Being half Indian, chanting is not a strange thing to me. I remember the chanting of my mother when she was doing a puja (offering) or during the annual festival of light: Diwali. I was always very much intrigued by the sounds and words that I could not understand but it did trigger something inside of me that I could not explain.
It was many years later, however that I started to pick up chanting after periods of committing myself and then letting go again. I have found that there are 3 things important in chanting: your intention, your chosen mantra and your full awareness. What it sounds like does not matter. When the intention is there, the energy of the words you are singing manifest themselves. You are literally sending out what you sing. With awareness, you know and feel what you are singing, as such the effects are healing and very beneficial.
A mantra is a word or group of words that are constantly repeated and bring you in a state of awareness and transformation. Mantras are very powerful tools to connect you to something deeper within of which the effects are very healing since you continuously repeat words that are filled with kindness, positivity, devotion, grace and gratitude. We live in a competitive world with many insecurities, our minds are too often filled with negative thoughts toward ourselves. By repeating over and over the positive words of a mantra, these words will gradually sink into your subconsciousness and will eventually become part of you.
There is no need to sing Sanskrit mantras if you don’ t have any affinity with this. You can very well create your own mantra. Be creative and make your own mantra for you know best what’s right for you. If you need a bit of inspiration, think about mantras like: “I am grateful” “My light is shining bright” “Thank you Mother Earth for carrying me” “Thank you Sun for shining on me today” “Today is a great day”.
If you do wish to sing a Sanskrit mantra then here are a few suggestions:
“Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya” -> I bow to the great Being living inside of me (referring to the universal consciousness/the light that we all carry within)
“Om Namah Shivaya” -> I bow to Shiva (Shiva signifying the Inner-Self)
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” -> May all beings everywhere be happy and free”
“AUM” -> This is according to Yoga and Ayurveda the very first sound of existence. It is the sound that is present in everything that exists and by singing this mantra it is believed that you awaken your deeper consciousness that reminds you of your true essence, that part which brings all religions together, that part that is pure existence without judgment, beliefs or opinions, that part that purely is.
Chanting is something that you can always do anywhere, you can sing out loud or softly hum. The importance is to chant from your heart.