Mantra Meditation

Mantra meditation originated in ancient India. A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated for a specific effect. A mantra provides a focus for the mind while meditating. The human voice is a powerful instrument for healing and transformation. Sanskrit mantras are energy-based sounds that can bring us to a higher level of consciousness. These sacred sounds of power vibrate throughout the body. Sound travels efficiently through water. The human body is over 70% water, an excellent conductor for sound and vibration.

“These ancient sounds create energy vibrations that can replace negative energy with positive ones. When chanting Sanskrit mantras, the chanter benefits from thousands of years of powerful energy accumulated from the Divine and from the millions of devoted chanters.” ~ Thomas Ashley-Farrand

Mantra repetition can quiet the mind, and help bring about positive changes within. Mantra meditation is easily practiced anywhere. When your mantra is repeated mentally, no one can see what you are doing. When feeling stress, a few moments of mantra meditation can bring clarity and peace to the mind. Also, repetiting your mantra can calm the mind, and relax the body to invite a peaceful sleep.

It is recommended to choose a main mantra that you truely identify with and never to change it. While you may want to try various mantras for changing situations, one mantra should remain sacred to you, one that stays with you always. As you continue the repetiion through the days, months, and years of your life, the pathways of identification run deeper into the brain and infuse your consciousness. You actually become what you think.

Choose your main mantra with care. You can choose a name for God as your Mantra from whatever religious tradition fits your beliefs. This experience leads you to a deeper understanding of yourself and God. The OM Mantra is widely used as the focus of meditation. It is believed to be the primordial sound from which all creation arose, connecting us to all that is. (Ideas for choosing a Mantra at the bottom of this page.)

Other than your main Mantra, you can work with various other mantras to help in different situations, much like affirmations. Repeating a desired quality helps to bring that quality deeper within.
As with many other methods of meditation, take a comfortable, upright seat where you will not be disturbed. Begin centering yourself with a few deep breaths and relax your mind and body. Take aout 5 minutes to repeat your mantra with sincerity, devotion, feeling, and full attention. The two key ingredients for using mantra for positive change are repetition and belief. It is said that a mantra must be repeated over 100,00 times to be effective. It is also very important to deeply feel and believe what you are saying. When we allow ourselves to feel it, the connections vibrate through our entire being.

Mantra with Beads: 
Meditation can difficult because the mind tends to wander. Meditation beads can be used as an anchor to help keep the mind focussed. A mala is a rosary of eastern origin, a string of 108 beads. The mala has one bead larger than the others, called a summit bead, which marks the beginning and the end practice. Mala beads are commonly made of natural materials such as wood, seeds, bone, or precious stones.

1) Find a quiet place where you wont be disturbed and get comfortable, sitting in an upright position.
2) Take a few deep breaths, relax the body and the mind
3) Beginning with the summit bead, continue around the string until you reach the summit again. The summit bead is not passed, instead, if one wishes to continue further, the mala is turned and followed in the opposite direction.
4) Hold the mala in the right hand. Hang the mala on the middle finger. Use the thumb to rotate each bead toward you with each mantra. The index finger, which symbolizes the ego, should not touch the mala.
5) Repeat the chosen mantra while holding the first bead, let the thumb move each bead in rythm with each mantra. The mantra can be said silently or allowed.

Mantras to Try: 
Choose a mantra that speaks to you. These are just a few of the many mantras available. You can also make your own mantra. Decide if you are choosing your main mantra (usually chosen for lifetime use) or simply a mantra to address an issue or attract a quality for the moment.

Here are some examples of spiritual mantras:
1) The OM (or AUM) Mantra is widely used as the focus of meditation. It is believed to be the primordial sound from which all creation arose. It connects us to all that is. (Listen to the Om chant at the bottom of this page)
2) El Shaddai – A Hebrew name for God, translated as “God Almighty”
3) Om Mani Padme Hum – This mantra is “quite powerful, because it contains the essence of the entire teaching. The first syllable Om it is helps you achieve perfection in practicing generosity, Ma helps to perfect practicing pure ethics, and Ni helps achieve perfection in practicing tolerance and patience. Pad helps to achieve perfection of perseverance, Me helps achieve perfection in the practice of concentration. Hum helps achieve perfection in the practice of wisdom. What could then be more meaningful than to say the mantra and accomplish the six perfections?” ~Gen Rinpoche (paraphrased) As a whole it can also be translated as,‘the jewel is in the lotus’. The jewel can be interpreted as inner divine potential within our hearts.
(To listen to this chant, use the link at the bottom of this page)
4) Maranatha is the last word, the final teaching of the entire Christian Bible and means, “Come Lord.”

There are so many mantras to choose from. Exlpore your beliefs system and find one that you can see yourself using as a life long companion.