The Way of the Mantra
It sounds quite incredible, almost unbelievable, to us when we first begin to learn to meditate that the discipline of saying this little word, our mantra, can be a profound spiritual path that gradually transforms our life in a profound way. But it does. Think of the mustard seed that Jesus refers to in the Gospel that grows into a huge tree and the birds of the air come to rest in its branches. The mantra is just the same.
It's a very small word, it's a tiny seed of faith but it does root us beyond ephemera, beyond things that are just passing away. It roots us in that eternal reality which we call God.
The mantra is an expression of our faith and love. If you like, it is a sacrament in the sense that it is an outward expression of our inner faith in the presence of God in our hearts. In our meditation, all our feelings of faith, love, devotion, praise, thanksgiving etc., are contained in the faithful and unconditional saying of the prayer word.
The saying of the mantra is the way of prayer that leads us to the condition of silence and stillness, of simplicity, of poverty of spirit, of total and selfless attention to the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. It is the way of silence, stillness, simplicity, commitment, discipline, poverty of spirit, of leaving self behind, of faith, of sacrifice, of generosity, and thus of love. The way "of" is also the way "to." So the way to silence is the way of silence. No wonder the faithfulness to the saying of the mantra leads to the development of these spiritual attributes in our life.
The mantra is the way that enables us to transcend the distractions and the machinations of our ego during our meditation.