4 min read
Welcome back! I hope everyone is feeling great and holding tight during these weird times. Today we are going deeper into the meditation series.
I see a lot of people trying to meditate, trying to be more aware of themselves and what they do or just trying to listen to something that makes them go deeper into relaxation. But they only try, they don’t seem to be able to sit and actually meditate. The thing is, in meditation you don’t even have to do anything to do it. You juste have to Be.
Sometimes I just don’t feel like meditating but still I know it could help me. And trust me, it is during those moments, when you don’t feel like it that mediation is going to be the most beneficial to you. It’s like when you go to the gym, you don’t want to go but you’re glad you did when you come out of the place. And it is something I could also say about yoga. Check out my article about yoga Yoga as a Path to Transformation.
But I know things aren’t always safe and sound, and you have a lot on your mind. This is why we are going to talk about meditative musics, and more specifically about mantras. And today we have the great privilege to welcome Carrie Grossman in the blog. Carrie Grossman is a singer and meditation teacher on the Insight Timer app. You know, the app I told you about in my article about meditation, Stop Running and Listen to Yourself. Carrie has a 10-day course on the app called Awaken the Heart through Chanting and Mantras. A course I advised you to take if you have a profile on the app! Carrie has a really beautiful voice and talks about mantras like I never heard better before, simply, truthfully and from the heart. She is going to be our host today and will be answering some questions I asked her specifically for this article. Carrie will be talking all along this article, when the text is put on italic. You’ll find links to her music and website at the end of this article.
Therefore, when I have trouble being still and keeping my mind steady, I think it helps to put on some music. I like listening to loud music but it is also refreshing to listen to something that talks to your soul. I sometimes like to listen to meditative music when I’m working or just cleaning my place. A YouTube channel I like for that is Meditative Mind. They’re sharing musics like this one. And I also listen to mantras.
For those who don’t know, Carrie Grossman explains what they are : mantras are sacred sound formulas. They are ancient sonic tools that can help to quiet our mind and open our heart. The word mantra comes from two Sanskrit words: “man”, which means “mind” and “tra”, which means “to cross over” or “to protect”. So a mantra is something that helps our mind go beyond thought, and it also helps to protect our mind from itself.
Carrie also specify that mantras were not created by anyone, but it’s said that they exist in nature. The Rishis, or great seers of India, heard the sounds in the depths of their meditations, and they articulated them. Then, these sounds were passed on in an oral tradition for thousands of years. Today, we’re blessed to have access to them.
This subject is really large and it is difficult to talk about it in just one article but basically, I advise you to use mantra in your daily life, or just even during your meditations for a start. It’s only when you tried one and made the effort to feel its vibration that you can truly understand. I asked Carrie the best way to use them and this is her response :
There are many different ways to use mantras. They can be spoken, chanted, sung, whispered, or repeated silently in the mind. One popular mantra practice is known as Kirtan. This is a call-and-response singing practice that can be done in a group. It’s a very joyful way to experience the power of mantras and chanting. This kind of devotional music is widely available by different artists, and it’s a wonderful aid to meditation.
And believe me, she truly has a gift for singing them. I love listening to some of her interpretations and I really think she has a way of demystifying this ancient spiritual technique. You don’t have to be religious to sing them but sometimes it can feel like it and I advise you to go check Carrie’s music. As I said, she has a gift for modernising mantras, I think her way of doing it is more accessible than the traditional way.
Carrie talks about it like a sonic tool. Actually, scientist know that all that is present on earth has a vibration correspondant. We are indeed made of vibration, we can feel it when we are connected to others emotionally, we tend to feel their love, fear, joy, excitement … this all has to do with vibration. We also know that the earth itself has a vibration (we can think of the schumann resonance). You might have heard people chanting “Om” when they meditate or do yoga for instance. This sound is simply the vibration of the crown chakra (the one on top of the head), dedicated to our connection to the universe. Therefore, when I chant “Om” I am re-aligning myself (my chakra) with the universe. It is the same for mantras, as Carrie put it, they are sacred sound formulas, they are a succession of sanskrit words and “magic” sounds. Or as she put it : Everything in this world is made up of vibrations—including our thoughts and emotions. Since mantras are the purest sound vibrations, they can help to shift our vibration and uplift our mind and heart. Mantras can also purify the atmosphere.
So it’s not necessary to chant them, you can just listen to them and their magic will happen anyway. Since they are vibrations, playing them will make the vibration live and do its work on your being, on the planet and on your home.
However, this can be considered as a religious practice because of the repetition of the sounds. It is said, as in other religions as well that one has to chant a mantra / say a prayer enough time for it to make it work. So what happen for people who don’t really believe in that kind of things? The good thing about mantra is that you don’t really have to believe in them, neither do you have to count the number of time you’re chanting them. As a matter of fact, you don’t necessarily even understand what you are saying when you do sing them. Carrie answers this as well :
When chanting or listening to a mantra, it’s not necessary to believe anything—the power lies in the vibration of the sounds. While it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of what the mantras mean, ultimately they’re beyond any conceptual understanding.
Necessary during this times of need, help has to come from many places and I think dedicating some time of our quarantine to help others during this big “war” against the virus should be beneficial and a priority to everyone of us. The more we do it, the more vibrations are working for us and therefore the battle will be won way easily! Carrie also addresses this :
One very important mantra that can be chanted anytime is Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, which means “May all beings everywhere be peaceful and happy.” You can chant this every day, or find a recording to listen to or sing along. This is a beautiful way to send prayers and healing thoughts to all of creation.
Here is Carrie’s song dedicated to this particular mantra. Believe me, you can feel the benefits of the mantra within the first minute.
Here’s another one of her mantras that I love, Ang Sang Wahe Guru. It is a mantra for oneness that means “the lovely energy of the universe vibrates in every cell of my being”. When I first listened to it, I could basically feel my being coming back to itself and in alignment, a very powerful tool. And with Carrie’s voice, it is felt like sweet, trust me.
We are only talking about thoughts, songs and time dedicated to this. You don’t have to pay anything and you don’t have to do a big ritual to make it work so why not give it a try?
I think this was a lot to take in already. I’ll let you digest everything and we might come back to this subject in the future. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions if you like.
If you want to know more about Carrie’s music, please go check her website. You’ll find out more about her work and her music here : carriegmusic.com. You can also find some of her music on her YouTube channel here.
I hope this article gave you a clear idea of what mantras are and made you want to listen to them – even more.
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