What Is a Mantra?
First, we need to define what a mantra is, and then explain how to use it.
A mantra is a word, sound, or a short phrase that is repeated over and again for the purpose of focusing the mind and calming down its restlessness.
A mantra can be the sound “OM”, a short inspiring sentence, or a positive and relaxing word, such “peace”, “happiness” or “serenity”.
The origin of the word comes from East, where it is often used for the purpose of disciplining the mind.
In the East, a mantra is considered as a sacred utterance, word or group of words believed to have psychological and spiritual powers, and help induce an altered state of consciousness.
The repetitions of mantras calm down the nonstop chatter and restlessness of the mind and help it enter into a meditative state.
Repeating a mantra and focusing on it is an excellent and effective way to control the attention and not allow other thoughts to occupy your mind. The mind is restless, jumping from one thought to another, not allowing you a moment of mental rest. Focusing on a mantra, teaches your mind to focus on one word or sound, and disregard other thoughts that try to attract your attention.
Repeating a mantra for a few minutes a day can reduce the mental noise, help you focus and master your mind, and enable you to reject unwanted thoughts.
What Is Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation is a simple technique of repeating a mantra and focusing your complete attention on it. As said earlier, this technique is effective for controlling the attention and ignoring unrelated and unnecessary thoughts. This leads to inner peace and a sense inner happiness and bliss.
Sitting in a quiet place, repeating a mantra calmly and attentively, calms down the mind, improves concentration, and allows you to experience happiness, inner peace and an expansion of your consciousness.
- Mantra meditation is a mental tool that disciplines the mind and grants you control over it.
- Mantras can be used anywhere and at any time, not just while sitting down to meditate.
- When the mind is quiet, inner peace fills your being.
Reciting the same mantra often, teaches your mind to repeat it automatically, in your everyday life, replacing restless and meaningless thoughts, and thus, increasing your control of your mind and attention, ignoring worries and anxieties, and experiencing peace of mind.
How to Practice Mantra Meditation
1) Choose your mantra. As said earlier, the purpose of mantra meditation is to focus your mind on a single word, sound or phrase, and not allow it to wander away. In this way, you discipline your mind.
Any word, sound or phrase you choose would be suitable, as long as you follow the below mentioned instructions.
You may use for a mantra any sound, positive or inspiring word, or a short phrase. Here are a few examples:
- The sound OM, which is often used in the East.
- The words “I AM”.
- The words “I exist”.
- The word “happiness”.
- The words “positive life”.
- Even repeating a number, like “one”, “two” or any number would do.
- You may also repeat a short inspiring sentence or quote that you like.
Any sound, word or phrase you choose, must be something that you feel comfortable to repeat. A mantra composed of a single word is to be preferred, since it is easier to remember and to focus on.
Remember, the aim of the mantra is to focus the mind on one word or phrase, and in this way to reduce the restlessness of the mind and calm down its constant chatter.
2) You may repeat the mantra aloud or silently.
3) Find a place to be alone and undisturbed.
4) Sit down on a chair, on the floor, or on a pillow. The sitting position and on what you sit does not matter, as long as it is a comfortable position and you keep your back straight and do not tense your body and muscles.
5) Take a few, deep and slow breaths.
6) Clear your mind of everything and start repeating your mantra, aloud or silently, not too fast, and not too slow.
7) Try to stay calm and relaxed, and avoid thinking about anything unrelated to the meditation. Focus calmly and attentively on the mantra, doing your best to ignore any thoughts, physical sensations and noises.
8) Continue repeating the same mantra, over and again, for about 10 minutes. Do not think of the time or constantly look at your watch. If you meditate a little more or a little less than ten minutes that is okay.
9) No matter how many times your mind wanders away, always bring it back to the mantra.
10) Do not feel frustrated if your mind wanders away and you forget to repeat the mantra. Stay calm, and bring your mind back to the mantra each time it strays away.
That’s all and it is very simple. You can meditate in the morning, in the evening, and at any other time. Even if you are a busy person, you can always find a few minutes to meditate.
Repeating a mantra is also most useful when you are under stress, in a difficult situation, and when you need a way to calm your mind in your everyday life. In these situations, stop what you are doing, and for a minute or two repeat the mantra attentively.
What Are the Benefits of Mantra Meditation?
I have already mentioned the benefits of this meditation technique throughout this article, but I will mention them here again.
This kind of meditation will improve your concentration, calm down the restlessness of the mind, and bring you a sense of inner peace.
It is a simple and effective way of learning to focus the mind and calm it down.
From experience, I know that it is a very powerful and useful meditation and I highly recommend it.
Mantra meditation is simple and effective. It is suitable for students and teachers, business people, managers and employees, meditators and yogis, and for everyone else. It is a useful and effective technique for both complete beginners, and for people who have more experience.
If you wish to calm down your mind, control your thoughts, and stop the nonstop chatter of your mind, you will find the book Calm Down the Nonstop Chatter of Your Mind most useful.