The following is an excerpt from Ram Dass’ new book, “Polishing the Mirror” – which is out now.

Inside of me there’s a mantra going on that reminds me of who I am. It’s that place inside – that niche in the wall where the candle flame never flickers. Always bringing me right to my heart where we dwell eternally.

Mantra is the repetition of the names of God. Mantra is usually recited silently in the mind. When practiced daily, it has the ability to steady the mind and transform consciousness. To be most effective, mantra should be repeated frequently; any time, any place – walking, taking a shower, washing the dishes. I used to do mantra while waiting in line, so as not be bored. Now I practice being here now in line….

In Buddhism, the word mantra means “mind protecting”. A mantra protects the mind by preventing it from going into its’ usual mechanics, which often are not our desired or optimal conscious perspective. Mantra is a powerful spiritual practice for centering, and for letting go of strong emotions such as fear, anxiety and anger. The more you practice mantra the more it becomes a part of you. When you need it on the psychological level – for example when you feel afraid, using your witness, you notice the fear and replace the fear with your mantra. This will occur naturally once mantra becomes an established practice. Mantra is a daily reminder of the presence of the Divine within ourselves and all beings.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “The mantra becomes one’s staff of life, and carries one through every ordeal. It is no empty repetition. For each repetition has a new meaning, carrying you nearer and nearer to God.”

Keep repeating your mantra consciously until it has become a strong habit. Go for a walk and say the mantra all the time you are walking. Notice everything but keep the mantra going. Keep realizing that being with God is your focus… and therefore everything you see is part of God.

Maharajji said, “The best form in which to worship God is all forms.” Everyone you meet is Ram who has come to teach you something. Mantra is remembering that place in the heart – Ram, Ram, Ram. Say it, mouth it, think it, feel it in your heart. You are continually meeting and merging into perfection.

The Divine is present in the soul of all living beings and in the Universe.

In different ages, countries and religions, God has been called by different names. An avatar is an incarnation of divine consciousness on earth in human form. An avatar takes birth at a time where spiritual teaching is needed in order to establish new pathways for religious realization. According to traditional Hindu view, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Jesus are avatars.

Once you choose a mantra and establish a practice, it is a good idea not to change mantras so the practice will become deeper. Here is a list of Mantras – select one that feels right for you:

From the Hindu tradition:

The mantra that I use is the same as my guru, Neem Karoli Baba used which is: “Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram….” The story of Ram (or Rama) is told in the spiritual classic, Ramayana. Ram represents living daily as an act of worship. He is a being of great light, love, compassion, wisdom and power – in perfect harmony. Ram is the essence of who you are when you realize your true self (the atman).

Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai, Jai, Ram – (Beloved Ram, I honor You)

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,

Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare.

Hare Rama, Hare Rama,

Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare

Krishna represents many aspects of human love: parental love, romantic love and love between friends. His instructions to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita are a complete teaching on living life as a spiritual practice.

Om Namah Shivaya (I bow to Shiva)

From the Buddhist Tradition:

Om mani padme hum – (I bow to the jewel in the lotus of the heart.)

From the Christian Tradition:

Lord Jesus Christ, Have Mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of Grace.

From the Jewish Tradition:

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad (Hear O’ Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One”

Shalom (Peace)

From the Muslim Tradition:

Allahu Akbar (God is great)

A Sacred Sound Mantra:

Om (“…In the beginning was the word…and the word was God”). Also known as “the sound of the universe.”


In order for us to be able to make these teachings available to everyone, we need your support. As Ram Dass says, “When you see the Beloved all around you, everyone is family and everywhere is love.” We are all affecting the world every moment – our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another. So please do lend your support to help us make this vast offering from Ram Dass and friends accessible to all.

For a one-time donation, please use the donation form below:

To set up a recurring monthly donation, please use the donation form below:

Recurring Donation


LSRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.

  • Tor Hershman

    I bet-cha George Harrison’s “Awaiting On You All” is one of Dass’ favorite songs. I is one of moi’s, as well. I have had to make a few wee changes to it to fit my observations…click me web to see/hear. BEWARE: Stark Parody Ensues…..

