Meditation means to be constantly extricating yourself from the clinging mind. – Ram Dass
Mantras have been used in meditation for thousands of years as a method to enter deeper states of awareness.
A mantra is a repeated phrase that holds an important meaning or resonance for the subject. The act of repeating a mantra over and over, allows the mind to settle into periods of peaceful awareness, absent of thought.
Anyone can create a mantra by selecting a short phrase that holds personal meaning. Ideally the mantra should be made up of words that have a nice rhythm and an appealing sound, such as:
The stillness resides in me.
Peace within and all around.
Breathing, smiling, letting go.
Vary this practice by speaking the mantra out loud. How does this change your experience?
Set a timer for five, ten or fifteen minutes.
Begin by finding a comfortable posture and by bringing your attention to the breath. Take a few moments to let yourself arrive and allow the breath to draw you gently into internal awareness. Allow the gaze to soften, the eyes to close.
Centre yourself in your breathing.
Silently repeat your mantra over and over. Allow the pace to flow organically. Sometimes it might be fast, sometimes slow, unhurried, even ponderous. At all times it should feel easy and natural.
Now, let the meaning of the words subside and allow the sounds that make up each word to be the focus of your attention.
When the mind wanders, patiently come back to the sounds of the words of your mantra.
Allow the sounds to gather and resonate within you.
Feel the vibrations of every syllable.
On each repetition, imagine you are hearing the mantra for the first time.
Repeat until the timer sounds.
Return to wakefulness in your own way.
Record your mantra and your experience of this meditation in your Mindfulness Journal.
If practising with others, take turns sharing your discoveries.
This practice is an extract from 100 Mindfulness Meditations: The Ultimate Collection of Inspiring Daily Practices by Neil Seligman published by Conscious House and available on Amazon priced £12.99.
10 Mindfulness Meditations is an album of audio meditations to accompany the book and is now available on iTunes priced £7.99.
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