A mantra is a word or phrase repeated over and over again during meditation while moving your mala gently through your fingers. Repetition of the mantra will both help you focus and quieten the 'monkey mind' and can also encourage positive energy in your life. It is recommended that you stay with the same mantra for an extended period of time for it's energy to grow, though you may find that to begin with you try a few different ones before settling upon one that feels good to you.
If you have not been assigned a mantra by a teacher it is ok to change your mantra after a period of time if it no longer serves you. Some people (myself inclued) like to meditate with more than one mantra (usually for different energetic reasons in life - some days meditating on confidence and energy, and other days meditating on peace and calm). If this is the case you may wish to have different malas (with associated gemstones to the mantra) to differenciate the practice and not dilute the effectiveness of your mantra on the mala as the energetic effect is cumulative. By keeping one mantra to one mala, you will maintain a clear message whenever you're wearing it.
Choosing your mantra:
The language of your mantra is entirely up to you - Sanskrit, English, Spanish or anything else will work. I belive that picking a mantra doesn't have to be complicated - it should be something that speaks to you, that you find calming and positive.
Sit in a quiet place in a comfortable position (either on a chair or on your meditation seat). Take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and take a few moments to become clear on what your intention is. Use your intuition more than your intellect! Remember there is no 'wrong' decision here, you can always change if the one you pick first doesn't feel right after a few sessions.
Below are some suggestions for mantras, pick and choose one or two that speak to you and see which feels best. Once you find one that feels good, practice with it for a prolonged period of time.
I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.
I am enough, I have enough.
I am exactly where I need to be right now
I am love
I am open to abundance
I am strong, courageous, capable and creative
All is well, I am happy and pleased
I feel peaceful, my peaceful state encourages peace around me
I am optimistic, I look to my future with hope and peace in my heart
I choose my thoughts
With time and effort I will achieve
I am couragous
I radiate beuaty, charm and grace
I feel joy and contentment
I am unshakable
I trust myself
I am confident
I am capable
I am enough
I feel energetic and alive
Om ~ The OM Mantra is often used as the focus of meditation as it's believed to be the primordial sound from which all creation arose, connecting us to all that is.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu ~ May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all
Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha ~ Om and salutations to Ganesha, the remover of all obstacles. May I be blessed with good luck, success, knowledge and wisdom.
Om Hum Hanumate Namaha ~ Om and salutations to Hanuman, the embodiment of pure devotion. May I be blessed with victory, success, strength, stamina and power.
Om Kali Ma ~ Om and salutations to the goddess of time, death and change. May my inner demons of ego and ignorance be destroyed so that I may progress along my spiritual path
Om Namah Shivaya ~ Om and salutations to Shiva, the bestower of inner strength, fearlessness, detachment and pure consciousness..
So Ham (often pronounced “So Hum”) ~ “I am THAT”. It is suggested to use “So” on inhale, “Ham” on exhale.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti ~ Om followed by peace of mind, peace of body, and peace of speech.