As the name suggests, mantra meditation is focused on the use of mantras during your practice. Similar to breathing and mindfulness practices, this practice helps you clear your mind as you meditate, by using a specific mantra. Your mantra can also be tuned to your breath for even more focus. When you are able to place your attention on a mantra, it makes it easier to tune everything out, even for a few minutes. The result is reduced stress and increased calm.
Whether you prefer guided or solo, there is no doubt that meditating is an excellent tool for self care, helping with anxiety, lack of energy, concentration, mood, and overwhelm. In this guide, we take a closer look at mantra meditation to see how you can include this practice into your daily routine.
How to do Mantra Meditation
Rather than using guided imagery, breathing or affirmations, mantra meditation uses mantras – specific words that are repeated throughout the practice. While they could take the form of traditional Sanskrit mantras such as Om Shanti (Peace For All), Buddhist mantras such as Om Mani Padme Hum (Hail the Jewel in the Lotus) or Kundalini mantras such as Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo (I call upon Divine Wisdom), mantras can also be any other phrase that means something to you personally. They could also be any phrase that helps you find peace.
Now that you have a better idea of how they work, let’s take a look at how you can use mantras within your practice.
- Sit in a comfortable position. Try sitting cross-legged with your back straight and your head slightly bowed. Keep your hands facing upwards or downwards on your lap. You could also lie on your back if that feels more comfortable, with your hands resting upwards at your side.
- Repeat your mantra as you breathe deeply and slowly. Once you settle into your breath, it will become easier to take longer exhales. Try to focus on the words you are repeating. You can say them out loud or repeat them silently in your head. Rather than rushing through the words, speak them slowly and clearly.
- Try and focus on your mantra. It is natural to have thoughts come and go – even when you are tuning in to your words. Don’t worry about trying to stop your thoughts. Instead, gently shift your attention back and continue.
- Use an app or a timer. If you are still new to meditating, start with a shorter session of five minutes. As you get used to clearing your mind, you can extend your sessions to 10 minutes or longer. A timer can help you focus on your words without wondering how long you have been sitting. An app such as Insight Timer can also be helpful, not only for keeping track of time but also for offering a wide range of mantras.
With time, you will start to find it easier and easier to meditate. Used as part of a self care ritual, mantra meditation will help you start or end your day on a clear-headed, calm, focused note.