A. I never discourage you from doing anything. One thing you have to remember is that mantra has no power in itself at all. Many people think that mantra has a very special or mysterious holy power that can help them to achieve their goals. Not only mantra but also the Sutras have no such power by themselves. Buddha said that nothing has its own nature. However, if used in the right way, mantra can be a means of practice to realise your true-self. When reciting mantra, you should try to realise what is making your mouth recite it.
Anything can be a mantra; your spouse’s name, children’s name, names of things you like, such as coca cola or even the name of your pet. It doesn’t have to be a noun or a single word like mentioned above. It can be an adjective like ‘beautiful’ or ‘holy’ or a verb such as ‘go’ or ‘dance’. A sentence can be a good mantra as well, for example ‘I love you’. The key point is not what mantra to recite but how to recite it. Whatever mantra you recite, just try to realise what is making your body recite it. Then reciting mantra can be a good practice, which is not different from Zen.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway