What is Mantra Meditation?
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A mantra meditation is a popular meditation practice that has its roots in Buddhism, Hinduism and ancient Christian traditions. Mantra meditations can vary hugely depending on the specific practice, but traditional mantra practices are often very different to what people may think.
What is Mantra Meditation?
A mantra meditation involves using a specific word or sound to bring your attention to the present moment. These words or sounds are usually meaningless, and the mantra can be chanted, whispered or spoken out loud.
The confusion surrounding mantra meditations often comes down to people not correctly differentiating between mantras and affirmations. What many people think of as being a mantra is actually an affirmation.
Positive affirmations offer a range of benefits, but they are not the same as mantras. Positive affirmations can be used during a meditation to reduce stress, increase self esteem and instil confidence.
As opposed to mantras, the use of positive affirmations in meditation was developed far more recently. Affirmations can include phrases such as ‘I am safe’, ‘I am at peace’, ‘I am loved’ or ‘I am calm’.
Mantra, on the other hand, is very different. Mantra meditation involves concentrating your mind on a specific word or sound. Most traditional mantra meditations use words, sounds or phrases with no real meaning. Some modern mantra meditations may use positive affirmations instead of a sound.
The aim of the word or sound is not to boost self-confidence or encourage the meditator to feel a certain way, instead it is to help focus. This is why it’s often best to choose a word that has no meaning or emotional connection. You should focus on the sound of the word or phrase, and not the meaning behind it.
Mantras can be spoken, chanted, whispered or even repeated in your mind during your practice. Your mantra can be used to keep you focused, and when you find your thoughts start to wander, you can simply come back to the mantra. You can use your mantra outside of your practice to ground you and bring you back to the present when you feel overwhelmed or upset.
How to Choose Your Mantra
Before you choose your mantra you need to ask yourself : what do I want out of this? Truthfully, the answer could be anything. But even if you don’t have any interest in spirituality, repeating a mantra can help improve mood and productivity.
In spiritual practices, mantras are given to have a specific effect on the psyche. However, if your not interested in following a spiritual tradition, then any simple mantra will work for this form of meditation.
Try our personal mantra generator below. After taking the quick you’ll be given a mantra and its meaning as well as your choice of voice for a guided meditation that uses that mantra.
Personal Mantra Generator
How is Mantra Meditation Practiced?
Mantra classes are available both online and in-person, and they can also be practiced independently. The MindEasy 7 Day Mantra Meditation Course can help equip you with the tools you need for an independent mantra practice.
Mantra meditations are popular all over the world, and they are perfect for those who struggle to focus their mind on a traditional mindfulness meditation. Many mantra meditation practices can be found online, such as the MindEasy 7 day Mantra Meditation Course.
During our course, you’ll be given your own personal mantra along with all the tools you need to master this style of practice. You’ll learn about the mind-body connection, how to handle distractions, and how to create your own mantra meditation practice.
Alternatively, you may prefer to attend a meditation class for your first few sessions. The teacher will either give you a mantra to start with, or you may be invited to choose your own.
The great thing about mantra meditation is that it’s accessible to everyone. While it can feel a little intimidating, there’s no great experience needed, and it can actually be a little easier than a mindfulness meditation that uses the breath as a focus.
This is because the meditator has something more substantial and solid to focus on, a sound, word or phrase.
The aim of a mantra meditation is to enter a state of deep relaxation, which can bring about a range of mental and physical health benefits.
What do Mantras mean?
The meaning of your mantra will depend on the sound or word you choose. Mantras for healing can help unblock various areas of the body, while other sounds can be used to unblock the chakras and release stagnant energy.
The word ‘mantra’ can be broken down into two parts, in Sanskrit meaning ‘mind’ and ‘release’. A mantra is a powerful sound or vibration, used to enter a deep state of relaxation and concentration.
