Sometimes the mantra is recited; at other times it is listened to. Sometimes it is repeated fast; at other times slow. Sometimes it is simply repeated by itself, and at other times in connection to concentration on the breathing, certain feelings, chakras, visualizations or abstract concepts.
Indeed, the subject of mantra and related practices is a vast and complex study within Hinduism, Yoga, and Buddhism. Here I’ve strived to give you a very broad overview of mantra meditation, with the pragmatic and non-sectarian approach that is characteristic of this blog. Whether you are agnostic or spiritually minded, this article will give you important practical tips for your practice.
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WHY USE A MANTRA?
The Transformative Power of Sound
You may be asking yourself, “What’s so special about repeating a word, anyway? Why is it considered a powerful tool for meditation?”.
Sound is vibration. And all the cells in your body are vibrating. Everything in the universe is vibrating, and each has its own rhythm. Your thoughts and feelings are, indeed, vibrations in your body and your consciousness.
Sound patterns also affect the water in your body, your hormones secretion, cognition, behavior, and psychological well-being.
Looked at in this way, your mind – your psyche – is a collection of patterns, each vibrating at its own peculiar frequency, speed, and volume. What the mystics and yogis of yore discovered is that by sustaining a particular sound vibration for a long time, the nature of the mind and body can be somewhat transformed.
Any musician or filmmaker will tell you of the power that sound has to induce/evoke moods, thoughts, and emotions. If listening to a song can change your mood and even help heal your body, imagine the power of programming a specific sound into your mind, by repeating it thousands of times with care and attention!