Meditation Tips - 4 Methods For Mantras

"The mantra becomes one's staff of life and carries one through every ordeal. Each repetition has a new meaning, carrying you nearer and nearer to God." -Mahatma Gandhi

Mantras are a powerful form of meditation practiced in many traditions. And just as Gandhi stated, they are a powerful way to help you through the challenges that arise in life.

At a simple level, a mantra can be a chant, a word, or a phrase repeated over and over again.

"Om" and "Om Mani Padme Hum" are two classic mantras from India.

When I teach people to play with mantra meditation, there are four levels of practice.

Listen to a recorded mantra: This one is pretty straightforward. If you don't have anything already, I suggest In The Om Zone 2.0 by Steven Halpern (which is available on Sit, relax, and listen. You can start with 5 minutes and work up from there. Notice how you feel after listening.
Speak your own mantra out loud: Also pretty straightforward. This is where you begin chanting the mantra, yourself. Sit in a quiet place. Allow yourself to relax. Begin chanting your mantra. At first do your best to pour all your awareness and energy into chanting the mantra. Once you feel you are getting highly focused, and you can continue chanting without all your attention applied to it, you can experiment with non-judgmentally listening to the sound of your mantra as you chant it. Adjust your volume to your level of comfort. You may find you enjoy chanting your mantra louder or more quietly.
Speak your own mantra internally: This is where we make the mantra practice more subjective. Here, you do not chant your mantra out loud, you just chant it inside your mind. You prepare the same way you did for chanting out loud, and you can also play with the internal volume the same way you played with external volume, before. Playing with very quiet internal mantra can help prepare you for the next step. If you practice enough, you might find that your mantra continues internally even when you aren't focusing on it.
Listen for the internal mantra already being spoken: This one is a bit weird! Sometimes the last step will lead to this automatically. Start your practice the same way (quiet seated relaxation), turn your awareness inward, and listen for the same mantra being chanted inside your mind. Don't actively chant it, just listen for it. It may seem that the mantra is being chanted somewhere in the background of your mind, or it may seem that the mantra is the basic background sound of the universe. When you pass this level, it will become very easy to connect with a place of deep inner peace.

As you might guess, the more you practice these mantra meditation tips, the better you will get.

Play with at least one form of mantra practice for a few minutes everyday, and notice how your focus, relaxation, and overall happiness transforms as you get better and better!

Benjamin Langley has been studying meditation, self-hypnosis, energy work, and other healing methods for over 15 years. He has taken the time to study, practice, and integrate these methods, and he has written over 400 articles on these subjects, as well as numerous podcasts and videos that can be found on his site and others.

If you want to get a deeper understanding of meditation quickly, you can find the best free meditation tips and techniques on the web at

Original article

Mindfulness Meditation - How to Mine Your Past for Creative Gold

In our headlong rush to create a new, supposedly better reality for ourselves, there is a great danger of reinforcing a pervasive belief that what we have now isn't good enough. Such an attitude is counter-productive and a sure recipe for unhappiness. But this constant focus on the future also causes us to ignore a potential source of creative gold: memories of happy experiences from our past. And those memories should not be overlooked, for their vividness in our minds gives them an extra creative potential that wishful thoughts about an imaginary future often lack.

The Past is Not Dead, But it Could be Killing Your Future

Once we have accepted the unconventional proposition that we create our reality with our thoughts, then the six-million dollar question inevitably becomes, "What are we setting ourselves up for by thinking what we're thinking?" Through the cultivation of mindfulness, we must constantly observe our thoughts and emotions, and stand ready to police negativity that will cause problems if left unchecked.

What that mindfulness often reveals is that we spend a great deal of our time rehashing events from our past - usually bad ones. If just one little thing goes wrong with an otherwise decent day, you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll be dwelling on that isolated incident, blowing it up out of all proportion and granting it a significance it almost certainly doesn't deserve. Not only does this make you unhappy without good reason; it also sets in motion creative forces that will cause this poor quality of experience to expand. Think of it as a snowball effect or as a vicious circle, but you are going to get more of what you concentrate upon.

