New Year's blues? Try chanting this mantra...

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First, though, look out the window. If you are in the Northeast, you are probably staring at all kinds of beautiful new snow. So white and quiet. Just those lovely grey blue shadows as the sun finally appears and throws a blanket of light over the rounded mounds of powder.

The fluffy drifts in the yard here in upstate New York have me thinking about lying down and making angels. And about snow power. Did you ever consider the fact that snowflakes -- millions and millions of them, no two alike -- weigh next to nothing, one by one. But then it takes a two-ton plow to push the white stuff aside once they gather.

Curiously, the Buddhists call the most important energy center in the body the SNOW MOUNTAIN AREA. To locate it, try this. Imagine a line running from your navel to the small of your back. Travel in your mind's eye a third of the way back along this horizontal line and than drop down a couple of inches. This is the area of the body known as the "life gate." The four most important pathways of chi in the body converge here. Yogis refer to the energy in this part of the body as kundalini.

Why do the Buddhists envision this spot as a snow-covered mountain? I don't know.

Taoists I think have a better image: a Golden Urn.

To me it is more of a burning caldron. Or perhaps a pearly blue green bath, bubbling up out of the abdomen.

Anyway, I have a book to recommend. It's called Power Healing by Dr. Zhi Gang Sha, a doctor who has spent his entire life studying the healing powers of traditional Chinese medicine. In this book, Dr. Sha prescribes dozens and dozens of mantras that are key to self -healing. Dr. Sha believes (and he sure isn't alone in this way of thinking) that you can improve the health of your mind and body by chanting mantras. I think he's right. Or at least I look at it this way, it can't hurt to chant mantras.

You can't believe how many mantras there are, for good health. For good spirit. For rejuvenating the energy pathways in the body. To stay healthy, or to return to good health.

There are mantras for the Snow Mountain Area, and the other energy centers in the body.

And there many many other mantras.

So as we start a New Year, I offer you a very simple mantra. The one I provide here is, according to Dr. Sha, "one of the most powerful mantras throughout China's history."

Here you go: ling gwang pu zhao.

Before you chant, think about totally relaxing your body. Assume the appropriate attitude. As the book suggests, "Be respectful, very sincere, and honored to chant."

Then as you say the words, think about what you are saying:

Ling: "soul world
Guang: "light"
Pu: "widely"
Zhao: "shining."

Ling guang pu zhao: "The light of the soul world widely shines and blesses."

You can say the mantra either out loud or to yourself. You can add specific requests within the mantra.

Ling guang pu zhao. Ling guang pu zhao. Ling guang pu zhao. "Could you help me and bless me (here ask for health and blessings for yourself and other people as well.)

Then end your mantra by saying, "hao, hao, hao." Thank you thank you thank you.

Repeat the mantra as often as you can, as many times a day as you can. Feel the power of the words as they vibrate in your head.

And no, you don't have to be at home to do it. At work, instead of taking a coffee break, take a mantra break.

Wherever you are, if you find yourself feeling a post-holiday low, or if you are despairing over some loss or disappointment, or if you just want to feel better, try saying the mantra. Ask for a blessing.

Ask for your life, and your loved ones, to be bathed in light, just like that sunlight sparkling on the snow.

May you have great health and blessings, every day, all year long. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!