Mantra meditation is an important facet of yoga that deals with the recitation of sounds. Learn the untold essentials of the practice in this enriching article!
Yoga awakens the mind from within using several spiritual tools. You breathe a certain way, feel a certain way and sit in a certain way to perform it. The mantra is that aspect of the Yoga that teaches you to obtain divine focus with the help of sounds.
What is Mantra Meditation exactly?
Let’s begin by understanding what is Mantra.
Etymologically, Mantra comprises of two parts – “man” and “trai”. “Man” means the mind, or the thinking power, whereas, “trai” means “to be free”. Therefore, Mantra means “setting the mind free”. In the Yogic sense, it is used to derive immaculate focus or setting the mind free from distraction.
So, mantra meditation translates to as a meditative practice that uses the power of mantra.
While performing yoga, several kinds of mantras are used. Interestingly, mantra also means “a spell”. Therefore, while doing Yoga, you use mantra in the form of a spell. Some spells are orated, some are simply visualized while some are synced with a well-defined breathing pattern.
“Om” is a single syllable mantra that people use to meditate.
“Ong Namo Guru Dav Namo” is a longer mantra, spoken in a certain rhythm.
Similarly, Mantra meditation uses various mantras in various ways. Mostly, the mantra is free from religious contexts and doesn’t promote any kind of supernatural beliefs. In Yoga, mantras are an integral part of the whole process.
Impact of Mantra Meditation on the Body
In order to understand the process of meditation, let’s first understand the impact of mantra on the body.
The Vibrational Effects
The mantra closely relates to the oration of sounds. Sounds impact the body and the sanctity of the mind at various levels. You must have noticed the importance of background score and precisely timed sounds in the movies. Creative use of sound completely alters the way we perceive a situation.
The mantra pronunciation helps in the induction of similar vibrations that are peaceful in nature.
The goal of Mantra meditation is to induce pacifying feeling to the mind. This way it slips into a cognitive state of well-being, which improves the health of the mind.
The Mantra helps in redefining the Focus
It’s a proven fact that our attention can rest only on one subject at a time. But our thoughts can dwell in a number of directions. An unfocused mind usually gets muddled up in a thousand different things that deplete focus.
With the oration of mantra, you can bring back that focus only on one thing, making it possible to carry out tasks effectively and with high efficiency.
You experience the true power of mantra by combining it with Yoga techniques.
How to Practice Mantra Meditation?
Learn about the basics of meditation, in order to practice it accurately.
Choose a Mantra for Meditation
You will have to choose a mantra that you find attractive enough to own. As you’d be reciting it quite often during the exercise, make sure you choose something you can relate to. You can view various mantras to recite and memorize here.
Most mantras are fairly easy to remember and don’t require a lot of practice either.
Understand the Mantra
As Yoga has stemmed out of religious contexts, the meanings can easily be interpreted in the religious tone. This is something you must choose. Some mantras are semantic in themselves and don’t delve into the religion, while some may have long histories associated with them.
So, it’s important to take care of these things before choosing. When you choose a mantra, take care of three things;
- Meaning – Make sure the mantra has a pleasant meaning that you can accept easily.
- Sound – Mantras have peculiar sounds and they’re pivotal to mantra meditation, therefore, choose a mantra whose sound is pleasant to your ears.
- Ambiguity – Many mantras can have multiple meanings. Try not choose a mantra whose meaning isn’t clear.
Practicing it Daily
Mantras need a lot of repetitions for them to imbue into your physical body. It’s a running belief that chanting a mantra 125,000 times lends it a permanent place in your mind. Most common ways of practicing mantra are;
Reciting it Verbatim – Speaking the mantra out loud while in the state of Yoga, in order to keep your attention fixed at it. It will help you build better focus as well.
Soliloquy – You recite the mantra to yourself by moving your mouth, but there is no sound. You just keep it in your mouth.
Speaking in the Mind – Once you’ve practiced the mantra enough, you can slowly move towards a state where you orate it only in your mind. Your focus has been developed so much that you don’t need oral recitation. At this stage, you’ll be truly able to perform mantra meditation.
Continuous Listening – Having imbibed the mantra in your thought and perception at a deep level, you now live by it. In most of your daily day activities, you continuously listen to it without trying.
1 thought on “Mantra Meditation: How-To’s and Benefits”
One of my friends has suggested to me “guru paduka stotram”. I am just curious, how does a frequency of a mantra connect to self? Does listening to a mantra is equivalent to chanting?