In the second of our 'how to' series, we are looking at how to perform a Mantra Meditation.
A mantra is a syllable, word or phrase that is repeated during a meditative practice. It can be spoken, chanted, whispered or just repeated in the mind. Mantra meditation is believed to have Buddhist and Hindu roots but is now practiced across the world.
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How To Practice Mantra Meditation
There are a lot of different types of mantras you can try, but for now, we will start with a simple and easy one. The main thing to establish is your intention. Here's some examples (feel free to change and adopt one of your own):
- May my practice help me to be patient
- I am free from sadness
- 'Aum' or 'Om' (the first sound)
- Om Namah Shivaya (I honor the god within)
Then follow these instructions:
- Get comfortable (avoid overstimulation) and set your intention.
- Sitting comfortably, focus on your breath and notice if you have tension in your body. Let it go.
- Chant your mantra, relaxed and aware of the moment.
- Continue chanting for as long as you would like to. Just enjoy the practice; no pressure.
- When you have come to a natural end, return your awareness to your current environment.
If you would like further guidance, you can check out this mantra meditation for beginners:
Tom's Top Tips
- Mantras may seem strange at first, but they are worth it. The first sound, or the 'om' sound, is one I find particularly satisfying.
- Try different types of mantras. We change all of the time, and life changes too, so it’s natural for your mantra to also change.
- It can be useful to use a positive affirmation as a manta (for example, my heart will guide me, or, I trust in love).
- Explore other areas of meditative practice like mindfulness, pranayama breathing and loving-kindness meditation to improve mantra meditation. These all help to be more present.