Nithya Shanti says: This Helps

Nithya Shanti

Introducing the latest in my interviews to celebrate the release of What Helps: Sixty Slogans to Live By – today with spiritual teacher Nithya Shanti. We’ll begin with Nithya’s:


Here are three of my favorite mantras. They have been a source of countless blessings in my life and I have enjoyed sharing them with many friends over the years.

1) Cancel – Cancel is a powerful antidote to all virus thoughts and beliefs. Every time I notice a low quality thought or perception, such as “That is too difficult” or “I can’t do it”, I inwardly say the mantra “Cancel!”. Most people, when they first learn this mantra, are astonished by how many times they end up saying it in a day. Saying it a few hundred times is not uncommon! The good news is that in a few weeks they find that virus thoughts decrease and they have to say it less and less, eventually cancelling the cancel, and only using it occasionally when a stray limiting thought arises. The reason “Cancel!” works is because it makes us vigilant towards our own thoughts and teaches us not to believe everything we think or what we hear from others. Cancel also reveals to us how “Mind” is short for “Mostly Inaccurate Neuro-Drama” and makes us more conscious of our thought patterns.

2) How Wonderful – No matter what happens I like to say “How wonderful!”. It is an affirmation that there is always something to be thankful for in any situation and the understanding that there are no mistakes in the universe. The more we use this mantra, the more we find that everything happens at the right time and even seemingly unpleasant situations resolve themselves into great blessings. When people first use this mantra it is common for them to wonder if they are simply fooling themselves. However, those who persist understand the twin principles that “What we think about, and thank about, is brought about” and “What the thinker thinks, the prover proves”.

3) Rule # 6 – This is a delightful rule I learned from Benjamin Zander. It means “Don’t take life so-ooo seriously!”. Rule # 6 is a great reminder that there is no evidence that life is serious. For all we know we are the unwitting actors in a great cosmic comedy. Everyone else is laughing while we are lamenting and crying. This unique rule reminds us not to take things so-ooo seriously, and also not to take ourselves so-ooo seriously and learn to laugh more. Not taking seriously means we approach things with a more lighthearted and playful attitude. It is about welcoming all of life with a cheerful trusting disposition. Just like we laugh about the difficult times in school when we meet our classmates at a reunion, we will probably laugh at our current challenges from a wiser and broader perspective a few decades from now. Rule # 6 invites us not to wait for a few decades and to laugh now! People sometimes ask what are the other rules and why it is called Rule # 6? The answer is “Sorry, there are no other rules! Please don’t take life so-ooo seriously”

These three mantras are the practical distillation of deep wisdom and timeless principles of conscious living. If you say them long enough you will find they start to be a part of you. They are a powerful solvent that help to dissolve negative, anxious and stale attitudes and beliefs.

There are three amazing outcomes that are immediately accessible to those who use these mantras. I call them CFD, GFD and JFD. CFD means to have a “Complaint Free Day”. GFD means to have a “Gratitude Filled Day”. Finally, JFD means to have a “Joy Filled Day”.

Eventually these mantras and the principles they represent enable us to lead a CFL, GFL and JFL. Which as you can guess means a “Complaint Free Life”, “Gratitude Filled Life”, and a “Joy Filled Life”. May you benefit from these mantras as I have and share them with your loved ones.

To answer your questions more specifically:

What slogan helps you?
I shared three I use above a lot. I actually have a collection of about 30 I use fairly regularly. That’s a conversation for another day! These days I use “All is Source” as a reminder that everything is sacred and one and Divine and empty at the same time. For the following questions, I will answer for the slogan “How Wonderful!”

How does this slogan help you?
It helps me by immediately bringing up a combination of cheerful acceptance and gratefulness with a touch of humor and light heartedness!

How have you seen this slogan help others?
I have shared it many thousands of people and they love it! It is often the thing they remember and use most often of all the things I teach and share. For example, a friend missed his flight and before he could be overwhelmed with anxiety he said “How Wonderful!” This completely shifted his attitude to seeing all the possibilities in the situation: The airline was putting him on the next flight, he had money to get food at the airport, he had fully charged devices to get some work done, etc.

What else helps you when you feel stuck, when you are suffering, or when you are in need of inspiration?
When I am stuck, these days I use the following questions: “Who is experiencing all this?” To which I check in and answer, “I Am!” And then I ask, “Who is experiencing the I Am?” To which there is no longer any answer – just an exquisite alert silence. I rest in this silence for as long as possible. This helps me unhook from most things that bother me.

What advice do you need to remind yourself of the most often?
The advice I remind myself most often is that the central aim I have dedicated myself to in is self-realization / awakening / enlightenment. So whatever happens is in service of that. The obstacle IS the path. When strong, serve, when weak, surrender!

Nithya Shanti is an internationally respected spiritual teacher, seminar leader and educator, committed to sharing practical wisdom teachings for happiness and awakening with people in a joyful and transformational way.
Despite having a promising career in the corporate sector, Nithya was drawn to pursue his spiritual quest further. In 2002, he ordained as a Buddhist Monk. After six years of living in monasteries, he was guided to live, learn and serve in broader ways than the traditional role of a monk permitted. He stepped out of the robes in early 2008 and now shares inspiring teachings in Happiness Joyshops, youth programs, corporate trainings and meditation retreats around the world.

Read the other This Helps interviews as they appear here. These interviews are in celebration of my new book, ‘What Helps: Sixty Slogans to Live By‘.

One thought on “Nithya Shanti says: This Helps”

  1. Thank you. Most interesting. I have also read the mantra “change” to use when toxic thoughts arise. Very similar to “cancel”

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