Sadly, we often end up using our creative power not to make the better future we want by concentrating on how things could be, but instead create a poorer future by focusing on the lousy things that have already been. This process is at work all the time, even for people who would laugh at the suggestion that their own thoughts and feelings affect their physical reality. Those of us who have made this breakthrough and perceived our own power ought to know better, but all too often fall into the same self-destructive traps as everyone else. It takes a tremendous degree of experienced mindfulness to learn this lesson.

Time to Turn the Tables

Most efforts to create better realities involve positive thoughts and images about a potential future. Those efforts are particularly difficult when we sabotage ourselves by allocating more time to complaints about the past and present. This tendency dooms many people to failure before they start, so it is no wonder that some say creative visualization doesn't do any good. In a generally dark mental environment, a few rays of sunshine amount to little more than damage limitation.

There are two things we can do to give our future a better chance at working out the way we want, and both involve our past. The first, following on from what we have just discussed, is to stop dwelling on all the bad things we habitually churn up from our past, whether that past occurred earlier today or twenty years ago. (Memories of ancient harms don't go away. In fact, the brain is hard-wired to hang on to them.)

The second thing we can do is to deliberately focus on all the good things that have happened in the past. And, no, it's not acceptable for you to say, "What good things?" Unless you've been a prisoner of war all your life, there will have been some good along the way. And even if your life has been unusually hard, we should not forget what Viktor Frankl told us in Man's Search for Meaning. The most resilient humans - those who survive against all odds - are somehow able to find something positive in the most hellish conditions imaginable.

Focusing on the best events from your past will encourage those better qualities of experience to reappear. No matter what else has happened since, or is happening right now, no one can ever take those memories away from you. They are always available to you, ready and willing to help you focus your attention and creative energy through a brighter prism, and to rekindle happier emotions.

Thus, instead of dredging up toxic mud from the murky depths of your past, only to dump it into the flow of your current consciousness, why not instead tap into your deep reserves of creative gold? The more you do this, the easier it will become. And if you persist long enough, you will start to detect those same happy qualities of experience occurring anew. The details will be different, but life will try to give you more of the same. Once again, the bottom line is this: What do you want more of - the worst things that have happened to you, or the best?

The uses and limits of mindfulness practices are discussed in greater detail in this thoughtful and unique meditation blog.

Original article

How To Meditate Properly Techniques

So you want to learn how to meditate properly? Well you have come to the right place. Before I get into how to meditate, I want to talk a little about what meditation is.

What is Meditation?

If you are not familiar with meditation, you may be confused about what it really is. Meditation is simply "awareness". What is awareness? It is a state where you are completely present in the moment. Being present means you are not thinking about the past and not thinking about the future. All that exists is this very moment, right now. In this state, you can reach higher levels of consciousness and an increase in clarity of mind.

You are not your thoughts. We believe we are what we think, because we associated who we are with what we are thinking. But to meditate is to separate yourself from your thoughts. You simply become "the watcher". During meditation, you are observing your thoughts. This is how you will reach a state of "no mind", that is, you are in a state of thoughtless awareness.

Why Meditate? What are the Benefits?

Meditation has many benefits. Your mind, body, and soul are connected. A change in one will affect the other. Meditation will help clear your mind of useless thoughts and clutter. You will find you will have a more sense of clarity as you go about your daily activities. You will also find you will feel more grounded in this world and more calm. Meditation also helps you become happier and loving. All the negative emotions you attach to things that have happened in the past and all the negative emotions you attach to potential things that could happen in the future are decreased, and sometimes completely eliminated. Meditation teaches you to detach from your thoughts, so naturally you will detach from stressful thoughts. A decrease in stress will help with stress related illness such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

Beyond all the benefits listed above, meditation is a time for your to relax simply just be. It is time for you to appreciate yourself, life, and embrace a higher being.

Anyone can do and benefit from meditation. You do not have to be religious or have a god to benefit from meditation. Meditation is for anyone who wants to live a better and more stress free life.

How To Meditate Properly?

Easy steps for how to meditate properly.

