Tag Archives: Buddhism

Six Word Mantra


Do you have a mantra?

The word “mantra” comes from Buddhism and Hinduism.  It means a word or phrase that you repeat during meditation to aid your concentration or focus.  Like “Ohm.”  (That’s that symbol you see on a lot of yoga tank tops.)  Sometimes we use “mantra” to refer to our words to live by or essential wisdom.

I tried having a mantra once, back when Fartbuster was hanging out at the Buddhist Center in town.  I was learning how to meditate so instead of starting out like a normal person with five or ten minutes for a few days a week, I signed myself up for a four-hour session on a Saturday morning.  Yeahhhhhh…For my mantra, I chose “Breathe in, breathe out.”  The first three minutes were bliss, but in the fourth minute into the four hours I got that Bush song “Machinehead” stuck in my head because the chorus goes “Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.  Got a machine head, it’s better than the rest.  GOT A MACHINEHEAD!”  And so on.  

That was my last meditation retreat.  

In Tibetan Buddhism, an important part of spiritual practice is reciting the Six Word Mantra:  “Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum.”  At one of the sessions I attended at BlogHer, the leader was a yogi who encouraged each of us to write and share our own six-word mantra.  These six words our focus and concentration on our writing.  

I distilled mine from a famous quote from Dag Hammarskjold, a Swedish diplomat who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations.  

“For all that has been–Thanks.  For all that will be–Yes.”  

These are the two lessons I have learned in my life:  gratitude for the story I have lived and enthusiasm for the stories that lie ahead of me.

So my six-word mantra was:  WHAT WAS?  THANKS.  WHAT COMES?  YES!  

What’s your six-word mantra?