Tools are important. Mantras can aid in seeding the unconscious mind with remembering the goals of the individual aspirant. A mantra is a stated phrase that is repeated over and over again. Traditionally a mantra is repeated per each bead on a mala bead necklace (and typically there are 108 beads).
By stating and restating one’s intention, feeling it each and every time, the phrase is sown deep into the mind so that it can resurface at a later time, when needed. If struggling with an issue, a mantra can be a way of helping remember the stated goals when outside the meditation chamber.
I’ve had very bad advice with regards to mantras. Some in the West mistakenly think that a mantra is a series of nonsensical words to put a person into a state of trance. While a mantra can induce a state of trance, some don’t realize that the Hindu mantras they receipt are actually words in Hindu or whatever language they derive from. All mantras have meaning. Even the mantra of “Om,” has meaning.
One doesn’t need to say something in another language to make them more “powerful.” Despite what people write in books, saying something in a language that you don’t know isn’t going to really aid you. Words only have power if you believe they do.
The best mantra is the one you make: A statement tailored to your own needs, something that comes from your own heart. Words in your own language, with your own meaning, those are the ones that have the greatest power.
Examples that I use include:
“I see the Force at work in all people and situations.”
“The Force guides and directs my path.”
For me, the Force has meaning. It is akin to the Tao. It is the energy of the cosmos… the energy of the Creator that flows throughout all things. By retelling myself that I see it moving in all people and situations, I begin to see connections that I never did before. That mantra alone changed my life. Daily morning and evening recitations of it embedded it into me, and when I found myself in a frustrating situation, or around a difficult person I would remember that the Force is at work… and I would find a way to best use the Force in each situation and with each person. These are the mantras that shape us, and create us.