Mantra meditation applies the use of a dedicated phrase or set of words that brings the practitioner closer to their goals. Mantras are phrases or words that are sung or chanted during meditation but their function is far more significant than simple iteration.
To fully access the range of benefits that mantra meditation can provide for the mind, body, and spirit, it is not enough to simply find a word and repeat it. Furthermore, saying a phrase or keeping it written or tattooed as a constant reminder doesn’t necessarily make it a mantra. Mantras are identified by the benefits they provide when practiced through chanting or singing.1
How Mantras Relate to Meditation
During the practice of mindfulness, a wandering mind can take some exercise and discipline to get used to the practice and enter a meditative state. Chanting a mantra provides this essential focal point. The singing and chanting follow a simple easy beat and flow that is used to ground and synchronize the spectrum of physical, mental, and spiritual energies.
Furthermore, if the practitioner can make the vital connection between understanding the significance of the phrase they repeat, the benefits are further increased.
Selecting a Good Mantra for Your Practice
Because the mantra you choose to go down the path of meditation with will be a tool for bringing you closer to your goals, it is important to select the best mantra for your purposes.
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Many people think of the classic and most time-honored mantra “Om,” which truly illustrates the essential principles of mantra chanting in every way. For this mantra, enunciation and pronunciation are important. “Om” is pronounced as a process through the diphthong “A-u” ending with the consonant sound “M” and is the ancient Sanskrit word for “it is” and the infinitive “to become.”
Even without understanding the meaning of this word, the vibrations of this mantra have been studied and associated with calming effects, mood improvement, and even a heightened state of sensory awareness.2
On the other hand, there is a great value in fully understanding and connecting to the significance and meaning of the mantra you repeat. When the significance of the mantra you select is fully understood, the neuro-linguistic benefits of the mantra chanting are boosted with the power from psycho-linguistic effects. While the neural-effects work to ground and center the body and mind, the psycho-effects can be applied to working towards a wide variety of goals.
Most often those who practice this form of mediation have spiritual pursuits, but addiction recovery, greater positivity, and even the creation of new positive habits can also be cultivated through mantras when their significance is fully understood and applied.
This is because, after the practice is over and the mind goes about its regular activities, the subconscious still focuses on the significance of the mantra, allowing it to maintain its state of positivity, wellness, and courage throughout the day. Even if the conscious mind may feel weak, the subconscious mind can be a powerful source of resilience.
Mantras to Choose From
While mantras began in Hinduism, the practice of mantra-chanting has been adapted and applied in many spiritual and meditative practices internationally. The following are some of the mantras that have been shown to have a notably positive effect on mind and body.
“Om Mani Padme Hum”
Directly from Tibetan Buddhism in its original Sanskrit, this mantra can bring about heightened compassion as it hails the spiritual heart. Translations may vary slightly as they tend to do in Sanskrit, but most agree the meaning is “hail the jewel in the lotus.”
Also of Buddhist origin, this phrase pays respect to the light that is boundless and brings enlightenment.
“I am that I am”
When Moses asked God for his name, he received this response. Benefits and effects of focus on this infinite concept can only be defined through individual experience.
The Hindu variant of the previous mantra meaning “I am that.”
This chant comes from the Hawaiian Islands and is an expression of love and gratitude, in addition to asking for forgiveness.
Modern English Mantras
To make a better connection with the words being applied, below are some modern mantras in the English language that many practitioners have found suitable for their pursuits.
- “Where I am right now is exactly where I need to be.”
- “Money flows easily and effortlessly to me.”
- “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.”
- “I surround myself with those who make me better.”
- “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
A big part of your meditation practices should involve preparing to be comfortable and undistracted. Successful meditation involves intentionality in the mind and grounding in the body. The use of aromatics such as essential oils can add to this soothing experience and create an atmosphere of calmness and serenity which is more conducive to meditation practice.
Try applying these oils topically, adding them to a room diffuser, or using them in a portable aromatherapy diffuser like Zen MONQ.
Meditation is a serious and challenging undertaking for sure. However, the wise practitioner will consider how they can facilitate their practice and develop a sustainable lifestyle. Adding mantras into your meditation sessions can put you on the path through developing and improving your meditation practice.