What is a mantra?
A Mantra is a series of phrases or words that are sung or chanted during meditation. Mantra meditation uses dedicated words to achieve the user’s goals. It is more than a repeated phrase. Saying any word over and over again is not a mantra. A mantra provides an array of spiritual, mental, and physical healing for the practitioner. Furthermore, saying an inspirational quote or writing it down does not make it a mantra. It is the energy created in the chanting or singing that makes the saying a mantra.
How do Mantras Assist in Meditation?
Mantras give the wandering mind a focal point. They produce a beat and a flow that is easy for the mind and body’s energy system to grasp a hold of. When the mind wants to wander out of the meditative state, the mantra helps bring it back. The rhythm of the mantra provides an easy channel for energy to flow in and out of. If the person meditating knows the meaning of the mantra, it can improve the effectiveness of the mantra.
Is Knowing the Meaning of a Mantra Necessary?
When people think of mantra meditation, the first phrase that comes to mind is “Om”. Om is an ancient Hindu word that means, “It is” or “To become”. Even if the chanter knows the meaning of Om, for anyone who is new to the practice, the meaning has little power behind it. What is important during the chanting of om is the vibration it creates in the body. These vibrations create Neuro-linguistic effects. These effects induce a sense of calm. They often help people with serious diseases such as AIDS, Parkinson’s, and cancer who feel a sense of hopelessness feel hope again.
When the meaning of a mantra is known to the person meditating Psycho-linguistic effects are added to the Neuro-linguistic effects. Psycho-linguistic effects are highly effective in goal -oriented meditation. Often, someone who is trying to overcome an addiction or start a new habit will use these types of mantras. They imprint themselves on the subconscious. When the person comes out of the meditative state, the mantra is still working in their mind to inhibit their addiction. This practice works well for those trying to achieve a higher goal by convincing our subconscious minds that we can succeed. Even when our conscious mind doubts our abilities, our subconscious can believe strongly enough for us to succeed. Often when people are surprised by their success their subconscious is not.
What are the physical benefits of Mantras?
- All mantras have intense physical benefits.
- They relieve stress. The rhythm and sound of the chanting moves energy throughout the body. The movement of energy regulates the chemicals in our brains. It blocks stress hormones and releases endorphins.
- They regulate heart rate.
- Mantras enhance positive alpha, gamma, delta, and the brainwaves—the brainwaves that kick in during relaxation.
- Chanting increases immune functions, and lower blood pressure. The sound of the mantra literally drowns out the negative voices in our heads. When the negative thoughts are suppressed, the mind has room for positive thoughts.
- It is a free and easy way to manage thoughts and achieve physical and mental welfare.
- Mantras ease fear. People with phobias often adapt mantras to center on during times of fear.
What are some effective mantras?
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- I have much to celebrate.
- I am kind to myself.
- Om Mani Padme— A Tibetan mantra which means “Hail the Jewel in the Lotus”.
- Om Namah Shivaya—Known as the Shree Shivapanchakshari Mantra, it calls upon Lord Shiva who is responsible for the destruction of evil.
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