You will want to find a quiet and comfortable place to sit down. You can sit down anywhere, on the floor or on the chair. Your back must be straight. People say you shouldn't lie down because it's an easy way to fall asleep. If you can get away with it then you can lie down if you wish.
Breath normally. In and out. Pay attention to your breath. Focus on the air coming in through your nose, into your lungs, and back out. Focusing on your breath keeps your mind away from focusing on all the thoughts swirling in your mind.
You will notice many many thoughts coming in and out. The key here is to let them be. Do not push them away or hold on to them. Do not try and interpret them or make sense of them. Simply allow them to arise and go away as they do. You are the watcher. You are simply watching these thoughts. As time goes by, these thoughts will subside slowly...... and eventually, you will have reached a state of "no mind", where you have no thoughts. This is the blissful meditative state.
That's it! Easy and simple meditation.

Tips on How To Meditate Properly

Meditate for at least 20 minutes a day. It can take 10 minutes or more to quiet your mind.Do it daily. Be consistent with it.Meditation is not a pill to band-aid your issues. It is a way of life. Embrace the full power of meditation.You may not successfully meditate right off the bat, but it's okay. Understand it can take some time to "get it". Keep at it. If you can only sit for 5 minutes that's okay too. It's a start.Meditative music, like binaural beats or guided meditation can be excellent for beginners or those with experience. Basically, they help put you in a meditative state faster and more efficiently, so you can benefit with longer sessions in a meditative state and deeper meditative states as well.

For an excellent resource on the many types of meditations as well as step by step instructions on how to perform meditation, check out How To Meditate Properly. You will also find some history and other health benefits of meditation.

Original article

Three Quick Steps to Mind Healing Through Meditation

Mind healing is something that often gets ignored. This is a field that many people need to work on. In order to have a strong body, a person needs to have a strong mind. So many physical diseases are caused or enhanced by stress. Taking the time to heal the mind is not difficult, and can be achieved easily. The first step is finding some extra time. The second step is deciding on how to heal the mind. And the third step is to be persistent.

Modern day life keeps people busy for most of the day. This is part of the reason why mind healing is necessary. Finding some time to relieve emotional strains will provide a person with a healthier life. Half an hour during weekdays is more than enough to significantly reduce stress levels. Over the weekend, there is generally more time available for pleasant activities.

During the week a person needs to find up to thirty minutes a day for themselves. One of the best ways to relief stress and heal the spirit is through meditation. For beginners, a guided meditation may be necessary. Guided meditations can be purchased on CDs or Audiobooks. They are a good way for novices to become comfortable with the idea of meditating. If someone is not comfortable with meditation, he or she will not be able to benefit from it. Relaxing and replenishing the mind is the second step to mental healing.

The most important step is the third one. Without discipline, a person will not be able to improve their mental status and benefit from meditation. There will be days when he or she will not feel like spending time to meditate. Not giving up is the key to success. A person will benefit most from meditation when he or she doesn't feel like doing it.

Meditation is a powerful stress relief tool. Busy daily schedules, worries at home, work, or school, and hundreds of other unexpected problems are the cause of stress. Unfortunately, stress affects the human body in a negative way, both in the long term and in the short term. Frequent stress is linked to a wide variety of metal disorders and other illnesses. This is why everybody can benefit from mind healing. One of the most popular practices is meditation. A person does not need a lot of time for it. Usually fifteen to thirty minutes a day is more than enough.

Original article

Meditation: The Trick to Hold the String of Your Thoughts

Gautama Buddha followed meditation and achieved enlightenment. Your brain is supposed to carry enormous knowledge; but you don't know how to unravel that. In today's tough competition, excessive vices, relations and all kinds of physical and mental pollution, you often lose yourself and eventually don't capitalize on your potential. Meditation is an art of achieving control over your thought process up to a relevant degree.

L'art De La Meditation is a French book by Matthieu Ricard that throws generous light on the art of meditation. In this crisp and knowledgeable book, you will find many patterns to follow meditation and discarding negative energy. Best thing about meditation is that it doesn't require any expensive resource; just a calm and isolated space and peaceful mind. You should brush off your stresses when you take the meditative pose.

Find your focus

You might focus on candlelight or any other constant, and try to reach a stage when you are engaged with just one thought. It is impossible to block your thoughts, but you can channel them in a righteous way. A simple and honest mind remains peaceful and peace is the ultimate requirement for a healthy life. Thus, meditation holds the key to the complexity of your life.

