A mantra is a word, phrase or sound that you repeat over and over whilst you meditate. The sounds may be chanted out loud, or may be heard internally. Mantras serve several purposes:
- They are a point of focus.
- They can be used instead of focusing on your breath (particularly useful if you find breath-work upsets your asthma or you have a cold).
- They can be used as an affirmation to bring that quality or energy into your life.
- They make your thoughts and feelings manifest, speaking them to your Self.
Some common mantras include:
- Om, Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi.
- I breath in peace, I breath out negativity.
- I am enough.
A mantra is usually said or thought in the time it takes to take a breath or marked by passing a bead through your fingers on a mala. For instance ‘I breath in peace, I breath out negativity.’ can be timed so the first half of the sentence is thought or spoken during the in-breath and the latter part during the out-breath.
Meditating this way for 20-30 mins a day is likely to bring the most benefits, but if you can only manage 5-10 minutes during a lunch break that is good too. It could also be used during or after a yoga practice, particularly whist relaxing or meditating at the end.
A good mantra for you would be something that speaks to your soul, that works with where you are now to help you get to where you want to be. A mantra that is right for you now, is not going to be the same as the one you need next week or next month. I would always advise you to play about with your mantra and find the right words for you.
Mantras can profoundly change our thoughts, feelings and perspective on ourselves, our lives and others. It is a powerful tool in your meditation tool-kit.
In this time of Spring with its new growth and seed sowing, think about what qualities or energies you want to bring into your life and work with that as a starting point for your mantra meditation.
Love and light