoga as a non-Indian white woman. My own story of horrifying mistakes and the long road I’m walking on towards integrity aside (I’ll tell it later), I’d like to offer this list of resources right away. (Scroll down to straight to it.) It’s a work in progress, coming home to truth… and the first step is educating ourselves so we can begin to have the...
(This post is re-posted from my old blog, as a series of #lifejacketmantra approaches for those just getting started in the wonderful world of Sanskrit mantra!)
Planetary movement may be beyond our control, but our perspective is absolutely
within our power!
When Mercury (the planet of communication and intelligent discrimination) goes
retrograde, we’re told to expect communication and technological difficulties, avoid
signing contracts, and be extra careful not to make mistakes.
I’d like to invite you to lift your perspective on this astrological event...
Aren't we all so very tired of hearing about the latest guru gone down? The latest abuse or sex scandal in spiritual communities? As an act towards peace, I seek to present a visionary way forward:
How a Leader & Community Can Handle Claims of Abuse & Sexual Harassment
NOTE: This post goes with the Code of Conduct for Spiritual and Yoga Festivals, which I was inspired to develop as a contribution to the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh. (A team of Heart of Sound volunteers runs the Sacred Sound Stage which I started in 2017.) It takes up where the...
Inspired by #metoo in the yoga and spiritual community... This is not a debate post, but an action-oriented solution post.
I have been working on developing a Code of Conduct for participants and presenters at yoga festivals and spiritual conferences. It includes bullet points of specific red flag behaviors and some sample narratives to be aware of when allegations of abuse are made public.
This is NOT my area of expertise, but I see a need for it and no one in my circle stepped up to volunteer for it, so I took a stab at a draft. Dozens of people have commented...