If you happen drive by my house when I’m mowing and you see my lips moving, it’s not because I’m singing “Push It” by Salt & Pepa (although there’s nothing wrong with pushin’ it real good). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YleXlgHI1oM
I’m probably chanting. It’s an uplifter that connects me to what’s real. I used to feel weird about it, but it’s become second nature while I’m walking, hanging clothes on the line or weeding in the garden.
The Lokah chant is one of my favorite ways to shower the world and all creatures in it with good wishes. It’s also my go-to when there’s something icky on the radar, like ranting politicians and their spin doctors, the TV news terror mongers or my own personal gunk and junk that needs to be cleaned up.
I’ve also been known to walk away from gossipy mean people and passive-aggressives while silently (or not) singing Lokah to myself.
Here’s how to sound it out phonetically:
Sahm iss stah
Bah vaan two
The Lokah links below will help you learn. At first it feels a little weird. You’re supposed to have fun with it. Don’t worry too much about your pronunciation. If you are joining those of us who chant on a daily basis be assured your effort is appreciated and welcomed. There are no judges grading, no Mantra Police standing by to issue citations or corrections. Speaking of which, I just read an amusing story from the “Tales of the Dervishes” collection by Idries Shah called “The Man Who Walked on Water.” A holier-than-thou dervish rowed over to an island to correct a fellow seeker he heard chanting “the wrong way” on a nearby island. The sanctimonious arbiter of proper mantra was startled to see the one he had set straight walk across the water to humbly obtain further instruction on getting the words just right.
And if Sanskrit and other languages foreign to the tongue aren’t your thing, there’s always plain, beautiful, effective English.
“May you be free from pain and suffering. May you be well and happy! May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the actions of my own life contribute in some way to the happiness and freedom for all.”
Have a favorite chant or a prayer to share? Please do so in the comments.
Bonus inspiration: I follow a melody copied from Dr. Melissa West, who on her Namaste Yoga channel and free YouTube series started in 2014 closing her classes with this declaration that we’re all wishing each other well and that we’re all in this together. Here’s a class from her nourishment series. She also has a wonderfully supportive subscriber channel with even more classes and auxiliary content. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBfFhdIrGSA