Join the 2020 New Year’s Mantram Relay


For the past two years on the first day of January, passage meditators around the world have worked together to usher in the New Year with a full 24 hours of mantram practice. This collective effort to keep the mantram going continuously around the clock, repeating it silently with full concentration, creates a powerful force for peace and healing in the world.

A major climate and environmental emergency is now confronting us. In times of great crisis throughout the ages, the mystics of all traditions have appealed to their students to call out to the Lord for help with all their heart. We do this by repeating the mantram.

Repetition of the mantram is the second point in Easwaran’s eight-point program of passage meditation. The practice of repeating a mantram has been used by people all over the world from different wisdom traditions and for thousands of years. Gandhi called this powerful spiritual tool “the staff of life.”

Read on to learn more about the mantram, find out how to participate on January 1, 2020, and learn how this can launch you on a year of deeper spiritual practice.

Repetition of a Mantram

Easwaran describes the power of the mantram in The Mantram Handbook:

“The mantram is the living symbol of the profoundest reality that the human being can conceive of, the highest power that we can respond to and love. When we repeat the mantram in our mind, we are reminding ourselves of this supreme reality enshrined in our hearts. It is only natural that the more we repeat the mantram, the deeper it will sink into our consciousness. As it goes deeper, it will strengthen our will, heal the old divisions in our consciousness that now cause us conflict and turmoil, and give us access to deeper resources of strength, patience, and love, to work for the benefit of all.”

Easwaran’s instructions in choosing and using a mantram are clear and straightforward. The mantram is most powerful when used in combination with meditation on a passage and as part of Easwaran’s eight-point program, but mantram repetition is a very accessible spiritual practice which can be used by anyone, whether or not you are practicing passage meditation. Easwaran also recommends the mantram as a valuable support to children.

If you aren’t familiar with Easwaran’s instructions, or have any questions about your current use of the mantram, here are some resources to support you:

  • The Mantram: This resource page contains basic instructions from Easwaran as well as links to longer articles and videos, a list of recommended mantrams, and FAQs.
  • Resources for Using the Mantram With Children: If you have an established mantram practice, this page offers resources for sharing the mantram with children in your life.

New Year’s Mantram Relay

“Prayer from the heart really means prayer from the depths of the unconscious – not oral prayer, but prayer without words. When prayer arises from the depths of the unconscious like this, tremendous forces – life forces that operate beneath our fragmented, superficial, egocentric awareness – are touched and moved and brought into action. These eternal laws, which are as operative as the law of gravity, open their doors to those who have no personal irons in the fire, who don’t seek any profit or prestige but depend entirely upon the Lord.”
 – Eknath Easwaran

Peace for 2018: The New Year’s Mantram Relay

Learn more about the first mantram relay and hear from participants.

On January 1, 2020 we invite you to join with others around the world to start the New Year with a concerted effort to repeat your mantram as much as possible. Whether you’d like to take extended time writing the mantram, silently repeating the mantram while sitting quietly, or taking a mantram walk, you can choose which activity would work best for you.

As a symbol of our unity in this spiritual action, many members of the BMCM community will sign up for a 30-minute slot and pledge to repeat their mantram with as much concentration as possible during that time. If this is appealing to you, we invite you to sign up for a half-hour time slot. Feel free to sign up for two slots if you’d like to repeat your mantram for a longer period.

Sign Up for the 2020 New Year's Mantram Relay

Sign up for a 30-minute slot on January 1, 2020.

This event is open to anyone who already has a mantram practice, or to anyone who would like to try repeating the mantram. If you have a family member or friend whom you’d like to share the experience with, you can use the mantram resources at the top of the story to help them choose a mantram and then invite them to join in!

Just the Beginning

January 1st is just one day, but our Mantram Relay is intended to give us all a powerful spiritual start to 2020. This joint effort with spiritual aspirants around the world will help us usher in the new year with our highest ideals at the forefront of our mind, and inspire us to deepen our practice sincerely and systematically throughout the year, guiding us in our efforts to help the world.

We'll leave you with this inspiration from Easwaran from his book Compassionate Universe:

Many mystics have compared the gradual awakening of spiritual awareness to an approaching dawn. If you take up this great adventure of meditation, I am sure you too will come to know what it is like to look into a dark sky and see the first glimmers of a light you thought you would never see again, to hear the birds begin to sing, to feel the kind of intoxicating joy that overwhelmed me when I first saw the gates opening for a fuller, richer, deeper, harder life, dedicated to the service of my highest ideals – not in heaven but right here on earth.

I was particularly fond of poetry in those days, and I had a passion for the beauty of nature. Every summer, when the university was on vacation, I went to stay with my mother at our little bungalow on the Blue Mountain, high above the hot, dusty plains and far from the hectic rounds of academic life. At that point in my life, I would have assured you that I knew what beauty was; I drank from its wellsprings every day. But as my meditation deepened, I was amazed to find a new world opening up before me. At times it seemed that every tree I looked at had leaves that shone; every stream rushing down the hillside glittered with a brilliant light I had not seen in all my poetic observation. The birds’ songs had become so beautiful that I felt I was hearing them not just with my ears but with my whole being. I remember thinking to myself, where have these wonderful birds come from?

In particular, I recall one day when I had just arrived for the summer, and saw the two jacaranda trees that stood in front of our home. I had seen them often, of course. They bloomed each year in mid-April, and my mother always said it was because her boy was coming home. But that day their blossoms were transfigured. In the early morning light they sparkled like so many vibrant jewels.

Suddenly I realized that what had changed was not outside in the trees and streams and birds, but inside me. As the mystics say, I was seeing the world by the light within. Through years of dedicated endeavor, the lamp had been lit in the depths of my consciousness, and all of nature had assumed an indescribable splendor. I recalled another stanza of Wordsworth’s poignant poem – lines that evoke all the beauty of this compassionate universe and all the tragedy of lost ideals. When I had taught that poem to my students only a few months before, I had not understood what I was teaching:

The rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare; 
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

That morning on the Blue Mountain, I understood. Through my grandmother’s grace, I had recaptured that glory, and it would never leave me. From the jacaranda blossoms on the Blue Mountain to the birds and seals on the farthest shore of the Pacific Ocean, the entire world had been placed in my hands. It was mine to love, to protect, and then to pass on – a little greener and more peaceful than I had found it – to another generation.

May you too recapture that glory – it belongs to you as it belongs to every human being – and may you light the world with it.