So, while mantras have a meaning in terms of their effect, it’s generally recommended that you choose a mantra which has no obvious meaning in the outside world. Of course ‘omm’ is one of the most recognised mantras. ‘Omm’ is a chakra mantra, which can help release blocked energy in your crown chakra.
Healing mantras are also a great choice. Some mantras can help to restore harmony in various areas of the body. To practice a healing mantra meditation, repeat your mantra while turning your attention to the part of your body which requires healing.
For your sinuses (for example if you have a cold), repeat the mantra ‘Mmmmm’. For your throat, ‘Gaa Gha’ can provide a release. The vowel sounds can also be used to help heal, ‘Aaa’, ‘Eeee’, ‘Eye’, ‘Oooo’ and ‘Uuuu’. Repeat a single mantra, and feel the vibrations in your throat, chest and the rest of your body.
Benefits of Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditations offer a range of both physical and mental health benefits. Many people find the benefits of a morning mantra meditation last long into the day, and your own personal mantra can be drawn upon in times of difficulty to help ease stress and provide clarity.
Mantra meditations offer a huge range of benefits, and many people find a mantra meditation easier to grasp than they were expecting. The first benefit is that a mantra gives us something to focus on. You’ll find yourself able to hold your focus for longer, and you may feel more alert throughout the rest of the day.
Mantra meditations can be very powerful. Working using rhythm and sound, energy will begin to flow better throughout the body. Many people find mantra meditations invigorating and empowering, making them the perfect practice to help you through an afternoon lull!
Of course, mantra meditations can also bring about a range of physical benefits. You’ll experience better immunity, lower blood pressure and improved digestion.
Using a mantra focused specifically on healing can help improve health in various parts of the body. Likewise, using a mantra to bring energy to the chakras can lead to better mental and physical wellbeing.
Finally, a mantra meditation can help you if you start to feel overwhelmed or emotional during the day. Mantra meditations encourage you to enter a state of deep relaxation, focusing only on the sound of your mantra. Soon, you will begin to associate your mantra with relaxation and peace.
If you are struggling to keep calm in certain situations, focusing on your mantra can give you clarity and focus.
Science of Mantra
For many people, Buddhist or Vedic tradition and practices are their most important sources of peace, meaning, and purpose — these traditions have a lot to offer humanity.
However, western science has argued that these practices may not be based on an accurate understanding of the human brain and has aimed to put these religious traditions like mantra meditation under scientific scrutiny.
Jai Paul Dudeja, an Professor and director at the Amity University of Haryana, and his colleagues have studied the benefits of mantra meditation. This research has shown that those who practice mantra meditation grow in their ability to focus, have increased concentration and improve their memory.
His group has been studying the brainwave patterns of individual meditators. With the help of an EEG machine, they were able to see how meditation and mantra meditation compare with each other in terms of brain activity.
Examples of Mantras
From ancient Sankrit words to affirmation to help you start your day, here’s a list of different kinds of mantras
I am That I Am.
I am enough.
I can, and I will.
Love is the only miracle there is.
Om Namah Shivaya – Shiva
Karaagre Vasate Lakshmi – Lakshmi
Om Mani Padme Hum – Buddha
Pranamya Shirasa Devam – Ganesha
Sudarshanashtakam – Vishnu
Hare Krishna Hare Rama – Krishna
Om – The sound of creation
So’ham – I am That
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti – Om Peace Peace Peace
Shreem – Abundance and Prosperity.
Yam – Cleansing
- A mantra meditation is a powerful practice which uses sounds, words or phrases to aid concentration and relaxation.
- Mantras are often confused with affirmations, which are a more modern technique.
- It is best for your mantra to be meaningless, with no connection to the outside world. This means it can be used to aid focus without drawing your attention to other things.
- MindEasy offers a 7 day Mantra Meditation Course, designed to help you master this deeply powerful practice.
- Some mantras can be used to speed up healing and boost energy. Mantras focused on the various chakras can be used to rebalance the energy wheels in the body.