13 Jul Mantras for Children
Giving your children a mantra is truly a life long gift. Whether or not you meditate, or whether your children meditate, you can always give them this powerful tool. There are so many benefits to giving our children a mantra, from handling strong emotions and difficult situations to generating feelings of peace and relaxation. Mantra is a Sanskrit word, composed of the root word “manas” meaning the mind, and “tra”, meaning vehicle. So a man-tra is literally a “mind-vehicle” or a way to transport us beyond our thoughts. A mantra is a word or a short group of words that have a spiritual or religious meaning. When you repeat your mantra, you are calling upon your True Self, the goodness and love inside you which connects you to all living beings and the Universe. With practice, repeating the mantra immediately connects you to your inner peace. I originally learned to meditate from Eknath Easwaran, and in his book “Meditation” he describes the mantra as follows, “The mantra is a short, powerful spiritual formula for the highest power that we can conceive of – whether we call it God, or the ultimate reality, or the Self within. Whatever name we use, with the mantra we are calling up what is best and deepest in ourselves”.
Primordial sound meditation is a form of mantra meditation which consists in repeating a “primordial sound” over and over during meditation. This type of mantra isn’t based on any religion but is instead akin to a vibration heard in nature. According to The Chopra Center, founded by Deepak Chopra, “Primordial sounds can be considered the basic vibrations of nature such as the sound of wind through the trees, the waves crashing on the shore or rain falling on the ground”.I find people are responsive to this approach if they wish to keep meditation a general spiritual practice without associating it to any structured religion. It is a nice way of connecting with nature and reminding our children to access the powers of mother nature. Primordial sound meditation mantras are calculated using ancient Vedic mathematics, and correspond to the sound of the universe at the time and place of your birth.
Once you have chosen a mantra for your child based on a religion that your family observes or based on nature, you will now be ready to start putting it to use. To use the mantra, all you have to do is repeat it. Explain to your child that this is their special tool and it has the power to help them feel calm. It is a tool that they can use anytime they wish. Here are some situations where repeating the mantra will be very beneficial for your children.
- General relaxation. When you sense that your child is wound up or playing and behaving in a way that is hyperactive, you can always suggest they take a little moment to pause and re centre themselves by repeating the mantra. You can either repeat it with them for a few minutes or set an amount of minutes for them to repeat it which would correspond to their age. For example, If your child is five or older, you can play some soft music and set aside five minutes for them to practice repeating their mantra. This would be a proper mantra meditation. My daughter who is five years old loves the fact that we both have mantras. We use our own primordial sound mantras which are based on our time and place of birth so our mantras are different but she knows mine and finds it interesting that I repeat it during meditation while she repeats hers. We regularly set aside time to mediate together. She has said she enjoys meditating because of how calm she feels afterwards.
- Managing strong emotions. If your child is experiencing a strong emotion and you can see that it has taken over, remind your child to take some deep breaths and repeat their mantra. You can do this on the spot rather than in a planned “meditative” setting. No need to set a specific amount of time for the repetition, the benefit here is the immediate access and centering result. Their mind suddenly has something else to focus on while they calm down. Children love learning by example, you can talk about how the mantra helps you to calm down in similar situations. When my daughter is having trouble regulating her emotions I remind her to repeat the mantra and I see her whole disposition shift as her mind can finally focus on something that she associates with calm rather than the negative emotion she was dealing with.
- Handling difficult situations. If your child is struggling with a difficult situation in their life, which could be related to school, a friendship or anything else that may make them feel confused, sad or frustrated, you can encourage them to repeat the mantra. This will help take the focus off the troubling situation and give them mental space to regain a calm perspective. It will allow them to take a break from their thoughts and not over analyse or replay a negative situation in their mind. You could incorporate this into storytelling and explain how the hero in a story repeats their mantra to give them extra courage and strength. Recently, my daughter and I were in a situation where she had to have a dental procedure and she was very distressed. I suggested she breathe and repeat her mantra in her head. It immediately gave her something to focus on and she was able to steady herself and manage through the appointment. I was so happy to have a practical tool to offer her as a coping mechanism in this difficult situation.
- Falling asleep. Repeating the mantra is a wonderful way for your child to fall asleep. It will help them steady their mind, enter a calm state and will help them fall asleep quicker. It is also useful to repeat if your child wakes up in the middle of the night and will help them fall back asleep with ease. Eknath Easwaran explains, “One of the most important times to use the mantra is at night, when you are going to sleep. This is the time when all our problems come home to roost – all the turmoil of the day, all the anxieties of the following morning. This is why we have bad dreams, why we don’t sleep very well and get up wishing we could sleep four hours more...once you are able to fall asleep in the mantra, it will go on working its healing effect in your consciousness throughout the night." I have created a bedtime ritual for my daughter where I play soft music for her and remind her to repeat her mantra. She falls asleep quickly and peacefully, as it recalls the feelings of relaxation she has felt during meditation.
The mantra is an ancient tool that transforms your consciousness to allow you to experience more peace in your life. Children will benefit greatly from having their own mantra, whether it’s for repetition throughout different situations in their day to day lives or during a set meditation time. The mantra’s effects are cumulative and deepen with time. The more you repeat it, the more natural it becomes and the more feelings of calm and relaxation are associated with it. Once you have been practicing repeating the mantra for some time it has the power to instantly transform your state of consciousness. The mantra is compared to a lotus flower, the more you use it, the roots grow, under the water and even though you may not see them, they are deepening and will bring you and your child enormous healing benefits.
Should you wish to obtain yours or your child’s primordial sound mantra (provided your child is five years old or older) please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can generate it for you using your time and place of birth. Otherwise if you wish to have a look at recommended mantras that are based on religions, please see this list from Eknath Easwaran’s Blue Mountain Center of Meditation.
Hopefully you will enjoy the benefits of integrating the mantra as part of your family’s traditions. In doing so, please join us on our mission to empower future generations!