Worrying? Chant (or whistle) While You Work

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    As you move into the New Year, you may have new projects added to your plate along with other projects in full swing. Perhaps you are working with a team that is struggling to make progress. Maybe you find yourself behind on projects and not sure how to catch up.

    It’s amazing how easily I can spin up into a panic or turmoil if I let my mind run wild. So to correct that, I’ve learned to chant simple phrases that bring my mind back to calmness. I’ve used these chants in various times of stress or worry to help me find peace, bring balance, or remain open to what needs to happen next.

    Various sounds (such as aaaahhh or ooooooh) when spoken aloud help you resonate with the vibrations and thus bring you back to balance. Other chants are used to evoke an image of a Deity, peace, compassion or love. Some Buddhist chants have no direct translation in English but are designed to bring your mind to stillness. You can say these phrases below or sing any chants you know that help you find peace. Here are some of my favorite chants.

    “Om Mani Padme Hum” is a fairly common Buddhist phrase recited to relieve suffering. Kalu Rinpoche describes this sacred phrase as follows:

    That enlightened awareness includes whatever we might need to understand in order to save any beings, including ourselves, from suffering. For that reason the entire Dharma, the entire truth about the nature of suffering and the many ways of removing its causes, is said to be contained in these six syllables – Om Mani Padme Hum

    Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo” – This chant means “Divine Teacher within I call Upon Thee”. In Kundalini Yoga this chant is often used for meditation. It can also be translated to mean “I bow before my highest consciousness”. See the YouTube link to get a fuller explanation of this phrase.

    “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” – Shanti means peace

    “Breathing- In I Calm my Body, Breathing-Out I Smile” – I like this phrase offered by Thich Nhat Hanh as part of his mindfulness meditations. I’ve used this frequently at work and when stuck in traffic.

    “Nam(u)-Myōhō-Renge-Kyō” is thought by devotees of Nichiren to contain the essence of the Buddha’s teaching from the Lotus Sutra. Nichirin taught that people can reach their Buddha nature by chanting this phrase.

    “Only Love is Flowing Here” – This is a lovely chant from Dances of Universal Peace. I’ve used it when I am about to enter a meeting that I know will be particularly stressful. It helps me calm down and affirm that Love can flow, even in difficult situations.

    Let us know how these chants work for you. Or share your own chants here that you’ve used to help you find peace when you feel stress or worry.


    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.


    Linda is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant. Go to her website www.lindajferguson.com to read more about her work, view video clips of her talks, and find out more about her book “Path for Greatness: Spirituality at Work” available on Amazon.