HOW MANTRA WORKS IN MEDITATION
A mantra is a mind vehicle. “Man” means mind and “tra” means vehicle. It brings the mind from one experience to another. In this case the mantra brings the mind from a state of thinking into a state that transcends thought and does so effortlessly. Mantras we use are from nature and easy to remember. They have no intended meaning, and work on the level of resonance, it is that sound quality of the mantra that does the work. A very charming, lovely sound that you repeat silently in the mind. When you take the course or the workshop you receive a universal mantra. Different mantras work better for different people and once you learn what your mantra is, you simply practice it with your eyes closed. Silently repeating it in the mind and in doing so it becomes softer, subtler, fainter and a bit quieter. Eventually it, disappears, and you move beyond thought, beyond even, the mantra. You are established in a state of being of pure consciousness. It feels wonderful, but when you first start out, you often suddenly catch yourself thinking, so you just come back to the mantra, and the process continues.
What Mantra Meditation Is and What it's Not and How it works and the Benefits and Techniques
1- A lot of people confuse effortless simplicity with a beginner’s level of practice. Mantra Meditation is profound due to the elegant simplicity. Just as yoga is profound due to the elegant simplicity of breathing.
2- It is natural and effortless. You don’t have to learn specific breathing techniques, or ways to manipulate and control the mind. Other meditation styles require you to clear your mind from any thoughts.
3. Mantra Meditation is practiced 20 minutes a day and recommended twice a day. The key here is consistency. It is better to practice 10 minutes a day for 4 consecutive days verses 40 minutes in one day and then skipping 3 days.
4. The basics: Close your eyes and breath naturally. Sit in a comfortable upright chair that supports your back and prevents you from straining your neck. This can be done sitting anywhere from home, a train, airplane, a park bench, even in a car as long as you are not operating the vehicle. Not driving while meditating is the easiest way to prevent your final savasana. You do not need to sit like a statue. Feel free to move around scratch your elbow if it itches. The idea is to get comfortable. Relax your face. Relax your jaw. As your body begins to settle down your mind will settle down.
5. Mantra Meditation is not a philosophy, religion or associated with any belief system. As your guide, I will not tell you how to think or share my philosophy on life. This does not require you to change your diet or your lifestyle. You don’t even need to believe that meditating works. Even if you are 100% skeptical you will experience profound benefits from this technique.
6. So, to understand what mantra Meditation is and how it compares to other forms of self-development, I’m going to use the ocean as a metaphor. Imagine that you are on a small boat in the middle of the ocean and all of the sudden the winds dramatically shift creating 40- 60 feet waves, you start to think, ‘Oh my God the ocean is in total upheaval’. Actually, you were experiencing mild activity just on the surface. The deepest parts of the ocean are 20,000 feet deep. The nature of the ocean at its depths is silent, settled, and still. When comparing the human body to the ocean our minds are the active waves on the surface. I like to call it the I got to, got to, got to, got to mind. I got to do this, I got to do that, I got to call him, I got to get to work on time, I got to get going, I got to get sleep, I got to wake up, I got to finish this job. I’m sure everyone has had a got to got to mind at some time in their life and some people live with this exhausting mind set every day.
7. On the other hand, there is a natural inclination in the depth of our being that desires to have some inner calmness, inner clarity, inner focus, inner inspiration, inner peace, and inner happiness.
8. The operative word is INNER. The question is where is that inner? How do we get it? How do we get there? The answer is that deep within every human being the calm settled, wide awake mind already exists. The ancient meditation texts use big words and long explanations to say the source of our unbounded creativity, intelligence, happiness, focus, and clarity is already in our minds. It was there yesterday, will be there tomorrow, and it is here today, right now, at this moment. We have just lost access to it. We are stuck up here, we are stuck on the surface in the rushed got to, got to, got to level.
9. Mantra Meditation is a simple natural and effortless technique that allows the active thinking mind to settle down which allows us to experience a quieter depth which has been called the source of thought, or the source of unified consciousness or transcendent level of mind. All of these states refer to accessing pure consciousness and it is within every human being.
10. How do we know Mantra Meditation really works? How do we know what’s actually happening to our brains while we are doing this? Are we just imagining it? Science has proven this over and over again. Up until the late seventies’ meditation was considered Eastern Medicine. Yet today, in our western hospitals where Dr.’s prescribe different drugs for different sicknesses they also prescribe meditation to patients who suffer from heart attacks, diabetes, migraines, traumatic brain injuries, chronic pain, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and overall wellbeing. The best part is that it doesn’t matter what type of insurance you have because, ITS FREE! Science no longer treats the mind and the body separately. It has been proven what effects the mind effects the body and what effects the body effects the mind. The body and mind are one.
11. I’m not going to go into great detail, but I’d like to share a couple of things that I found to be fascinating. Basically, research shows during Mantra Meditation your body accesses a state of rest and relaxation that is deeper than your R.E.M. or deepest cycle of relaxation during your sleep. This deep state of rest allows the body to repair and heal itself.
12. A hormone named cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and dumped into our body as a natural response to stress. This puts our body and mind into survival mode, which makes concentrating, focusing, finishing tasks, etc. extremely difficult. Our primary brain is firing and automatically we are in flight or fight. Our pupils get large, our heart rate increases, our muscles tighten, our reflexes are primed to make a fast movement, subconsciously our minds try to detect danger and decide how to protect ourselves.
13. All of these reactions are natural and save our lives when we are actually in dangerous situations. The problem is that cortisol is being released into our bodies when our boss asks us to finish a project by the end of the day. We automatically respond to something at work in the same manner we would respond to a tiger chasing us. This is toxic to our bodies because the more stressed out we become the more cortisol is released into our systems which makes us more stressed out. Cortisol is basically a protective hormone – so it messes up our sleep cycles, our hunger cues, and adults gain weight particularly around the stomach, which can be difficult to lose.
14. The results of stress lead to heart attacks, high blood pressure, digestive problems it physically manifests itself in our body. Therefore, proving the body is affected by the mind.
Shorter affirmations work best. For example,
“I am content in this moment.
My heart will guide me.
My treasures lie within.
The possibilities are endless”