Mantra literally translates to mind (man) vehicle (tra) – intended to transport your mind from the busy clutter to stillness and clarity. It is also translated to mind protector.

A “mantra” is essentially a saying – a few words or sentences that you say over and over again in your head. Your mantra might be ‘I am stressed’ ‘I am stressed’. Or it might be ‘I am that’… Soham or its inversion Hamsa.

Soham means I am everything that exists, and everything is one. This is the essence of spiritual insight, and science affirms it in that everything can be seen to be connected ecologically and evolutionarily, connected in space and time.

We may feel separate, but with every breath and touch and thought and word, we are connected to our environment, to our society and to our human and biological history. I am that.

The way a mantra works in by repeating it inside your mind.

As a meditation as you breath in think of the sound “sooooooo” and as you breath out you think of the sound “hummmm”.

Or “hummmmm” … “sasaaaa”.

I found it useful to interlace the Sanskrit with English and think:

“I’mmmmmmmmm” on my breath in, and “thaaaaaaaaaaaaat” on my breath out. I’m that.

Do this for five minutes a day and it is said to transform your life. I don’t see why we can’t do it when sitting in traffic, walking or doing other things plotting through life.

It’s a reminder of our connection to something bigger than our selves: the connection of our “self” to our “Self”, or as some may prefer the connection between our “self” and “God”, or between our “self” and the “Universe”.


This blog entry was inspired by yesterday’s yoga class by Amy at Body Mind Life in Surry Hills. Thanks Amy!