Meditation Articles Series


Mantras and Meditation

09 Apr 2009

Last week a friend and I went along to listen to a small group of visiting monks chanting. These monks, along with the Dalai Lama are exiled from their homeland, Tibet, and live in India. This little group of monks have been in Australasia for a year raising awareness about Tibet.

The chanting began with deep resonating sounds from the monk leading the group. Then all the monks began to chant. Everyone sat still and silent absorbing sounds that are not so familiar to western ears. I found the intensity of the chanting affecting my throat. My throat area was buzzing. I will ask others as I meet them again how they were affected by the chanting.

What is a Mantra?

Most probably much of the chanting was repetition of mantras. Mantras are groups of sounds and syllables repeated again and again, usually out loud. Mantra chanting forms the basis of many meditation practices throughout the world.

The Benefits of Mantras

Chanting a mantra can help to ‘awaken’ your voice and also be a form of meditation for you. This will bring you into the present moment where you can experience balance and stillness just as any other meditation technique is designed to do.

Here are some mantras that you may feel drawn to chant. Chant them in a way that suits you.

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

This mantra is of Indian origin from the ancient Sanskrit language as are the following two mantras. It literally means, “I bow to Shiva, I bow to my Inner Self.” Shiva is a powerful god in Indian culture. Repeating the syllables according to Indian traditions purify our bodies, grants abundance, and leads to spiritual realization.

SAT NAM

This mantra means ‘truth is thy name.’ According to Eastern philosophy this sacred sound brings healing especially if your self esteem and confidence are low.

RA MA DA SA SA SAY SO HUNG

This mantra translates as ‘Sun – Moon – Earth – Infinity – All that is Infinity – I am thee.’ Within the eight sounds of this mantra lies the energy of the Kundalini. The rising of the Kundalini in the physical body through certain practices including mantras awakens our spiritual nature. This mantra is also said to improve health and well-being.

I AM – I AM – I AM – HERE NOW HERE

This is a mantra in English, which reinforces that we are here in this moment, not the past, nor the future, but here now.



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