An Introduction to Mantra Meditation
Mantra meditation is one of the most common styles of meditation, dating back thousands of years. It is a common practice throughout most meditation traditions, including Hind, Buddhist, and Zen practices.
In this post we’ll give an introduction to mantra meditation and how you can get started
What Is A Mantra? Origin and Meaning
A mantra is a phrase that is repeated throughout a meditation practice. The phrase may be spoken or thought, and may or may not contain a specific meaning to it.
The origin of the term mantra comes from Sanskrit. The word can be broken into two roots:
- Man: Often translated as “mind,” man also refers to thought and the act of thinking.
- Trai: Probably most directly translated as “to liberate” or “to free,” and is used in the context of tools and techniques.
Thus “mantra,” quite literally, means a tool to free the mind from thought.
Many mantras are used out of tradition, with the focus being on the sounds produced during the vocalization of the mantra, and in these cases it is often repeated as a chant. Perhaps the most common example of this is the “Om” mantra, which is pronounced in three parts (Ahh-Auu-ohmmm), and according to many yogic texts (including Patanjali, for example) is said to contain the entire existence of the universe within the single sound.
Others, often in Sanskrit, are used for their meaning and intention. Many of the mantras date back thousands of years, and part of the practice of mantra meditation is to invoke the energy that has been imbued in these phrases over many generations.
Powerful Mantras: The Top 10 Most Common Mantras
- Om Mani Padme Hum: The jewel is in the lotus.
- So-hum: I am that.
- Shanti Shanti Shanti: Peace of mind, body, and word.
- Satcitananda (Sat Chit Ananda): Attaining Pure Bliss Consciousness.
- Ajai Alai:: Being in Power; Warrior’s mantra.
- Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu
- Gayatri: Earth, Heaven, and Everything between.
- Ganesha: salutation to the God Ganesh
- I am that I am.
- Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better:
The Benefits of Mantra Meditation
Like all types of meditation, practicing mantras has a number of important health benefits. The top among these is improved concentration and focus, centeredness, happiness, and ease of life.