Using a mantra can be a very powerful and life changing meditation. Very simply, mantras are sounds which are repeated (either internally or out loud) and change your vibrational frequency to that of the surrounding universe.
Another way to look a mantras is as a tool to bring greater discipline and focus to your mind. Simply repeating a word or phrase whenever you find your mind wandering or whenever you are getting stressed or lost in the world, will train you to stay focused on the present and will almost immediately reduce your stress levels and increase your productivity.
There are hundreds of different mantras that exist for various different purposes. I will mention only three here that I have found to be both powerful and life transforming.
Om (ohm) - the sound of the Supreme Being. Includes past, present and future. Used for enlightenment.
So Hum – the mantra of the sound of the breath, with the breath being our link to life itself. ‘so’ on the in breath and ‘hum’ on the out breath.
I Am – connection with the inner self and the gateway to what is beyond this.
So, the meditation for this week is as follows:
Choose a mantra that you feel most comfortable with. Twice a day, once in the morning and once in the late afternoon or early evening, sit quietly with your eyes closed. Take a minute to relax and get comfortable. Watch the mind and its constant activity. Then bring in the mantra. Aside from the ‘so hum’ mantra which will follow the breath, the mantra does not need any particular pattern of repetition. It should drift through your mind like any other thought. When you feel your mind wandering, simply trail the mantra to the end of the thought and let it replace the usual stream of words. In between, if it happens, let the mind sit in silence. After about 20 minutes (yes, you can check your watch, but don’t set an alarm) stop using the mantra and let your normal thinking resume, or sit in silence for two minutes as an adjustment phase before continuing with your day.
Then bring this into your day as often as you remember. Every time you notice the active mind, bring in the mantra.
Please remember that as you sink deeper into meditation this will trigger any thoughts or emotions that need to be released. Don’t get attached to anything that happens or comes up during your meditation. Allow it to be. If you need to laugh or cry, do, and then return to your meditation. If thoughts come up, let them float past. Don’t feel the need to ruminate over whatever thought or memory came up in your meditation – it comes to be cleared, not to be relived. Also, keep in mind that meditation can initially cause some emotional turmoil as these emotions and past events come up to clear. Keep at it and you will be greatly rewarded.
Wishing you a focused week of silence!