You may have heard or experienced meditation in a yoga class, or maybe someone recommended you to meditate if you were stressed or anxious. So, what are meditation and mantras about?
You can make mantras part of your meditation practice. Here are some beautiful ancient mantras for meditation to get you started.
- Aum Namah Shivaya
- Aum Mani Padme Hum or Om Mani Padme Hum
- Hare Krishna
- Gayatri Mantra
- Mul Mantra
Meditation and mantras have been around for thousands of years. Many religions and traditions have used them as part of their spiritual practices. Mantras are not always used during meditation, but chanting itself is meditative.
What are mantras?
Mantras are sounds considered sacred in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Yoga. You can find mantras formed by one syllable or a combination of syllables.
The original mantras are in Sanskrit, but today you can find them in various languages. The word mantra in Sanskrit means “the thought that liberates and protects.”
The mantra’s power lies in the sound, in the vibration it produces. Mantras benefit not only the person chanting it but also the listener. Chanting a mantra the right way can help you release energy from your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies.
By listening to a mantra, you will gain some benefit. A mantra affects your body, mind, and spirit, bringing harmony to all your being. A mantra can activate and speed up your creative spiritual force. It will help you to direct this energy to your benefit or the benefit of others.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a technique to train your mind. Meditation is practiced by many cultures and religions. It is popular among Buddhist, and Hindu traditions. But other cultures also meditate. Some religions also pray or chant, these are in a way a type of meditation.
Meditation aims to bring awareness of your body, your mind, your reactions, and to what happens in your life. Meditation helps to focus your attention on a point, a word, a sound, an image, and your breath. When you are focused, everything else that worries you disappear.
Meditation creates a space in your mind where you can be in the present moment. Space, where you can be aware of your body, your breath, and your thoughts without engaging with them. You become an observer of your own self.
Meditation can bring many benefits to your life. You will be more positive and emotionally stable. You will have a clearer mind, your concentration will improve.
As your overall health improves, you will be less stressed, less reactive to the things happening around you. The things that tend to bother you will be less of a burden. You will be able to see things for what they are, without the emotional response.
Mantra meditation for beginners
Meditation for you as a beginner can be challenging to start. But with practice, you will start recognising what works best for you and what doesn’t. You will allow the thoughts to come, recognise them, and let them go the same way.
You need to be aware that your thoughts will never stop coming. Having a blank mind is not possible. When we refer to being focused, it means to have all your attention in one thought, one object, an image, or on your breathing.
Your attention will immerse so deep that nothing else will be important. Thoughts will come and go. The main thing to remember is not getting a hook in your thoughts. If you catch your attention diverting onto something else, acknowledge it, and bring your focus back.
With time, deeper, buried thoughts and emotions will come up to the surface. It may be things you forgot or suppressed, and now you have an opportunity to see and let go of them.
Nothing in your past can hurt you if you don’t let it. The past is gone. Now, you have the power to acknowledge it, thank it for the knowledge it brought to your life, and release it back to the universal source.
Writing down your experiences and recurrent thoughts can help you track what is happening in your mind and in your life.
How to overcome obstacles during meditation
Meditation for a beginner isn’t that easy. It requires you to prepare and make an effort. Once you set the basics, meditation will be a very enjoyable experience.
Adjust your sitting position
Most meditations need you to sit down crossed-legged. This position isn’t comfortable to keep for a long time if your hips aren’t flexible. So, try sitting on a chair if you find sitting cross-legged challenging.
Choose a place to meditate that don’t have much sun or wind. This will keep you more comfortable. Also, make sure you don’t get cold, keep a shawl or a blanket on your shoulders. This will avoid you from getting distracted.
Keep a straight back
Sitting on the floor or on a chair with a straight back for longer than a few minutes can be tiring. You won’t be able to keep your back straight for long. If you are sitting on the floor, try sitting at the edge of a cushion. This will keep your pelvis forward, and it will be easier to keep your back straight. During your meditation be aware of the position of your body.
Your mind will be wandering around. Thoughts, worries, and commitments will come to your mind as soon as you close your eyes. The challenge is to acknowledge them and to bring your attention back.