You can opt for Vajrasana in which your legs are straddled, chin points downward and sitting posture is ramrod straight. Your shoulders shouldn't stoop down and you should work towards remaining comfortable in that pose. Supposedly, this posture works best for modulation of thoughts and control over mind.

The positives of Meditation

Meditation eliminates stresses of life, composes your nature and maintains your blood pressure. It doesn't have any time barrier, although dawn hours are considered best for the process due to fresh air and calmer environment. You should inculcate the habit of practicing regularly to gain insight. In time, you will analyze yourself better, your introspection will be impartial and your performance will improve considerably.

Everyone has a different outlook on life, and sees his chances in different light. Fake obstacles often color his vision and he often mistakes greed for need. These are common stages of life, when you feel impatient and struggle to get composed. Your thoughts begin to run haphazard and you resemble a waterfall. With daily meditation, you can reach a stage that ocean is blessed with; calm, unstirred and all-encompassing.

Attain vision in life

Through meditation, you will cultivate the virtue of keeping your anger at bay. Most importantly, you will realize the exact importance of your ego. Ego is not exactly a demon; it only needs proper curbing. You should understand that there are many false things happening around you, which will pollute your senses and clarity of thought. When you realize the exact reality of life and its demands, you automatically gain control over your mind and thoughts.

Jeff Benwell is the author of the blog, Books That Can Change Your Life and shares his views on the art of meditation. Visit his blog to know more.

Original article

Walking Meditation - Awareness To Go!

Walking meditation may seem like a contradiction in terms. How can you meditate while you're walking, you might ask; aren't we supposed to be sitting in some special, contorted position? But if the purpose of your meditation is to practice mindfulness, then cultivating awareness of your body and your inner states while walking is an excellent place to start. It's also very easy to incorporate into your day, because even when you have a million things to do, you're always going to have to do some walking. So let's see how you can take your meditation with you, wherever you go.

On Your Marks, Get Set... Stand?

Cultivating an awareness of physical sensations is the starting point for many mindfulness practices, and for most people this is much easier to achieve when the body is in motion rather than sitting still. Having said that, some teachers of walking meditation begin the exercise with the moment before you start walking, when you're simply standing.

Standing upright is something we take completely for granted, but it took our species a tremendously long time to achieve this feat, and it took us as individuals a couple of years in infancy to get it down pat. Becoming aware of the complex balancing act involved, and how your body feels, requires a shift in focus from the usual mental chatter. Of course, you will probably tell yourself that this is silly, but becoming aware that these judgments are just thoughts - and being able to simply watch them come and go - is itself part of the mindfulness we seek to attain.

To walk in a mindful way, you must obviously retain a baseline awareness of your physical surroundings in order to ensure your safety, especially if you're walking in an urban area or around traffic. (Yes, it would be nice to do this on the beach or through a grove of Giant Sequoias, but we can be mindful between the car and the office, too.) Over time, you will find a balance point between inner and outer awareness, but you should start with focusing on your body.

Steps Towards Mental Freedom

Starting from the ground up - meaning your feet - become aware of the physical sensations of every part of your body as you walk. Just experience the movements; don't analyze them. Relax each part of your body in turn: let your calf muscles relax; let your hands and arms swing freely by your sides. If you have any feelings in your body that are pleasant or unpleasant, just notice them but don't allow your attention to linger on them. Similarly, if you have an emotional response - either to what you are doing or to something else that you start thinking about - just observe the emotion without getting caught up in it.

Focusing on your body and mind in the present moment reduces the tendency for thoughts to wander off into the past or future. And by observing the effect of different thoughts on your emotions, you become aware of both positive and negative consequences - an essential step that ultimately enables you to make better choices in your mind. I find this particularly valuable at times of great stress, when the mind is most apt to fly off into worst-case scenarios. Grounding yourself in the present interrupts that destructive tendency and counteracts the corrosive effects of stress on your emotional and physical health.

Combining Walking Meditation with Loving-Kindness

One of the most beautiful practices in Buddhist traditions is to feel loving-kindness while walking. The Buddhist website,, has a nice way of expressing this. While walking, focus on your heart and imagine it to be a sun radiating light and warmth in every direction. Or repeat an affirmation such as, "May all beings be well, may all beings be happy, may all beings be free from suffering." As we have discussed in a companion article on this website, you will find that cultivating loving-kindness is a spiritual investment that offers a very high rate of return in your own happiness and well-being. I cannot think of a better counterpart to all the other benefits - physical and mental - to be derived from something as simple as a walk.

