Mantra meditation, which predates Buddhism, probably by hundreds of years, can be practiced by anyone and at any time. The power of mantra meditation is it focuses our mind so that it is no longer cluttered with distracting thoughts. This allows us to relax, center ourselves and create a deeper sense of awareness. The origins of mantras go back at least to the Vedic tradition that preceded the Buddha, where mantras were used as incantations to influence, or even to control, the gods.
What Is A Mantra
A mantra is a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration while meditating.
A “Mantra” (/ˈmæntrə, ˈmɑːn-, ˈmʌn-/ (Sanskrit: मंत्र);) is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. A mantra may or may not have syntactic structure or literal meaning.
In our westernized, modern-day spiritual practices the word “mantra” has become as mainstream as “intention.” But the two are actually quite different. The word mantra can be broken down into two parts: “man,” which means mind, and “tra,” which means transport or vehicle. In other words, a mantra is an instrument of the mind — a powerful sound or vibration that you can use to enter a deep state of meditation.
Most of the mantras are in the Sanskrit language and have a mysterious aura associated with them. They seem to be far away from modern life. The rhythm and soothing vibrations created by the sound of the meditation mantras in Sanskrit end up charming and enchanting people in modern society.
Hindu mantras release the energy contained in the sound, because the divine power is manifested through sound. These sounds pulsate with energy. Therefore, chanting creates a resonance in the body which vibrates, healing the body, brain, and soul. But most important is that they connect us to the source of vital energy.
List of Mantras and Their Benefits
Every day should be a positive one, no matter what it may bring you. One way to focus on the positive is to start each day with a mantra to bring in a positive outlook and exclude the negative. Some people like to have one personal mantra they say every day, while others like to switch it up, always staying on the bright side.
9 Common Mantra Examples for Daily Life
- “Love is the only miracle there is.” — Osho
- “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Gandhi
- “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.” — Laura Silva
- “I change my thoughts, I change my world.” — Norman Vincent Peale
- I will smile and impact someone’s day positively.
- “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.”– Laura Silva
- My breaths will be deep and my heart will be open.
- “I change my thoughts, I change my world.”– Norman Vincent Peale
- I’ll release the things out of my control.
6 Ancient Mantra for Meditation
Though today we tend to equate mantras with spiritual aphorisms or repeated affirmations, Russill Paul defines mantras as “sonic formulae that take us beyond, or through, the discursive faculties of the mind and connect our awareness directly and immediately to deep states of energy and consciousness,” in his book The Yoga of Sound: Tapping the Hidden Power of Music and Chant. In essence, many ancient mantras serve as vehicles for the mind to cross over the material world and into enlightenment.
Here some sanskrit mantras and meanings.
- “Aum”, “Om”: Sanskrit/Hindu, meaning “It Is” or “To Become”. This is considered most sacred in that tradition and to have the vibration of intention manifesting in the physical realm, or more simply the vibration of the universal consciousness. Also used in Buddhism and other traditions.
- “Ham-Sah”, “So Ham” (often pronounced “So Hum”):The Hindu variant, meaning I am THAT.
- “Om Mani Padme Hum”: Rhis one’s from Tibet and it means, roughly, “Hail the Jewel in the Lotus.” The jewel in this case is the Buddha of Compassion.
- Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu”: Buddhist, Pali phrase meaning “May all beings be well (or happy)”.
- “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”: Buddhist and Hindu, the starting of Om followed by peace of mind, peace of body, and peace of speech.
- “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all
My Favorite 10 Modern Meditation Mantras List English:
- “Where I am right now is exactly where I need to be.”
- “I have a purpose in this life.”
- “I surround myself by those who make me better.”
- “I am a magnet for joy, love, and abundance.”
- “Money flows easily and effortlessly to me.”
- “I am enough.”
- “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.”
- “I change my thoughts, I change my world.”
- “I am at peace with what is, what was, and what will be. I forgive you. I forgive me.”
- “I am open to the abundance of the universe.”
Mantra (om/chanting) Meditation Benefits
Since ages, Indians have believed in the power of chanting the sacred word OM, which is generally referred to as Hindu’s religious symbol. For many of us, it may be just a word created out of our rich mythological past. But you will be amazed to know that even science has agreed with the therapeutic, psychological and spiritual benefits that you derive from chanting OM.
- Chanting of the Om Mantra purifies the environment around you and creates positive vibrations.
- The Om not only benefits the person who is chanting it but also to the people around them wherever its vibrations flow.
- It can place you in a meditational state which gives you deep relaxation.
- Your concentration increases when you chant this universal hymn.
- The om chant removes toxin from your body. It is said to give you better immunity and self-healing power.
