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Recently, there have been numerous articles and a lot of research about how meditation affects our brains, bodies, and lives. Most of the studies have been focusing on mindfulness meditation, however there are many other forms of meditation. One example is mantra meditation; mantra meditation offers many benefits and may actually be more accessible to a new practitioner.
Mantra meditation is a form of contemplation meditation. All that this practice requires is sitting in a comfortable, quiet space and repeating (aloud or mentally) the mantra of your choice.
What is a mantra and where have they come from? Sages meticulously conceived the mantras some 5000 years ago. Although there is no widely accepted definition for the word mantra, mantra in this context is considered a specific crafting of sounds (words) by sages in ancient times.
From the book Surya Namaskar:
Mantras are combinations of sounds, which are designed to produce a specific effect on the mind and its functioning. The mantra can be spoken aloud, whispered, or repeated mentally, but mental repetition is the superior method. When a sound is mentally repeated with awareness and concentration, the thought takes on the form of that sounds, it becomes that sound, and the energy inherent in that sound manifests in the mind.
If “I think therefore I am” is true, the thoughts we have create who we are. When we repeat a thought enough, it becomes just sound, this sound we hear as well as feel, then becomes energy. The energy within that sound affects us physically & mentally now. It manifests in the body as vibrations, not just worded thought. It becomes us, we become it.
From a very technical standpoint, the only phrases or grouping of words that can be called mantras are those that were created by sages. Other phrases or words that we repeat to ourselves during meditation are self-affirmations. However, it is common in society today to hear someone say that they’ve adopted something as their “mantra”.
A trial that I recently did with this concept was repeating, “I am happy.” As I was repeating this, I subconsciously associated what it means to be happy with the phrase itself. All of this energy within my mind manifested into feelings of happiness. After just a few minutes of thinking & chanting this phrase, I felt happiness from the INSIDE out.
Thoughts, sounds, vibrations, reality are cyclical - so think positively! Here are three links to hear and try out different mantra meditations:
Om Mantra is a basic mantra, Om being what the sages called “the sound of the universe”
Om Shanti Mantra is a beautiful mantra for peace.
Ganesha Mantra is a mantra that honors Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.
Create your own self affirmation and repeat it for a 10 minute meditation session.
We love to hear from our readers, please tell us how it goes in the comment box below.