Mantras for Meditation by Mantras in Metal
Mantras in metal creates beautiful, Tibetan-inspired meditation mantras [and more!] that will naturally have a positive affect on the environment around them.
The mantra artworks on this site will help to bring the sacred into your
home, your yoga or meditation practice, your garden or business... and - if you choose a bronze - it will last for many centuries: bronzes cast hundreds of years ago remain in good condition today.
Note: Please go to my etsy page to purchase! Items are no longer for sale on this website.
Mantras can be though of as quotes from enlightened beings like Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. By repeating mantras we can directly connect to enlightened compassion. A quote I've heard about compassion is that it is in essence communication. Without some kind of communication (even without words) there is no relationship and no compassion. So mantras can help you move forward in your life and especially your relationships to others.
The Artisan - After eight years as a Buddhist monk I completed a diploma in Metal work at Kootenay School of the Arts. My heart is in my work as I have become familiar with the benefits of the mantra through my own daily meditation practice. Each unique piece is hand-finished with care and ready to show indoors, or out. Please browse my site for more information on mantras, and the metal sculpting processes.
Meditation mantras are words — in any language — that help to focus the mind on a particular quality, like healing, as with the Medicine Buddha mantra. Mantras in Buddhism range from Om Mani Padme Hum for love and compassion to Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha for protection and long life. Whether in Tibetan, Sanskrit, Hindi, Pali or any other language the intention of mantras remain the same: to bring one's mind more into the experience of its enlightened nature full of wisdom and compassion.
Meditating on mantras: how does it work?
A somewhat scientific explanation of how meditation mantras work is written about in popular news here. A serious and cynical scientist would not buy that though! From the Vajrayana Buddhist point of view mantras are a conduit of the blessings and power of the specific Buddha to which mantra is associated. As such the development of qualities associated with the mantra is sped up. So, for example, through reciting and meditating on Medicine Buddha mantra with intention, healing will be expedited both on the person reciting the mantra and the person for whom the mantra is being recited.
Mantras and Speech
In Tibetan Buddhism, and in Buddhism in general, body, speech, and mind are all used to make progress on the spiritual path. Mantra is, as you'd guess, associated with speech. However it is important to bring the mind and body into play when reciting mantra. Mindlessly saying mantras doesn't have nearly the benefit that mantra repeated with attention and good physical presence does. If you learn the visualization associated with a mantra and couple that with it's recitation so much the better!
One of the most common mantras — as mentioned earlier — is Om Mani Padme Hum and is associated with the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (or Chenrezi in Tibetan). You can find a table explaining the mantra on this page. Tibetans learn it almost as soon as they learn to speak and in their old age repeat it incessantly as a preparation for death — if you see a Tibetan walking along with a mala (rosary) in hand mumbling then chances are it is Om Mani Padme Hum that he or she is repeating. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is said to be an incarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion Avalokiteshvara. The present Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, is also said to be the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in person. The mantra is said to be of great benefit and have a minimum of risk associated with it. (Yes, if a mantra is associated with more intense enlightened energy and has strong commitment attached and those commitments aren't kept well then there is some danger if those commitments are broken.) In Tibet, too, you will find "mani stones" in huge numbers as it is considered to be a very virtuous act to see, write, make, or be associate with the mantra of compassion or other mantras for meditation in any way (even a negative association eventually becomes positive due to the power of compassion). That's part of the reason I cast the mantra in bronze and stone myself. See them here…
Some Mantras that are used in Meditation
As already mentioned om mani padme hum is one of the most often used mantras in meditation. There are many other. Two that I've chosen to make castings of on this site are Tara mantra - om tare tuttare ture svaha - and Manjushri mantra - om arapatsana dhi.
Tara Mantra - Tara mantra is probably the second most repeated mantra by Tibetans. Chenrezi or Avalokiteshvara mantra is associated with a male bodhisattva, while Tara is a female. There are many forms of Tara as well as many colors. The most popular are Green Tara (Khadiravani Tara) whose specialty is enlightened activity, and White Tara (Sitatara) who is sometimes called the compassionate mother of long life. In the Kagyu Tibetan Buddhist tradition the mantra is the same for both, though for White Tara there is also a longer form mantra — om tare tuttare ture mama ayu punya jnana pushtim kuru svaha. There is planty of lore about tara. One of the favourites nowadays is the story of how Tara decided to perform enlightened activity as a woman only. Some tried to dissuade her saying that being a female is tough on the path to enlightenment. She decided that she could help beings just as well or perhaps better as a female and ended up taking a vow to that effect.
Manjushri Mantra - Manjushri mantra is often used for meditation on wisdom. Manjushri hold a sword and text. The sword symbolises his ability to cut through delusion. His mantra is om arapachana dhi and is not as common as Tara's or Chenrezi's. It is often used to encourage clarity and wisdom. Manjushri took a particular vow when he committed to reaching enlightenment: "If all future Tathagatas in countless Buddhafields in the ten directions, who I see with my unobscured wisdom-eye, are not persuaded by me to develop bodhicitta or taught by me to train in giving, discipline, patience, vigor, meditation, and wisdom and to attain perfect enlightenment, I will not attain enlightenment myself. Only after fulfilling this vow will I attain perfect enlightenment."
Note on the role of a guru: Often people get wary — understandably — about gurus. After all, there are a lot of charlatans out there. So it is best at the beginning to think of the guru who teaches you about mantras as just a teacher. And, yes, a teacher is important. In the same way that you would want a teacher if you were studying something less complex like, for example, how to be a manicurist so much more would you want an experienced teacher to guide you through the amazing world of mantras and meditation. But when you are new to a teacher it is best to be cautious about making any commitments. The Dalai Lama suggest examining a guru for twelve years before truly accepting (or rejecting) him or her.
The Insurance Example
Something we all know about is insurance. You have a thing of great value that you want to protect, like a car. In order to do so you band together with many others who value their car and want to - or are forced to - protect it. When one of the many does actually need to draw from the pool of protection (gathered from premiums) then it is ok since there is enough to cover the few people who do need help every year. In the same way we value our happiness and sanity. In fact even more so than our cars (I hope!). What meditation and mantras do is to accumulate well-being, awareness, and happiness and insure our, and others, future benefit. When tough times come along we find that our spirituall practice has given us something to fall back on a lot like paying those insurance premiums over the years has given us something to fall back on when we get into an accident with our car.