For more thoughts on mindfulness and related topics, visit this comprehensive meditation site.

Original article

Guided Meditation Mp3's - How Are Binaural Beats Used in Meditation?

Are you interested in learning meditation fast? You probably already know about the nearly endless advantages of meditation. The objective of meditation is to unwind the brain, permit your mind to be at in complete state of peace and release yourself of all the things cluttering your thoughts.

If you're like a lot of meditation rookie, seeing progress in meditation can be difficult. Often times people are discouraged from this lack of development and give up early on, but it is vital that you keep practicing. Since all people's learning styles are different, you should be aware of your own learning style and try to meet its needs. For auditory learners, you may be interested to know about a particular meditation technology known as binaural "beats" or special auditory frequencies which can be used to put your mind in an Alpha brain state, also known as the state of relaxation. These binaural beats are utilized in guided meditation mp3's and can allow your experience with meditation to reach new levels.

Binaural beats aren't some sort of magic and they are not a fake technology, there is a real science behind exactly how they work and why. When you listen to binaural beats, there is an alignment of separate frequencies in your brain, thus easing your thoughts and body into an state of relaxation which opens your mind to a different kind of consciousness. The secret is to put on earphones, because this way the beats being played into each ear will induce the alignment of your brain waves. The way this works is that your brain will naturally synchronize itself to a frequency which is equal to the difference between each ear bud's rhythm. Since an Alpha brain state is between 8-12 hertz, listening to a binaural mp3 with a frequency of 110 hertz in one ear and 100 hertz in the other (a difference of 10 hertz) will induce an Alpha brain state at a frequency of 10 hertz. Personally, I would suggest using noise canceling headphones to ensure no outside sounds are interfering with the binaural beats. Therefore, if you were to attempt listening to binaural frequencies on regular speakers the frequencies will not be delivered to your brain correctly because your brain will not be able to differentiate which ear is receiving which frequency.

With binaural frequencies humming on your ears the frustration is taken out of meditating because you no longer have to get yourself "in the zone" by natural means.This way, you can focus on whatever you need to meditate on, rather than wasting all your energy trying to reach the point of meditation. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start meditating!

For more content related to binaural beats and meditation, check out my website at

Original article

Is Location Important in Meditation?

There are lots of things where location is important but one question that gets raised quite regularly is whether or not location is important in meditation. As with most things in life, there's no correct answer to this. The answer could be yes, no or maybe and it would still be correct. We'll take a look at some different forms of meditation and assess the importance - or otherwise - of location for each of them.

Location and walking meditation

With a walking meditation there's a lot to be said for varying the location so that you can have a different meditative experience each time.

Since you keep your eyes and other senses open whilst you're walking, you are opening yourself to experiencing all those different senses. You'll be open to the details that you observe - ones that would normally just pass you by as part of the scenery. This isn't just limited to sights. If you're doing a walking meditation diligently then you'll also be listening for the sounds around you and taking in the smells that you experience as you go on your walk.

You'll also get a physical experience that will vary according to the surface and gradient you're walking on as well as the footwear that's cladding your feet. You could even take in your fifth sense - that of touch - as you walk along.

So the location is important in the sense that it is actually an integral part of your walking meditation. But it's also unimportant in the sense that there are few places that you can't carry out a walking meditation.

Location and breathing meditation

Carrying out a breathing meditation can be independent of where you are. Or it can be linked if you're doing one of the more physical forms of this kind of meditation.

The more strenuous types of breathing meditation where you are actually using your arms to help accentuate the flow of air into your lungs need a certain amount of clear space around you. So you wouldn't be able to carry them out on a crowded subway train for instance!

But just concentrating on your breathing pretty much doesn't care where you are. You're going to breathe anyway, it's just that your focus will be on the breaths you're taking rather more than it normally is. The mere act of taking a deep breath and then exhaling the stale air can be the totality of the experience. Which means that it's possible to do this anywhere.