Manage your time
You will need to allocate time for your daily practice. This will be easier after a while, once you have established a routine. Choose a time where is easier to fit 10 or 20 minutes into your routine. The evening is a good time. You have finished with your day and are almost ready to go to sleep.
Look for support
Like with anything else, you need time to establish your new habit of meditating. Remember to be consistent, patient, and don’t get despair. If meditation by yourself is too challenging, go to a meditation class. In a group, you will be able to socialise and get peer support.
What are the types of mantra meditation
You can find different types of meditation. In general, there are active and passive ways to meditate.
Active type of mantra meditation
Active meditation implies there is an action involved. For example chanting a mantra, making a movement or asana, following specific pranayama (breathing technique) such as “breath of fire”.
Passive type of mantra meditation
Passive meditations are meditations where you sit down or lie down with your eyes closed. You focus your attention on an object, your breathing, or in the third eye point. The meditation is silent. Other passive meditations are guided through visualisations.
Passive and active meditations have the same purpose to quiet your mind, your thoughts, and worries. So that you experience a more joyful life with less negative emotions.
Which one you choose depends on you. Try both of them, decide which one works best for you. In my experience, I really struggled to do silent meditation at the beginning.
I had recurrent thoughts coming. I would be thinking of the shopping I needed to do, work duties I needed to complete, or negative thoughts of situations that happened during the day. I will get a hook onto them and I start to relive those stories.
For me, mantra meditation works so much better. It is easier to let go of my thoughts and focus on the chanting. On the plus side, the resonance of mantras has a powerful effect on your body. It can help you achieve a calmer and more peaceful state of mind quicker. If you have problems expressing your truth, chanting out loud can help you to express your inner voice
Examples of mantras for meditation
The following mantras can be practiced out loud, in a whisper, or repeated in silence in your mind. If you struggle to focus during meditation, try the mantras out loud first, and with the time you can practice them in silence. These are some of the most common mantras for meditation that you will come across.
Aum is the sound of the origin of the universe. The sound that resonates in every being animate, and inanimate being.
Aum brings a balance between the emotional and intellectual part of your brain. So, you feel more centered physically and mentally.
Aum Namah Shivaya
Aum Namah Shivaya is a 5-syllable mantra. When you chant this Aum Namah Shivaya you call on Shiva to destroy, to dissolve your own self to become a new you.
This mantra will bring stability to your mind. You will be able to relax and relieve stress for your mind and body.
Aum Mani Padme Hum or Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Mani Padme Hum is a 6-syllable mantra. This mantra is known to be the essence of the teachings of Buddha.
This mantra will protect you from danger and bring love and compassion to you.
This mantra is known as the Maha mantra, present in the Upanishads, sacred Hindu scriptures. This mantra aims to destroy all evils.
Gayatri mantra is a Vedic mantra that protects the person chanting it. This mantra is dedicated to the Sun, who represents the life-giving force.
Aum Bhuur-Bhuvah Svaha
Bhargo Devasya Dhiimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayaat
The Mul Mantra is part of the Kundalini yoga tradition. It was created by Guru Nanak. The Mul Mantra is a holy verse in the Sikh religion. It is considered the root mantra from which all the other mantras in Kundalini yoga are built.
This mantra can help you find the root of your existence and your destiny.
Hai Bhi Such
Nanak Hosee Bhi Such
Hopefully, by now, you are clearer on what meditation with mantras is, and have a few mantras to start your practice. Before you start your meditation practice finish any task, if possible, that is in your mind. Once you sit down, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind. Tell to yourself that now is time to rest, relax, meditate and start chanting!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is mantra meditation mindfulness?
Mantra meditation is not mindfulness. Mantra meditation is the use of mantra chanting while focusing the mind on the sound. Mindfulness is the awareness of what happens in you physically and emotionally during meditation and in your everyday. Learn more
How does mantra meditation work?
The chanting of mantras helps you quiet the mind and achieve focus for a long period. The sound of the mantra will help you get into a deeper state of meditation. Learn more
Are mantras meditation?
Mantras are sound tools that can be used during meditation to quiet the mind and focus. Mantras are not meditations, but they can put you in a meditative state of awareness. Learn more
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