Mantras are the sacred formula which in India, China and Tibet are learnt by heart for meditation. This book, written by a specialist on Buddhism with many years’ experience in the practice of contemplative yoga, provides an overview of this secular practice in order to reassign it to its true context. Mantras are neither magical invocations or superstitious practices, they instead form part of a mystic approach ultimately aiming to bring about union with the ultimate Source. Having detailed the story of his initiation into the practice of mantras, the author analyses their function through the example of the contemplation of Yidam, the divinity which will invoke the adept. A number of mantras are then presented, such as the mantras of support, those of the transmuted word, the mantra of wisdom and of knowing, that of purification... The author lastly turns to the nature and the power of mantras. Mantras are not solely tones, they also have shapes and colours, which are the product of the psychic, emotional and spiritual energy of all adepts who have meditated on them over the centuries. For John Blofeld, their power does not therefore not lie in their actual sound but in the archetypal sound which they represent. It is the belief in their effectiveness that imbues most mantras with power, their recital releasing hitherto undiscovered psychic forces within the user.