Meditation lifts you up. It raises your consciousness. You sit calmly, silently and serenely and enter into your heart. Trying to silence the mind in meditation is definitely possible but it isn’t easy. It is always wandering and roaming because that is its nature. To silence thoughts takes focus, concentration and determination.. or there is an easy way! You can also use mantra to help quieten the mind.
A mantra is a special word or sentence that carries a hidden power. If you can repeat the mantra with focused concentration you can use it effectively for meditation. The word mantra is used a lot in English nowadays. We say someone has a mantra when it is their focus. Someones mantra might be to make money or achieve material success, anothers might be to travel to a country and they will tell you about their aim over and over. It is their mantra.
“Mantra is a Sanskrit word,” says Sri Chinmoy. “In Indian philosophy, spirituality and the inner life, mantras play a considerable role. A mantra is a syllable divinely surcharged with power.”
A spiritual mantra is the repetition of a phrase or sentence for a divine purpose. If it is given by a spiritual master it embued with extra power. There are mantras known and used for thousands of years, such as the Gayatri Mantra and also mantras from modern times.
A mantra is very useful when we are unable to concentrate and meditate. When our mind is restless and we cannot still it it is an opportunity to use a mantra. You can repeat, for example, the Aum mantra for a few minutes, or any mantra you like. You can repeat a mantra silently or audibly and in any language. Generally if it is audible it is more effective. After you chant a mantra it is often easier to meditate. Consider the chanting of the word ‘Peace’ or ‘Shanti’ which in Sanskrit means peace.
If you chant it like you really want the quality you will get it. Finish chanting and your mind will be calm and tranquil and it is easy to meditate, also at some point chanting the meditation becomes a meditation in itself.
We are lucky. Sri Chinmoy was an amazing musical composer, he wrote over 18000 songs in his lifetime. Many are very, very mantric. They uplift you and raise your consciousness which remember, is one of the goals of meditation.
“If you want quick results in your inner spiritual life, you should repeat a mantra every day without fail, for a least half an hour: fifteen minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes in the evening. There can be no mantra more powerful than the mother of all mantras, AUM,” Sri Chinmoy once said.
Try a mantra and see how you go. Listen to music group Vedic Fire singing Sri Chinmoy’s musical mantras or follow the instructions below and try AUM by yourself.
Feel the vibration of each letter. Take a deep breath and try to keep the letter A (pronounced as O) for a while and feel its vibrations inside the chest, where this sound comes from. With the second letter U, focus on the neck and with the last letter M, try to focus on the nasal cavity, the place inside your head behind the face where the sound of the letter M comes from. Try to keep the letter M chanting with a slow vibration for as long as possible, the M should be three times longer than the first two letters. Now connect all three letters and focus on how this vibration moves with each letter in your body from the heart chakra (middle of the chest) up to the crown chakra (located at the top of the head). . Repeat several times in a row.
Mantra is very powerful done in a group. We usually dedicate a class to some mantras in our free meditation classes which we have on at various venues around Perth. Visit the class page for more information.