What is Mantra Meditation?
A mantra is a sacred sound or expression, often in the form of a word or phrase believed to have spiritual power. Mantras can bring about profound benefits when repeated, particularly in meditation. Repeating mantras cultivates a sort of affirmation, allowing the mind to concentrate on the meaning behind the mantra or perhaps the steady effect that the act of repeating the mantra might bring.
As we discussed in previous blogs, concentration is a key component of meditation. This is because when we concentrate on one thing, our focus is slowly withdrawn from all else. When we concentrate during meditation, such as on a mantra or on the spiritual eye (the point between the eyebrows, the seat of higher consciousness), our focus is taken away from restless and distracting thoughts.
Mantras that we choose for meditation can be simple or complex, ancient or personal, in our native language or a sacred language. They can help bring our consciousness to higher levels, such as with the ancient mantra, “Hong-Sau” (Sanskrit for “I am He” or “I am Spirit”). To practice this mantra, inhale as you silently say “Hong,” and exhale silently saying “Sau.” You can read more about practicing this mantra here.
While ancient mantras such as Hong-Sau are ripe with power and wisdom, mantras in your native language are also powerful because they can have more meaning to your conscious mind and therefore help it to focus. You can even create your own mantra—something that has special meaning for you, such as "I am Peace" or "I am Light."
As we mentioned with the Hong-Sau mantra, mantras are typically linked with breath. There is an intimate connection between our breathe and our state of mind. When you pay particular attention to your breath and the mantra, you are likely to bring peace and calmness into your meditation—two states of being that represent the ultimate goal of meditation. As we embrace these uplifting qualities, we slowly transcend more negative qualities like fear and anger, and the benefits of meditation slowly spread into every corner of our lives.
We hope that these mantra tips will help you achieve an even deeper meditation practice! As always, please let us know if you have any questions or if we can help you enrich your meditations in any way. Enjoy this video that includes how to practice the Hong-Sau technique!
(Above photo by Larissa Bahr Photography)