Meditation mantra: this is how it works!

During meditation you often sit in silence and try to be quiet in your mind as well. But it can be quite difficult at times. A meditation mantra can help to calm the mind. Here's how it works!

What is a meditation mantra?

A mantra is a word, sound or syllable that you repeat during meditation. You can do this by singing, whispering or in silence (while repeating the mantra in your mind). Rhythmically singing or voicing mantras is also called chanting.

What does mantra mean?
The word mantra comes from Sanskrit and literally means: 'Liberation of our mind' Manasah (mind) and Tra (liberation).

The special thing about Sanskrit is that each word has a certain vibration frequency. When you recite a mantra you bring forth these vibrations. The sounds of the mantras vibrate through your whole body and your energy field, and have a positive effect on your body and soul.

Using Sanskrit mantras has another advantage. You do not recognize the words, which means you don’t give them a direct meaning. When speaking or singing mantras, it is not about the word itself, but it’s about the vibrational frequency and the experience you’re having.

Why a meditation mantra?

Although mantras are being used in quite some meditations and mindfulness exercises these days, their origin goes way back in history. In ancient meditation traditions, mantras were already used to provide calmness and insight, comfort and to experience a deeper awareness.

Within some traditions the meditation mantra has a more spiritual purpose. In Hinduism, for example, it is used to make contact with the 'divine'. Each mantra becomes more powerful through repetition.

How does a meditation mantra work?

Singing or speaking mantras requires concentration. You are 'busy' with the mantras so your mind is less likely to wander. A mantra (which you can also repeat silently in your mind) can help you sit in silence. A mantra actually keeps your mind busy.

5 well-known mantras

  1. Om / Ohm / Aum – ‘Ohmmmm’. This is the basic mantra most people know! Ohm, according to Hinduism, has a vibrational frequency that puts you in touch with the source. It allows you to experience a deeper level of your consciousness.
  2. Ohm Namah Shivaya – Shiva is the Hindu God of Transformation who makes room for new things and ideas in your life. This mantra means ‘I bow to Shiva, the power that helps me to let go’ and it can help you with small as well as big changes in your life.
  3. Eiyem / I AM – This mantra comes from a Judeo-Christian tradition and can be used to cleanse yourself and your system.
  4. Gayatri – The Gayatri mantra is one of the oldest mantras and has to do with the enlightenment of your soul. Gayatri represents rhythm and protection. Using this mantra brings peace, light, confidence and it purifies your emotions.
  5. Ohm mani padme ohm – This mantra is widely used within Buddhism and means ‘the jewel in the lotus flower’. It works well with turning negative emotions into positive ones.

Create your own meditation mantra

The Sanskrit mantras are carefully composed for their specific combination and vibrational frequency. When spoken (out loud or in your head) they have a special effect on body and soul. Making up your own mantras will probably have a different effect.

Yet you can create your own mantra. Choose a sentence or affirmation that makes you feel good or one that has a special meaning. For example:

  • “I am blessed”
  • “I am worth it”
  • “I am full of energy”
  • “I feel strong and full of positive energy”
  • “I’m powerful”

Try to keep your mantra simple and positive. In other words, do not focus on what you don’t want, but focus on what you do want. If your mantra is positive, it will keep it’s positive image.

Powerful sounds

The vibration of mantras has a positive, energetic effect on us. But there are also other sounds and vibrations that have this effect. For example binaural beets, special tones that can induce feelings of inspiration, relaxation and focus. Or sound healing, which are sound vibrations with healing properties. Various instruments, such as singing bowls, tuning forks and gongs are used to bring the body into a meditative state.

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