The practice of meditation has many forks along the path. There is no one way to go inward, in fact, there are many different vehicles through which you can access the peace, insight, relaxation, and awareness that meditation has to offer.
One of the more popular meditation techniques, which is found throughout many cultures, and even mainstream practice like Transcendental Meditation (TM), is a practice called Mantra Meditation.
What Does Mantra Mean?
“Mantra, translated from Pali, literally means “mind-vehicle,” signaling that the mantra (the word or phrase) is the meditation object on which to rest the mind. Just as in Zazen Breath Awareness Meditation when we focused on the breath, and in the Body Scan Meditation when we focused on physical sensations, the focus of Mantra Meditation is on the word or phrase we choose as a mantra. Mantra-based meditation practices can be found in the Sufi Muslim tradition, Kabbalistic meditation, Christian meditation, Native American chanting, and Hindu and Buddhist meditation.“– Benjamin W. Decker, Practical Meditation
Mantra Meditation is easy to practice and can have immediate benefits such as reducing stress, increasing focus, and rewiring neural pathways.
Here are examples of various popular Mantras that may be used.
Om – it is one of the most important, popular and sacred Hindu mantra and symbols. Equally popular amongst Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, Om is believed to be the very sound of creation.
Om Namah Shivaya – dedicated to Lord Shiva, the intention is to connect to the oneness of all things through universal consciousness.
Om Sri Maha Lakshmyai Namah – this mantra is dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi, and believed to help call in prosperity and abundance.
Sat Nam (Truth is my identity) – this mantra reinforces the divine consciousness in everyone. It is used as a greeting as well as the mantra for Kundalini Yoga exercises, inhaling Sat (truth), exhaling Nam (name, identity).
This mantra stimulates the kundalini energy for healing and activates the neutral mind.
This mantra stops anything negative and removes all obstacles. It brings great intuition.SOURCE: 3ho.org
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha – this is the mantra for Green Tara, mother of compassion. It is believed to offer healing, regeneration, and growth, as Green Tara embodies the healing energy of release from fear and ignorance
Om Mani Padme Hum – This mantra means “that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.” (SOURCE: Shambala.com)
Om Vajrapani Hum – this mantra intends to remove negative energy and banish evil by connecting to the boundless and fiery energy which Vajrapani emits.
If you feel comfortable with using a Mantra, try an Affirmation instead, see the following examples.
I AM LOVING KINDNESS
I AM PEACEFUL AWARENESS
Here’s How to Practice Mantra Meditation
If you’d like to try practicing Mantra Meditation, here’s a simple introduction on how to begin!
- Find a comfortable seated position, in a space where you will be free of disturbance.
- Take a moment to set an intention for the practice. IE: “I intend to use this practice as a way for me to access calm, relaxed, peaceful awareness.”
- Set a timer for 15-minutes
- Close your eyes
- Place awareness on your breath.
- Breathing in through the nose, and out through the mouth.
- Begin to recite your chosen mantra out loud, feeling the vibration of every word reverberation through your entire body.
- If the mind feels distracted, stay focused on the mantra as an anchor point until you’ve completed your practice.
- Once your timer goes off, return to present-moment awareness, and journal any reflections you may have received.