Location and traditional meditation

Traditional meditation usually concentrates on a focus point. This can be the flame of a candle or the repetition of a mantra.

Whilst this can be carried out almost anywhere, a lot of people like to set aside some "space" to carry it out. This could be as simple as a room in your home with a "do not disturb" sign on the door or it could be a dedicated space with a meditation cushion or bench and some scented candles or incense burning to add to the ambience.

Location and binaural beats meditation

Surprisingly, although it's a recent progression in the art of meditating, this is probably the most influenced by location.

You need somewhere to sit or lay down where you're unlikely to be disturbed for the duration of the binaural beats track. It's usually an eyes closed process, so you won't be driving or walking or doing anything else that would be dangerous or just plain stupid whilst your eyes are closed.

Although it's more location dependant than the other forms we've discussed, it's still a great way to experience a deep meditative state without much effort on your part.

Original article

Breathing Meditation - Your Safe Harbor in a Storm

Breathing meditation is one of the simplest and easiest mindfulness exercises. Focusing awareness on your breathing takes your attention away from the raging tempest of thoughts and emotions that usually swirls around inside you during times of great stress. When you feel like you are spiraling out of control on the way to rock bottom, breathing meditation can be a lifeline around your sanity. Let's take a look at how easy and effective this can be.

An Overview of Breathing Meditation

Breathing meditation is an exercise in mental awareness, not an exercise in physically controlling your breathing. Thus, if you suffer from breathing difficulties, such as COPD, this isn't something you'll do with your physical therapist. While mindfulness is generally an excellent antidote to stress, if the struggle to breathe is itself the cause of your stress then this may not be the best mindfulness exercise for you. But for most people, the process of breathing is controlled beautifully and unconsciously by the autonomic nervous system, and makes for an excellent anchor for our attention.

To begin the exercise, place yourself in a comfortable position, relax each part of your body in turn, and then close your eyes. For the next five to ten minutes, focus only on your breathing. If your mind wanders - which it will - just gently bring it back to your breathing. To help you focus (and stop you from going in the other direction and spacing out) keep a running count of each out-breath, from one to ten repeatedly.

After numerous sessions of counting your out-breaths, switch focus to your in-breath, counting before you breathe in. This makes you aware of the different feel of the in-breath - one of gathering energy - in contrast to the release of the out-breath.

When you feel you are ready, drop the counting altogether and just focus on your breathing. While counting can help you focus, it also breaks the seamless flow of breathing into a choppy, discontinuous series of individual breaths. Try to feel the air at the rims of your nostrils, and even on your upper lip. This level of sensitivity may take a while to develop, but one of the purposes of mindfulness exercises is to enhance the richness of your present moments, bringing to consciousness fine details that are usually missed. In other words, mindfulness makes you more alive in the here and now, and over time this becomes apparent across your entire waking life, not just during meditation itself.

Dealing with Distractions

The issue of distractions brings us back to our primary purpose. When you are distracted by all those random thoughts or emotions that impinge on your awareness, you are like a car driver who allows an obnoxious passenger to take hold of the wheel. You are no longer in control, and this is not an acceptable state of affairs. But it is vital not to become annoyed or disappointed with yourself; in fact, there is something to celebrate here. At that precise moment when you realize that you have lost your focus and become distracted, you are taking the passenger's hands off the steering wheel and putting yours back on. You are becoming more aware; you are learning that you have a choice about the contents of your mind. And with choice comes freedom.

Thus, whenever you bring your attention back to your breathing after a rude interruption, do not judge yourself. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for rising above the distraction. (Don't overdo it, though, since this little celebration can itself become a distraction!) In a sense, the right attitude to adopt toward yourself is one of loving-kindness, which we have discussed in companion articles on this website. Breathing meditation is, in fact, a prelude to more advanced Buddhist meditations such as loving-kindness, and the calmness it will give you is a necessary precondition for insight.

Using this simple exercise, you will always be able to regain inner control and restore your sanity with just a few minutes to spare.

Effective though it is, breathing meditation is only the beginning of the most fascinating journey you will ever take - the journey within. To see what happens when ancient meditation techniques are enhanced by a thoughtful application of modern neuroscience, visit Meditation Audio Reviews.

Original article