"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 Amazon.com). 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 http://PeacefulProsperity.com/Meditation-Techniques