What is Mantra Meditation?
They believe it is for the monks to meditate. Many think of meditation only as a prayer or worship. Many think that meditation is mental concentration on something for trying to stem the relentless activity in the mind and achieve peace. Well, it is all this and much more. Meditation is more than just a spiritual and religious practice.
As we know, meditation is being practiced from ancient times in various cultures and religions. Especially today, scores of people are taking to meditation to attain calmness and peace.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a state of insightful deep peace, which happens when the mind is peaceful and silent, yet very alert. Meditation helps in inner transformation that takes an individual to a higher level of awareness. It helps an individual reach his true potential.
Meditation is a way of life. It is when unwanted thoughts move away from the mind and it becomes free. The relaxation and rest in meditation is much deeper than the most restful and deep sleep one can have. Meditation helps an individual to overcome the stresses and pressures of everyday life and change his life for the better.
Benefits of meditation:
The benefits of meditation are manifold. It offers innumerable benefits that affect the mind, body, and soul. Mediation helps an individual change his life for the better, free from all kinds of negative thoughts that can eventually harm him. Meditation has many benefits, like:
It calms the mind:
Meditation helps to calm the mind. It cleanses and nourishes your mind and body. Over time, the inner consciousness evolves and with practice, you can reach a refined state of consciousness. A calm mind helps to improve emotional stability. The mind gains clarity and it becomes fresh, beautiful and delicate. Meditation also sharpens the mind.
Physical health benefits:
Health benefits of meditations are manifold. The body undergoes major changes after meditation. All the cells in the body are energized. While meditating, the heart rate and breathing slows down. The oxygen drawn in to the body is used well. The blood pressure normalizes, preventing heart diseases and strokes. Mood and behaviour improves as there is increased serotonin production. It also improves the immune system.
The brain ages at a slower rate in people who meditate. It has also been noted that people who practice meditation find it easier to give up life damaging habits like smoking, drugs and drinking.
One of the most important benefits of meditation is stress relief. In people who meditate, the adrenal glands produce less cortisol. As one meditates the anxiety levels also lower. Meditation helps you gain a new perspective on many stressful problems. The negative thoughts and emotions that come to mind can easily be erased with meditation. One also notices reduction in tensions and problems arising due to life situations. It decreases all kinds of tensions related to pains like headaches, insomnia, ulcers, etc. When tensions and stress come down, self-awareness increases and helps the individual to focus on the present. Overcoming stress with meditations helps to increase creativity and makes one more productive.
Types of meditations:
There are various kinds of meditations. All meditations lead to the same state of inner peace. There is mantra meditation, visualization meditation, transcendental meditation, Tai Chi mindfulness meditation, Kundalini meditation, Qi gong meditation, heart meditation and many more.
Mantra meditation helps to bring your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies in sync with each other. It is well known that sound has a profound impact on the body and mind. The mantras for meditation have the same effect. One chants the mantra repeatedly while exhaling, during mantra meditation.
The mantras are words or phrases that are chanted aloud, repeatedly during meditation. Mantra also means “that which protects the mind”. Mantras go back to ancient times in Hindu cultures, when they were used as a prayer to influence the Gods.
Mantras for Meditation:
The shorter the phrase, the better and easier it is to chant the mantra repeatedly. Certain techniques are used for meditation like, concentration on the breath in mindful or breathing meditation, concentration on a ‘visual in thought’ for visualization meditation. Similarly, mantras or words are used for mantra meditation.
Mantra meditation is a Buddhist meditation technique. The mantras are often chanted aloud, but in silence. One can also chant internally with the inner sound of thought. Here, for meditation, the inner sound is used as an object of focus. While doing mantra meditation, the vibration of the word or the phrase is felt in the mind or head and as the meditation deepens, it can be felt throughout the body.
Methods of mantra meditation:
- Select a nice, quiet place without any external disturbances for your mantra meditation.
- Sit cross-legged on the ground comfortably. Your back should be straight or the chances of falling asleep are high.
- Take a deep breath and imagine that you are exhaling all your worries, tensions and discomforts out of the body with your breath.
- Relax completely.
Take a deep abdominal breath and feel the chest and stomach expand. When you exhale, chant the mantra aloud. The sound of the mantra becomes the focus of your attention when you repeat it slowly and steadily.
The repeating of the mantra will take you into deep meditation and the few thoughts that occur naturally in the mind, will go away. Mantra meditation will take you into a deep state of sub consciousness.
People who practice mantra meditation regularly can sit for hours in mantra meditation. Some people like to practice this meditation as a a group activity. One can also combine it with daily activities like walking and cooking, etc.
Different types of mantras:
There are various mantras used for meditation and most of these are ancient mantras. “Aum” is a very popular mantra for meditation. The single word “Aum” is a sacred word used in many religions. This word is the ancient sound of God. This mantra has the power to energize all the cells in the body.
The popular Buddhist mantras include:
This mantra is “Gate gate pāragate pārasamgate bodhi svāhā”. The literal meaning of this mantra is, “Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment hail!” This mantra is from the Mahayana scriptures, known as the Prajñaparamita. These mantras were used for worship in Mahayana Buddhism. This a meditation mantra for stress.
Om shanti shanti shanti mantra:
The “Om shanti shanti shanti“ mantra means universal peace. Peace or nirvana is the goal of Buddhist practice. Here, it is not just external peace that one needs, but also inner peace. In addition, Nirvana can be achieved by repeating the manta in meditation. This mantra can be used as a meditation mantra for anxiety.
Sabbe satta sukhi hontu mantra:
“Sabbe satta sukhi hontu” is a phrase in Pali which means “May all beings be well (or happy)”. This mantra when chanted helps to create a compassionate and loving energy. It encourages one to be more kind, loving and compassionate.
Benefits of mantra meditation:
The benefits of mantra meditation are many. Concentration through mantra meditation is much deeper. This helps the mediators to feel connected with the universal energy and creator. It also helps one go deeper and connect with the higher consciousness.
Mantra meditation allows you to experience the present moment completely and make mindful choices rather than fall into routine reactions.
Mantra meditation also reduces stress, anxiety and depression. The sound and the breathing help to channelize the flow of energy throughout the body. The sound of chanting helps to regulate chronic stress and balances moods, thus promoting an overall sense of well-being.
Mantra meditation helps one to deal with all kinds of negative thoughts and harmful external forces. It helps one to have a clear mind to deal with many present problems. Mantra meditation also helps to awaken the divine light and love within each person and makes him more compassionate. It also frees him from all kinds of egos and energizes him.
Mantra meditation is quite easy to practice. The mantras are small and easy to chant. It can be done alone, or in a group and one can chant aloud or internally. Whatever the way, meditation using mantras is a great way to meditate, de-stress and also take great leaps forward on one’s spiritual journey.