For those of you who practice mantra meditation, let’s talk about what what the mantra really is and what it really does. There are different types of mantra meditations and I will talk about before I further explain the use of the mantra. Some of you who are new to mantra meditation may even be thinking about the question of what is the mantra that you should use. In this blog post, I will try my best to answer some of the most common questions about the mantra and mantra meditation and hopefully that can make you know about meditation.
What is Mantra Meditation?
Mantra meditation is the type of meditation that requires you to have your eyes closed and reading and repeating a mantra in your mind throughout your meditation session. The point of repeating a mantra in your mind is to let your mind be engaged with a simple task which should stops the mind from doing some intense thinking. Since your mind can hardly be completely quiet, giving your mind a simple task such as repeating a mantra is one of the best ways to give it some rest. A typical alternative to the mantra meditation is the breath meditation. As a brief explanation, the breath meditation involves noticing the repeating breathing in and breathing out instead of of the mantra. Mantra medication just happens to work better for me.
Use So-Hum as Your Default Two-Syllable Mantra
Before we continue to talk about how mantra meditation is and what mantra you should use, let me just give you a common example of mantra simply for making you understand the following content better. Let’s just use the popular “so-hum” two-syllable mantra as your mantra for now. I will dig a little deeper on the choice of mantra a little later in this bloc post.
Method 1: Syncing Your Mantra with Your Breath
There are two common ways to do mantra meditation. Let’s talk about the method which you sync your breathing in and breathing out with the syllable one and syllable two of your two-syllable mantra. For example, to use the mantra “so-hum” to explain this method, you can simply say, in your mind, “so” when you breath in, “hum” when your breath out. You can also say “hum” when you breath in and “so” when breath out too. Remember that meditation is not exact science. You kind of know what feels right. Your goal is to simply clear your mind so you can think more clearly and effectively after your meditate.
Method 2: Just Repeat Your Mantra without Paying Attention to Your Breath
Simply repeatedly reading my mantra in my mind without noticing my breath is actually my favorite way of meditating. I am sure which method works better for you is simply a random event. My explanation for my own preference of not syncing the mantra with my breath is that I think the syncing part gives my mind more to work on, which to me becomes more of a full time job than a part time job. For those of you who are wondering what I mean by “working better”, I simply mean that it makes me more easily fall into the half-asleep state which is optimal for reseting my mind.
What is a Mantra Anyway?
As touched on earlier in this piece of writing, a mantra is simply a meaningless word that is made of syllables, usually two syllables but can very easily be one syllable or multiple syllables. The key word is “meaningless”. The mantra, no matter how long or how short, shouldn’t has any meaning because you don’t want to occupy your mind with something that has meaning. I have already disclosed that “so-hum” is like the default and popular mantra that some people who practice mantra meditation use. It is a meaning word but if “so-hum” means something to use. Don’t use it. You can simply make up your mantra by randomly picking any two sounds, or any number of syllables of sound though my favorite amount of syllables is two. So, the key take away is that your mantra has to be meaningless. And as a bonus tip that is solely from my own experience, the syllables of your mantra has to be relatively easy to pronounce for you or your mind will have a hard time repeating the mantra smoothly.
Some Examples of Mantras for Meditation
Some people think that their mantras are their own secrets. I don’t think about it that way since they are supposed to be just some meaningless word. Things like “be happy”, “I want to get rich” should never be your mantra for meditation although some people may think that’s a good way to apply the law of attractive, which I have very little knowledge and interest in. So, let me just give you a few mantras that has worked well for me. These mantras are “so-hum”, “da-pu” and “na-mo”. I am sure that there are tons that work equally well. I am just giving you the three that has worked and is still working to me. These would very likely work for you too unless you can associate the sounds of those mantras with things that actually means something. I do encourage you to make up your own mantras and, thru trial and error, see which one allows your mind to get into the half-asleep state most easily.
Don’t be Picky with Your Mantra
I know people that claim to be perfectionists. They need a lot of time to pick the right little thing and I can imagine that some of you who consider yourselves as perfectionists would take a long time to choose your mantra. From my experience, even the mantras that work well for you actually takes me a few days to get used to, so you definitely don’t want to switch your mantra everyday so it is easy to be misled that none of the mantras work for you. For those of you who have difficulty choosing, just use “so-hum” if you can’t figure out your mantra after one week of meditation practice.
Hopefully, this blog post has answered some of your important questions about mantra meditation and the mantra itself. It will take you a little bit of time and patience to check which specific combination of method and mantra would work well for you.