Who uses it: Meditators, particularly Hindus and Buddhists
What it means: A simple prayer, often a single word repeated, that helps the meditator focus his or her spiritual intentions.
How you can use it: To describe anything you keep repeating.
Top three things Jen heard yesterday when we were at the skating rink, with all the kids who had the day off from school:
1. "I know how to skate."
2. "I'm not cold."
3. "I'm Spiderman."
"Actually, it works as a mantra, if you say those three things together," Jen said. I agreed, wobbling on the ice behind her.
Today I'm off to Lowell, Mass., for the New England Crime Bake. It's the beginning of a trip that will keep me on the road until the 21st, and the only reliable way to reach me during this time will be e-mail. I'll check in daily...