We all talk to ourselves from time to time, be it in our heads or out loud, the nattering is there. So why not make it meaningful and do a mantra instead? It could be very helpful especially when you are nervous about a situation and negative thoughts are stressing you out, or just to give your mind a rest from its constant projecting onto the outside world. I’m sure, at times you’ve all repeated a sentence in your head over and over “Let me win the lottery,” “Let me get the promotion/pay rise,” “Let the queue at the supermarket be short,” and so on. So why not make it more significant? Maybe the word mantra sounds a bit unusual or strange to some of you, but actually when broken down into two parts: “man,” means mind, and “tra,” means transport or vehicle, so 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 calm or meditation. Some believe that uttering the sacred sound, syllable, word, or group of words, which are usually in Sanskrit, Pali, or Tibetan, to have religious, spiritual, or magical powers. and we could all do with some of that!
Usually, a mantra is repeated with a mala or rosary with 108 beads. Why 108 you may ask? According to Ayurveda, we have 108 marma points (vital points of life forces) in our body and each chant represents a journey from our material self towards our highest spiritual self. This helps to bring the body in harmony with the vibrations of the universe. Once you are feeling this connection I’m sure anything and everything has a possibility to manifest. Imagine standing in the long line in the supermarket and instead of being angry with the woman with the overloaded trolley in front of you; you just chant your mantra and enjoy the experience of all the action, sounds, and life around you. Imagine the checkout person when you greet him or her with a loving smile instead of a grumpy, impatient face.
What is a mala?
Mala is a Sanskrit word meaning garland and usually consists of a string of 108 beads, that are used for keeping count during specific meditations. They are powerful tools that can help guide and enhance mindfulness, and keep you focused on the mantra. Many people, who use a mala to meditate with a recitation of mantra, find that they help increase concentration and promote a more beneficial meditation experience. A mala doesn’t need to include gemstones or other expensive materials to work well for you, anything with 108 beads will be fine. But this doesn’t mean you cannot recite a mantra without a mala. Remember the supermarket queue?
There are many different types of mantras and the uttering of these words is intended to use your thoughts as a guide to concentration and activates a particular kind of energy in a different part of the body. Without this necessary awareness, just repeating the sound only brings dullness to the mind. Any repetition of a sound always makes your mind dull. But when it is done with proper awareness, and an exact understanding of what it is, a mantra could be very powerful. But certain mantras should not be chanted without an empowerment or initiation from a qualified master, which grants permission and gives access to the benefits of the mantra. In this article, I’m just going to talk about the king of mantras, Om (pronounced Ah-Uu-Mm). This is a sacred Hindu symbol and is considered by many ancient philosophical texts to be the sound of the universe resonating at 432 Hz. It is the entire world in just one intensely pleasurable sound. When chanted it symbolically and physically tunes us into that sound and acknowledges our connection to everything in the world and universe.
Ready to give it a try?
- If you can find a calm, quiet place outside in nature, that would be perfect. But if that’s not possible then a quiet room will also be fine. For maximum comfort, sit cross-legged, but if that is difficult for you, then sit as best as you can or if necessary, sit in a chair. What is most important is that you keep your back erect. Make sure you are wearing loose-fitting clothes in light shades, this can help you feel free and not held, back. and allows the channels of your body to flow freely.
- Close your eyes, relax your jaw and let your lips be slighty apart and loose. Roll your shoulders back, then turn your left palm up and keep it close to your navel, then place the back of your right hand onto your left palm. Maintain this position for the rest of the steps.
- Make sure both your body and mind are at ease, as you follow your natural breath. Feel the vibrations that run through the body.
- Once you have paid attention to the sounds and vibrations in your body, slowly and deeply breathe in through your nose and mentally count to five, exhale through your nose, and count to seven. Repeate this 3 times. (As you practice more, you will be able to breathe in and breathe out for longer durations).
- Then as you breathe out for the third time, chant “AAAAA” and feel your abdomen vibrating.
- Breathe out completely and simply relax.
- Then take a deep and slow inhalation. As you breathe out, chant “UUUUU” and feel your chest and neck vibrating.
- Breathe out completely and relax again.
- Take a slow and deep inhalation. As you breathe out, chant “MMMMM” and feel your head and neck vibrating.
- Breathe out completely and simply relax once more.
- Take a slow and deep inhalation, and as you breathe out chant all three sound together in one beautiful AAAAAUUUUUMM . You should spend 80 per cent of your chanting “A-U,” and only 20 per cent should be devoted to the syllable, “M.”
- Relax and feel the vibration.
- Following your natural breath, inhale and exhale AAAAAUUUUUMM. (Repete).
- The chanting of Om (AUM) should initially be done three times. Slowly, you can work your way up to nine times.
- When you have finished, breathe normally, spend five minues following the inhalation and exhalation of the breath, and feel your body energised and tuned in with nature.
- Open your eyes and take in your whole environment. notice how your sences have woken up and everything around you has come alive and vibrant. You will see colours where you’ve never noticed them before ,smell the sweet air, and hear the birds sing. Gently stand up and feel the earth under your feet as you walk, now you are at one with the universe not just passing through.
I hope this is helpful and you enjoy it.
Have a great day.