One calming word

Written by Suraj Shah, inspired by greatness.

What one word will always fill you with calm?

We live in a busy world, with much to do, many people to see, multiple personalities to deal with and of course money to make.

In itself all that can be the cause of enough stress, but adding on the curve-balls that life throws us (health issues, someone close to us passing away, a fire at home, etc), it can really knock the wind out of us.

We get frazzled, overwhelmed, panicky and desperate.  We struggle to breathe, to think clearly, to talk or perhaps even eat.

During an overwhelmingly turbulent day, just one word is all it may take to bring peace to our minds.

The power of just one word

My friend Sharan (her name means ‘shelter’) recently introduced me to a marvellous word from the Sikh tradition:

“Waheguru” (pronounced waa-hee-gu-ru)

One way to translate it is if we break it down: “Wahe” means wonderful, awe inspiring Divine Force, “Gu” means spiritual darkness and “Ru” is the ray of light, brought to eliminate the darkness.  So “Waheguru” translates to “A Divine Light eliminating spiritual darkness”.

From my perspective, this one word takes on multiple additional meanings which all contribute to calmness:

  • One God (i.e. I see God in everything): God is within me and in everything around me – I have nothing to fear or lose.
  • Wonderful Lord: A deep appreciation for the qualities and virtues of God.  It is an affirmation of sorts, like reciting “Amen!”  This genuine appreciation of virtues would help to cultivate these same qualities within me.
  • Surrendering thoughts, words and actions to Guru: The fortunate position that this moment presents me with is all down to the compassion of a great being.  So let me bow to his greatness, let go of my negative emotions, and appropriately respond to the situation I’m in.

“Waheguru” is a word that my friend recites daily, in the morning and the evening, commuting to work and back home, and any other opportunity that she gets.  Her grandma even uses it as a greeting towards other people.  Many others in her community do the same.  You may consider it a relaxing soothing meditation mantra (YouTube link).

This one word “Waheguru” could set you up for the day, give you bouts of strength and equanimity throughout the day, helps you reintegrate with family life after work, and then helps leave all the problems of the day behind as you gently drift off to sleep.  How wonderful indeed!

There are numerous phrases from other faiths, religions and traditions that bring about a similar sense of balance and peace.

What is your one word or phrase that consistently brings an immediate calm to any turbulent day?

On Google+, share your one calming word as well as your own thoughts on the above.