Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve concentration, increase happiness, and promote a healthy lifestyle. Seeking well-being, people often ask, “How do I meditate?” In response, I can provide a road map or guided meditation, but if you really want to meditate, you need to try different ways of meditating and PRACTICE. Meditation is also a process of self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. As you learn about yourself and explore different forms of meditation, you will uncover a way of meditating that speaks to you. Recently I have been investigating mantra as a form of meditation.
Mantra is a sound, word, statement, or slogan repeated frequently to aid concentration in meditation. For example, you might say in your mind “inhale” as you breathe in, and “exhale” as you breathe out, repeating for the duration of your meditation session. A popular Sanskrit mantra is “so-hum” meaning “I am that,” or I am one with the universe. It implies connection between all things; a sense of belonging to and being a part of everything. To perform, breathe in “so” and breathe out “hum.” As an introduction to mantra meditation, try one of these two mantras for 5-15 minutes. If your mind starts to wander, don’t be alarmed. Just return your attention to your mantra. Stick with the same mantra for ten sessions. If the mantra is right for you, the words will come effortlessly, lose all meaning, and become part of the rhythm of your breath and flow of your meditation.
Some people like to use a slogan or personal affirmation in mantra meditation. I have been using, “I am centered in truth and peace.” I inhale, “I am centered,” and exhale, “in truth and peace.” Presently, this mantra resonates with me. It aligns with my core values, and keeps them in the forefront of my mind where I hope it will germinate and manifest in my yoga teaching and in my personal life.