  • http://Website Cathy Hathaway

    Much appreciation for this explanation about and history of mantras.

    • ZibeMac


  • Libby Creagh

    Thank you, Ram Dass! You were my first teacher of Mantra through your book “Be Here Now,” and your words continue to inspire my practice!

  • Michael Contos

    “Lord have Mercy; Christ have Mercy” has gotten me through so much for so little that I nominate it for an Academy Award for Best Mantra by a Greek boy praying to Jehovah and dancing a mean Sufi dervish whirl to reveal his Buddha nature before Krishna and Arjuna.
    Did I leave anybody out?

  • Jane Jones

    “Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram….”

  • Adelia Sylvia Penna Ramos


  • Guest

    The most magical, perfect timing on this excerpt. I am preparing to go on a juicing fast, and am told that my anxiety will be high, as I will not be eating to distract myself from it.
    Now to figure out how to “stream’ the book.

  • Pingback: 5 Steps to Increase Your: Can Do : QSELFCARE

  • Gypsy yogi

    I have tried several times to donate to you in an ongoing way and cannot get by the PayPal sign in. I cannot use PayPal and would rather use my debit card, please. Can you tell me how to get my debit card to register? I’d love to be sending $9.00 each month. Wish I could do more and maybe some day……..but for now I’d love to send you $9.00 monthly. Help me. Namaste’ and Blessings. xoxo :)

  • Gypsy yogi

    Also, I just got your book at a workshop in Asheville with Sharon Salzberg and as usual <3 it! I have a complete library of your writings, Ram Dass, save for those I have loaned out for the greater good. You were my first inspiration back in 1971 and continue to inform my practice with wisdom you keep accumulating through your own practice. So nice to continue on this path with you walk-rolling. xoxo :)

  • NoWhiteGenocide

    It’s hard to see White GENOCIDE when you’re an anti-White.

    So let me put it this way: if ALL Black countries and ONLY black countries were being FORCED to “assimilate” with a flood of non-blacks, until there would be no more Black countries, the genocide would be obvious.

    Yet this is exactly what is happening to ALL the White countries and ONLY the White countries. It’s genocide, straight up, through social engineering.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White

    • Mark G.

      I read things like this, and my heart hurts. You should try love instead of thinking in terms of race. Your fear is what perpetuates all the hate in the world. Make no mistake, you are a racist. Why you are using Ram Dass’s website to make a hateful point is beyond me. Maybe you’re tired of your friends who agree and you need the rest of the world to see it your way…. I pray for you, and hope you come to the light, which ALL people will return to, regardless of what “color” they were manifested as in this lifetime.

  • Pingback: Mantras (Excerpt from "Polishing the Mirror") | New World Kirtan

  • Pingback: Mantras – Ram Dass | Neonsheela's Blog

  • Shiva Murti

    Ram Dass, what is the point of teaching people to hypnotize themselves with mantras, No one, not one has ever became aware thru mantras. Seems you are only a businessman these days

  • Shiva Murti

    Ram Dass, using Ram, let’s see, Ram kills his mother because his paranoid father is thinking she is having a affair, and Ram is a good son, so mom is killed. Now supposedly Ram’s mother is having a affair with a warrior, you will notice no one confronts the warrior directly, that would take courage. So after killing his own mother, Ram creates a war and sends all the warriors into battle so that the warrior will be killed, so 100,000 men die so that Ram and his father are avenged. All this because of the possibility of a woman seeking love outside of a “marriage” with a unloving husband, who had raised a unloving son.

    Do you ever tell your followers how many 100′s of miilions of Hindu woman are put to death under its strange marriage laws, do you tell them about culturally enforced deprivation of human rights under Hinduism,,


  • Chris Phillips


  • Barry Jeffers

    Please send $1008.00 to me. I do not desire more. Address upon request.

  • Cathy A.J. Hardy

    this is a prayer adapted from the Celtic tradition that has been my anchor for 16 years: I bind my mind to the mind of Christ, I bind my heart to the Love of God, I bind my feet to the path the Spirit is guiding me into.