- It improves your concentration and helps you focus on whatever your goals may be.
- The om chanting actually improves your voice by giving strength to your vocal cords and the muscles around it. This is very helpful during old age.
- The mantra chanting produces a vibration and sound which is felt through your vocal cords and sinuses. The vibrations open up the sinuses to clear the airways.
- The Om Mantra has cardiovascular benefits — by relaxing our mind and body, our blood pressure will decrease and our heart will beat with regular rhythm.
- Through chanting and meditation, you can have better control over your emotions, thus allowing you to see situations with a clear and rational mind.
- Regular chanting of this Mantra will take you on a spiritual journey to greater happiness and positivity, but only if it is done daily for a longer period of time. Mantras are not and overnight fix to your problems — you must have patience and learn the correct techniques.
- When the OM Mantra is chanted in a group, the effects are amplified and this will produce immense positive vibrations which charge up the entire vicinity.
- Some people have also claimed to lose weight through mantra saying as it puts your entire body in a heightened state of sensitivity — its vibrations are thought to stimulate your metabolism which would lead to weight loss.
- It has been our experience that Om can even help cleanse your skin. The massive levels of internal positive energy and a cleansed aura that come from chanting the Om Mantra regularly will be reflected externally with a sunny glow on your face and body.
- Your spinal cord is strengthened through the vibrations caused by sound of Aaaa. As this sound is generated from abdomen, it helps to strenthen the supporting muscles of the spinal cord.
- The sound uuu is created by vocal cords which benefit the thyroid glands and the throat.
- It is said that rubbing your hands together while om chanting and putting those charged hands on different parts of body heals or activates those body parts.
- If those energy charged hands are put on your eyes, your eye sight will start improving.
Mantra Meditation Techniques
Have you ever tried practicing meditation at home? If the answer is a ‘no’, then it’s time that you start practicing meditation techniques at home and get the divine touch in your life.
- Choose your mantra. A mantra is a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration while meditating. When using a mantra, it’s believed that only the positive intentions and actions will fill your mind and eliminate negativity. A mantra can be as simple as the word ‘love,’ something you are thankful for, or a phrase such as ‘om shanti, shanti, shanti’ which represents all encompassing peace. You can also meditate on an affirmation, such as ‘I accept myself.’
- Find a comfortable place to sit. It’s best to find a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed. We all have different anatomies and you want your meditation experience to be enjoyable, so make your comfort a priority. Lying on your back is usually not recommended because most people fall asleep in this position, but you can try it if sitting is uncomfortable for you. The most important rule is that meditation can be practiced anywhere, as long as you’re comfortable.
- Gently close your eyes and begin by taking some deep breaths. Try taking a few cleansing breaths by inhaling slowly through your nose and then exhaling out your mouth. After a few cleansing breaths, continue to breathe at a normal relaxed pace through your nose with your lips gently closed.
- Begin repeating your mantra silently to yourself without moving your tongue or lips. The repetition of your mantra is soft, gentle, and relaxed. There is no need to force it. The mantra does not need to correlate with the breath, though some people prefer to do so. For example, if using So Hum as your mantra, you could silently repeat So on your inhalation and Hum on your exhalation. If you choose to correlate your mantra with your breath, do not become overly fixated on this. As your meditation continues, allow the breath to fall away into its own rhythm. The repetition of your mantra should be almost effortless. Sometimes it is helpful to imagine that rather than repeating the mantra to yourself, you are actually listening to it being whispered in your ear.
- Do not try and stop your thoughts or empty your mind. As you continue with this process, you will inevitably find that you drift away from the mantra. It is human nature for the mind to wander. Do not try and stop your thoughts or “empty your mind.” Whenever you become aware that your attention has drifted away from your mantra to thoughts or any other distractions, simply return to silently repeating the mantra.
- Stop repeating the mantra. After approximately 20 to 30 minutes, you may stop repeating your mantra and continue sitting with your eyes closed. Be sure to spend a few minutes relaxing with your eyes closed before resuming activity. You may use a timer with a very gentle, low-volume sound. Many people use their cell phones as meditation timers. You can download a meditation timer app like TinyRelax on your smart phone or choose a soothing sound on your phone’s built-in timer. Be sure to turn the volume down very low as you don’t want to be startled out of your meditation.
Meditation certainly helps in reducing stress levels and increasing inner peace. It revitalizes your mind, body and soul and keeps you rejuvenated throughout life! Do try practicing meditation and feel the difference! Happy practicing! And if you are beginner or improve the habit of meditation, 30 Days of Meditation Workbook and TinyRelax — free android app — can help you.
Originally published at bayart.org on August 4, 2016.