Mantra is often translated as ‘that which liberates, or frees the mind.’ Another interesting interpretation is ‘that which protects the mind.’ This fits with the new spirituality that says we don’t have to escape thoughts, that it’s ok to have thoughts…it’s human to think.
To protect the mind means we gently and lovingly feed it the mantra and allow our thoughts to be nourished by it…like a spiritual vitamin! Mantras can soothe, warm, relax, and plant seeds in our consciousness that grow us into greater alignment. Doing this for ourselves is an act of self-love. By practicing mantra repetition we gently keep guiding the mind back to the sound, thereby still allowing mind to come up, while protecting it from feeding back on itself (ruminating).
Coming back to the mantra is like finding an island in the middle of the ocean, or seeing the sun come up after a storm. We learn to stay with the ground, the light, the warmth, the faith, the love, the life force, the sense of protection. We merge with that and carry it out into the world knowingly or unknowingly allowing others to feel it.