- (originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.
- late 18th century: Sanskrit, literally ‘a thought, thought behind speech or action,’ from man- ‘think,’ related to mind.
Mantra: Sounds into Silence is an inspirational documentary, there is no doubt about that. In this current day and age, where racism and violence appear to be the norm on TV, where a President can literally support Neo-Nazis and get away with it, and mass shootings are as common as Snapchat dog-filters on Tinder profiles, it’s clear this world needs some calm right now. Whether this is your spiritual cup-of-tea or not, it’s still certainly an insightful and interesting movie, and something that we can all learn from.
The documentary walks you through the various back-stories of the people that were guided towards this type of lifestyle and meditation. It is deeply entwined with yoga (different types, e.g. Kundalini Yoga, Bhakti Yoga), and all of these people appear to have self-reflected and realised that there was something missing in their lives. This void was filled by mantras and the spiritual lifestyle that came with it.
It is absolutely fascinating and uplifting to watch people so passionate and changed by such seemingly simple actions. I think, for me, the documentary did its job: I’ll certainly be looking into this a lot more.
Praises aside, though, I would say that it could have also been a little bit more informational, as opposed to purely inspirational. I understand that this is a piece that is supposed to pique people’s interests, and from there on, they can do their own research. Nevertheless, it would have been useful to dive a little more into the basics of mantras: how exactly did they come to be; what is the importance of language in mantras (some people prefer to chant mantras in their own language…does this change anything? What is the significance of language and phonetics?); what is the basic religious belief behind mantras/is there one single belief, or are there multiple; how can the average 9-5 worker incorporate this into their life?
As already mentioned, the documentary was moving and insightful, nevertheless. Some things can’t be squeezed into a movie, and I understand that. I applaud the producers, and definitely encourage people to watch this. Mantras are an amazing practice that anyone can benefit from, and in this day-and-age, it’s time to start sharing different ways of raising our consciousness and awareness.
Mantra: Sounds into Silence opens at Laemmle Monica Film Center in Santa Monica, CA, Friday, April 6th through Thursday, April 12th, and then it will be shown at the Boedecker Theater, Dairy Arts Center in Boulder, CO from April 18th through the 24th.