Mantra Meditation and Social Work Practice

“Sattva” means “goodness”, or “enlightenment”, in the ancient Sanskrit language, and “tov” means pretty much the same thing, in Biblical Hebrew. Thus, through the programs of Satvatove Institute we endeavor to bring goodness, enlightenment, and self-realization to individuals, communities, and the world. The English word “mind” is derived from the Sanskrit “manah”, which is the basis of the first syllable of “mantra”. “Tra” indicates to free, or to liberate. Thus, a genuine mantra is sound vibration that liberates the mind from entanglement in illusion, in matter, and moves the self towards itself in self-discovery. Mantra chanting is a primary means for cultivating sattvic consciousness, and, amongst many mantras, the ancient Vedas recommend the Maha Mantra as a most powerful method for achieving self-realization, especially in the current age, called Kali-yuga.

My doctoral dissertation, first published in 1999, is entitled Effects of the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra on Stress, Depression, and the Three Gunas. The Florida chapter of the National Association of Social Workers invited me to conduct a keynote workshop at its annual conference, in Orlando, on June 14th, 2019. The workshop was entitled Mantra Meditation and Social Work Practice. I later heard that it was amongst the most well-attended workshops at the conference.

I explained to the participants some of the fundamentals of the philosophy, history and practice of mantra chanting. This presentation was based on Vedic authority, as given in the teachings of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and on the research and publications that solidly establish Maha Mantra chanting as evidence-based practice, for medical, social service, and mental health practitioners. Then we (Marie Glasheen was there, assisting with this workshop) distributed japa beads and taught everyone to chant Hare Krsna Maha Mantra japa. Then we all chanted a round of Hare Krsna Maha Mantra japa in unison. After that experience, the transformation of consciousness in the room was palpable, stunning. For the final 45 minutes or so the participants excitedly shared their experience and asked highly intelligent, stimulating questions, about taking the practice into their lives, and utilizing it with their clients.

You can read more about stress management through mantra chanting HERE

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