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Filtering by Tag: meditation

What is My Mantra?

Sonali Perera

Mantras have played a very important role in my life. Growing up, our bedtime routine consisted of me and my sister, sitting with my mom, up right in her bed, mala in hand, reciting our favorite mantra. Once I left for college, I stopped this meditation practice. Recently, I decided to start meditating and using a mala again, and it has been life changing and has really helped me in my day to day. Here is a simple guide to meditating with a mala and below are some of my favorite mantras. You can also repeat a personal mantra during meditation such as "I can and I will", "Where I am right now is exactly where I need to be", and "I change my thoughts, I change my world". 

Om (AUM)

Today, we hear Om at the beginning and ending of each yoga class, but Om is the most sacred mantra in Hinduism. I often hear Om is "the sound of the universe". How can one word be the "sound of the universe"? Om, when chanted, vibrates at the same frequency found throughout everything in nature, 432 Hz. So when chanting Om, we are connecting to everything in our Universe. 

Shanti Mantra (Peace Prayer)

This is the perfect mantra to start the day and is often used as the universal prayer to send the message of peace and prosperity and to invoke blessings for harmony amongst each other. The literal translation is: May we be protected and nourished together;  May we work with each other and may our studies illuminate us; May there be no dislike between us; Let there be peace, peace, peace.                       

Om Saha Naavavatu
Saha Nau Bhunaktu

Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai
Tejas Vinavati Tamastuma Vidhwishavahai                                                                                                                                                                   Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

This is one of my favorite mantras, praying for inner peace. I am a strong believer that inner peace helps you treat yourself and those around  you with love and kindness, which makes an impact on the world at large. In this mantra, Shanti (peace) is repeated three times which represents the threefold peace in ones entire being - body, mind and speech. 

Om Namah Shivaya

My go-to mantra when I need a boost in self confidence. In this mantra, we honor Shiva, the Lord of destruction to call upon our higher self to aid in pure consciousness, enlightenment and the destruction of ego.  This mantra is translated as "I honor the divinity within myself." 


Meditating with Mala Beads

Sonali Perera

Growing up, my mom meditated with a mala every night before bedtime. Many times, me and my sister would sit with my mom and repeat mantras with our own mala. A couple weeks ago, my mom gave me the same mala I used to meditate with when I was younger. It was the Mala my Nani (Grandma) gave to me 30+ years ago! My kids started asking me about the Mala, so I sat down with my mom to learn more.

What are Mala Beads

  • Mala beads are a string of 108 beads (+ 1 Guru bead) used in prayer and meditation and as a reminder of our intentions
  • Malas are made from different gemstones, rocks or seeds. 
  • Buddhist and Hindu malas are usually made from different types of wood or seeds such as sandalwood, rosewood or rudraksha (one I am most used to). Rudraksha seeds are believed to embody peace and love and is considered a very holy and protective seed. 


  • Find a quiet and comfortable spot, close your eyes, take a deep breath and realign with your intention. 
  • I like to use a mantra during my meditation but this is optional. You can chant your mantra loudly or silently. Here are some of my favorite mantras. You can also repeat a word such as Om, love or something you are thankful for. Repeating this will help you with your concentration.
  • Hold your mala over the third finger in your right hand and turn each bead towards you using your thumb.
  • Your index finger (pointing finger) should not touch the mala beads. In Hindu tradition, the pointing finger is the accusing finger and is believed to represent ego.
  • When you reach the guru bead (bead that hangs from the mala), wait and reflect. Do not continue over the guru bead. Turn your mala around and continue in the opposite direction. 
  • Continue this practice for as long as you want to.