Learn about the ancient and holistic technique of mantra meditation that will help transcend & calm the mind.
Oct. 20th & 27th at 7:30 pm EST. Practice simple mantras that can be used in daily life.
by Manjula Khanna
The word “Mantra” is a Sanskrit term in which “Man” means mind and “Tra” means release. Therefore “mantra” means to release the mind. Mantra is a tool to deepen and transcend your connection to your inner self. Mantra chanting has power to sooth anxiety and create joyous feelings by releasing the ‘overthinking mind’. Mantra is salvific mental tool which protects and extends the mind.
Mantra meditation technique is a method in which we focus or chant a mantra. This is also called “Mantra Japa Meditation”. Mantra Japa stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, and creates relaxation.
Most ancient/classic mantras come from Sanskrit, one of the oldest and a very onomatopoetic language. That means the words of the language resemble their sound in nature. Sanskrit mantra sounds and tones are coded to connect the mundane realm to the divine realm through the power of intention, and visualization, linking body and cosmos.
Levels of Meditation
When we engage in Mantra Japa meditation, we pass from the primary level to the deepest level, taking the mantra from its literal meaning to experiencing the meaning at deepest level.
Existence from Gross to Subtle
- Physical – “food” sheath (Annamaya kosha)
- Breath – “energy” sheath (Pranamaya kosha)
- Mind – “mind” sheath (Manomaya kosa)
- Knowledge – “discernment” or “Knowledge” sheath (Vijanamaya kosa)
- Eternal Bliss – “bliss” sheath (Anandmaya kosa)
It is much more accurate to say that a mantra is something we become and that the vocal aspect is simply the gateway to becoming.
One of the best meditation mantras for beginners is “Om Shantih Shantih Shantih”, meaning “May there be Physical Peace, Mental Peace and Spritual/Eternal Peace”. When repeated several times, ideally 108 times with “Japa Rosary”, manifests at all levels of our existence.
Science of Meditation
There is a science to “Mantras Meditation”. These primordial sounds create echoes of nature in the body. Sounds reverberate in the mind and body. When we speak we create physical events within ourself. By recreating the sounds of nature through mantra meditation, we reproduce the physical events (echoes) of nature in the mind and body. Meditating on mantras then puts our consciousness inside the echo of nature.
Mantras heal the body and mind by promoting relaxation, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, and helping with the physiological symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Spiritually speaking, people have been using mantras for healing health problems for thousands of years, and there are many ancient texts that discuss the health benefits of chanting. Ancient texts, as well as many yoga books, discuss the health benefits of mantras. And there has been much scientific research on the health benefits of sound healing.
The potential benefits of Mantra meditation include:
- Heightened self-awareness
- Reduced stress
- Positive outlook
- Reduced anxiety
- Less fatigue
- You can also use mantras like affirmations to reinforce goals
- Improved brain health. One study shows that 8 weeks of the Kundalini mantra meditation or “Kriya Kirtan” increased cerebral blood flow and cognitive function.