Personal experiences illustrating the benefits of mantram repetition.
Responses from research participants with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder:
“I’m glad I learned the mantram. I don’t stay mad. I’m not angry. I’m not all stressed out. So I try and use the mantram the best I can to relieve the pressure, you know, cause we’re like . . . steam, you know, once you turn the fire up . . . you got to get rid of it, you know, and the mantram really works well.”
“. . . if I find myself getting into a bad mood or depressed…how can I say it…when I have no patience with myself and I find myself going back and beat myself up over issues or whatever, I have to…I do my mantram at that point in time….I get more relaxed where I can start thinking other thoughts.”
A few participants from our family caregiver study responded:
“I used to do everything with either a radio or T.V. on. Now, I don’t even need any radio or T.V. when doing tasks. Thus, it’s easy to say my mantram."
"Using my mantram has helped me to ward off any possible stressful situations, but when I do get stressed out over something, I concentrate on repeating my mantram numerous times. I also make sure to get up in the morning 20 minutes earlier so I can say my mantram. At night before dinner, I say it another 20 minutes. I am immediately relaxed when I do that."
"I try to leave home earlier, so I can arrive at appointments a little early. For that reason I don’t have to rush or drive fast anymore. This allows me to be more relaxed when I arrive at my destination.”
One veteran came to class in a wheelchair and when it was time to choose his mantram he said right away:
“I know what my mantram is going to be.” And I said, “Well, how do you know?” He took out his billfold and showed me: He carries the Prayer of St. Francis with him. So his mantram was ‘My God and My All.’ He used it every day and at Christmas he wrote me a card, “Because of the mantram, I have reduced the amount of pain medication that I need, I have reduced the amount of sleeping medication that I need, and it really works!”
These comments were made by study participants living with HIV/AIDS:
“When I was trying to sleep, I couldn’t go to sleep, so I would just keep repeating it (mantram), and the next thing you know, it is the next morning.”
“When I get up in the middle of the night, I repeat my mantram instead of thinking about past events that bother me.”
“Sometimes when I would get stressed out or other things, like if I was having a really, really bad day. I learned how to deal with the anxiety and stress by using the mantram.”
“When I am really frustrated or in a line or something, I don’t let that bother me. I just say my mantram, and before you know it, I am right up at the front of the line. It has really worked for me. I liked it. I really, really liked it.”
Here are some comments from VA San Diego Healthcare System Employees who have taken our 8-week course:
“The times I think of it (repeating mantram) most often is when I find things personally annoying—a particular person that I want to ring his neck. Then I step back, repeat it.”
“I have had a very serious situation with a disturbed teenager who is mentally ill. My own mind tends to obsessive thoughts and I use the mantram to interrupt those thoughts. It happens hundreds and hundreds of times. I often use it in the middle of night to help me get back to sleep. Sometimes I stay with the mantram, sometimes I return to the obsessive thoughts, and sometimes I get distracted with other things afterwards.”
“Well, right off the top of my head, just saying my word or phrase is helpful, refreshing, innovative. It also pulled us together in the class as a mini-community . . . getting others together to help us realize our personal growth.”
“Oh, yeah, I use it (mantram repetition) when my daughter makes me angry. I walk away and use it before I say something that I don't want to say."