Mantras for Old Age
We all need mantras. Little repetitive vocalizations that help us retain or attain moments of zen in our busy lives.
Trust me. No one needs them more than senior citizens.
I turned sixty years old in 2018, and I must say, life has gotten a little more complex since then. Or maybe you hadn’t noticed. If that’s the case, check your pulse. You might be dead.
So I have come up with some mantras for the over sixty set. Vocalizations you can use, hopefully in a resonant, Buddhist Monk/Orthodox Catholic chant voice, whenever you are feeling stressed or find yourself having another senior moment.
If your household includes a lovely gong and you have a helpful partner, you might recruit them to strike the gong in unison with your mantra-ing. Having neither, I never tried this but it seems like it would certainly have a relaxing effect.
So, here are a few of my mantras:
The Better Pee first mantra
This is the travelling mantra, but could also be the going to bed mantra, the going out to the garden mantra, the answering the door mantra. Because wherever you are going, you had better pee first.
Walking the dog?/Better Pee First. Going to the store?/Better Pee First. Just checked in for your appointment and waiting for the nurse?/Better Pee first. Getting on an airplane?/Better Pee First…several times.
Unlike most mantras, Better Pee First is task related and thus has practical as well as spiritual benefits.
While more of a reminder than a meditation practice, the old man and I have found this practice to be extremely beneficial to our comfort, well being and peace of mind.
This mantra has a golden aura.
The Representative mantra.
This is the business call mantra. Anytime you have to attend to business on the phone and are hoping to speak to a real person, you will want to use this mantra.
Need to sign into your online account but can’t remember your user name and/or password? Need assistance with a purchased product or service? Try the Representative mantra.
Pick up the phone, dial the customer service number it took you forty five minutes to find, and immediately begin chanting: Rep-pre-sent-ta-tive.
Repeat for the entire duration of the recorded voice portion of the call. If you are very, very lucky, you will be chanting it at just the right moment to actually get the bastards to connect you to a live person. (Who may or may not “accidentally” disconnect you) and who will always disappoint you with their response (after waiting so long to get connected that you’ll wish you had used the Better Pee First mantra before ever even picking up the phone.)
This mantra has a green aura because green is the opposite of red, the color of your face due to the rise in your blood pressure, thanks to the hoops you had to jump through to get to where you are right now…which is nowhere.
The Why Am I Here mantra.
This is the mantra that will feel the most familiar to you. It is the WTF am I doing here? mantra. You will use it repeatedly throughout the day as you go about your business.
Whenever you walk into a room, open a cabinet door or a drawer, reach into your purse or your pocket, or find yourself moving with purpose through space for no apparent reason, use this mantra.
It is especially helpful to stop where you are, assume mountain pose, with hands at prayer position, and begin chanting Why Am I Here as soon as you realize you have no fecking idea what you were doing when you headed in this particular direction, and BEFORE you begin back tracking to your last position to try and jog your memory. It will save you energy and stave off the mounting frustration you feel when you realize that you have been wandering around opening random drawers and pacing through every room in the house for an hour, and have accomplished absolutely nothing. Before you know it, you will be so Zen, you really won’t give a shit anymore.
This mantra has a lovely purple aura. Purple is the color of change. Your mind is changing. Brain cells are dying. Deal with it.
Our next mantra is a multiple choice mantra!
The Where’s my Phone, Keys, Glasses, Husband, Car, Dog, Cat, Pearl Necklace…whatever! mantra.
This mantra is similar to the Why am I Here mantra, as you will want to use it when you have lost something (other than your way in life, which is best addressed by a member of clergy). And, this mantra can, theoretically, help recruit family, friends and even kind strangers to assist you in finding your lost object!
Can’t find your purse? Can’t find your keys? Can’t find your glasses? Hat, Husband, Dog, Cat?
(Insert your own favorite lost item for a uniquely personal experience!)
Stop. Assume Mountain Pose. Hands in Prayer Position. Open your lips. Breath in. Breath Out.
Then shout at the top of your lungs: Where’s my car? (or whatever it is this time) and wait for someone to run up and offer assistance. (Which rarely happens because kind strangers don’t exist, nobody cares and your loved ones are sick and tired of you losing shit and will avoid helping you, for as long as they can, just to spite you.)
But give it a shot anyways.
And then, quietly, calmly, and without malice towards the unhelpful strangers and spiteful relatives, begin your chanting as you run around like a chicken without a head searching for your lost item.
Thought: Wouldn’t universal GPS be helpful? I don’t care if an embedded micro chip will let “them” see that I’ve been to the grocery store three times today or spent an hour running around the house looking for lost shit. Make me a micro chip that will find my stuff, Intel, wherever it is, and my sleeve’s already rolled up. For now, I’ve got a mantra.
The wonderful thing about this mantra is that it always works. Eventually.
In time, and after frantic searching, (but hey, you’re used to it by now), you will find your purse, keys, glasses etc. and they will always be there, where ever you left them. Eventually, you will be there, too, and tears of joy will flow from your eyes over the relief you experience from being reunited with your precious and necessary stuff. (Disclaimer: Does not apply to husbands and dogs.)
This mantra is a little tricky though, because sometimes things really do get lost and no amount of JuJu magic will bring them back. I am convinced that this has nothing to do with old age and more to do with gremlins, thieves, or black holes. Cause I’ve been losing shit all my life.
This mantra has a deep, dark black aura, the color of a black hole in space whose gravitational pull is all powerful, completely unavoidable, and ultimately fatal. Just like old age.
So, there you have it. A few choice mantras for those of us who need a little more Zen in our lives as we continue on our long journeys. I hope that you found this helpful, that you will begin your own practice, and drop me a line letting me know how things are going for you. And if you have any mantras of your own, why not share them in the comments.
May the Zen you share come back to you one hundred fold.
*copyright 8/18/2022 by Ilona Elliott