A mantra helps focus the mind for a deep meditation session. There are many mantras to choose from and getting to know the purpose of different ones and tips on using them helps.
Mantras help you reach that state of relaxation and inner peace (the alpha state of mind). With practice and dedication, any mantra can become a powerful tool for enhancing your meditation practice and improving your overall mindset.
Mantras are repeated aloud or silently to focus the mind during meditation
Best tip: Pick a mantra that resonates with you – is easy to remember – is easy to pronounce. Next best tip: Look for one that offers benefits and meanings aligning with your goals. Go with your intuition.
While choosing a mantra that aligns with your goals is important, did you know that certain mantras can also help with specific emotions and mental states? Keep reading to discover more mantras and their meaning. Find out which mantras can help you cultivate feelings of peace, love, and gratitude.
Meaning of mantra in meditation
What is the meaning of mantra in meditation?
Mantras are phrases or sounds repeated aloud or silently during meditation to help focus your mind and achieve a state of relaxation. The word “mantra” comes from the Sanskrit language and means “tool of the mind.”
Some common mantras used in meditation include “Om,” “So Hum,” and “Om Namah Shivaya.” These mantras are believed to have spiritual significance and can help you connect with your inner self.
How do mantras work in meditation?
The repetition of a mantra is thought to have a calming effect on the mind and body. It can help to quiet the constant stream of thoughts that can often distract us from being present in the moment.
Different types of mantras
Mantras can be many and varied. The following is a list of mantras grouped to represent different practices.
These are one-syllable sounds or words that represent a specific energy or aspect of the divine. Examples include “Om” for universal consciousness, “Gam” for the root chakra, and “Ram” for courage and strength.
These are positive statements that are repeated to oneself to cultivate a positive mindset and attract abundance and success. Examples include “I am worthy of love and happiness”, “I am capable of achieving my goals”, and “I am grateful for all the blessings in my life”.
These are chants or hymns that honour a specific deity or aspect of the divine. Examples include “Hare Krishna” for Lord Krishna, “Om Namah Shivaya” for Lord Shiva, and “Ave Maria” for Mother Mary.
These are mantras that are believed to have healing properties for physical, emotional, or spiritual ailments. Examples include “Om Shanti” for peace and tranquillity, “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” for universal healing and well-being, and “Ra Ma Da Sa” for healing energy.
These are mantras used in tantric practices to awaken and activate the energy centres in the body, also known as chakras. Examples include “Lam” for the root chakra, “Vam” for the sacral chakra, and “Ham” for the throat chakra.
Sanskrit mantras examples and their meaning
The following are simple mantras…
- Om (Ohm or Aum): meaning the sound of the universe
- So Hum: I am that
- Om Shanti Shanti Shanti: Om Peace Peace Peace
- Hari Om Tat Sat: All is one, and that is the truth; all is sacred
- Jai Ma: Hail the divine mother, glory to the divine feminine
- Om Namah Shivaya: My salutations to Shiva, the auspicious and gracious one
How to pick a mantra that resonates with you
Steps in what to consider when choosing a mantra:
- Understand the purpose of a mantra: I covered the meaning of a mantra in the section above: A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated during meditation to help focus the mind and achieve a deeper state of relaxation.
- Work out your intention: It’s worth noting that certain mantras correspond to specific benefits and meanings. So consider how the ones you pick align with your personal goals or intentions for meditation. For example: Are you looking to reduce stress, create a positive mindset, realise dreams, improve focus, or connect with your spirituality?
- Consider the sound and vibration: The sound and vibration of a mantra can have a powerful impact. Some mantras have a soft and soothing tone, while others have a more energizing and uplifting vibration. Think about the type of sound and vibration you’re drawn to when choosing a mantra.
- Get to know the traditional mantras: There are many traditional mantras that have been used for centuries in meditation practices. They are tried and tested and one of these mantras with a long history of use may resonate with you.
- Experiment with different mantras: Doing this will help you find the one that works best for you for the specific intention you have. Pay attention to how they make you feel. Do they help you achieve a deeper state of relaxation? Do they align with your intention?
- Trust your intuition: The right mantra will feel like a natural fit and resonate with you on a deep level. It should be something that you can connect with easily and that brings a sense of calm and focus to your practice.
Remember that your mantra can evolve over time as your intentions and goals shift and change. So, be open to exploring and experimenting until you find the perfect mantra for you.
Top Tip: Choose a mantra that is easy to remember and pronounce. This will help you stay focused on the mantra itself, rather than struggling to remember or pronounce it correctly.
Benefits of using a mantra in meditation
Why use a mantra during meditation? Here are some reasons to use a mantra in meditation:
- Increased focus: When you repeat a mantra during meditation, it can help you to stay focused on the present moment. This can be especially helpful if you find your mind wandering during meditation.
- Relaxation: Using a mantra can help you to relax both physically and mentally. The repetition of the mantra can have a calming effect on the mind and body, helping you to reduce stress and anxiety.
- A balanced perspective: Regular meditation practice with a mantra can help you to achieve a more positive mindset. This comes from improved mood, better sleep, and increased feelings of inner peace (quelling the overwhelmed feelings).
- Spiritual growth: For those who are interested in spiritual growth, using a mantra can be a powerful tool. The repetition of the mantra can help to quiet the mind, allowing you to connect more deeply with your inner self and the divine.
Tips: How to incorporate mantras into your meditation practice
- Choose a mantra that resonates with you. This can be a word, phrase, or sound that holds personal significance or simply feels calming.
- Find a comfortable and quiet space where you can sit and meditate without being disturbed or distracted.
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your hands resting on your knees or in your lap.
- Close your eyes (or have them partially closed looking down at the ground or floor) and take a few deep breaths to relax your body and calm your mind.
- Begin by taking a deep breath. As you release your breath, release your mantra either silently in your mind or out loud. Imagine it coming from deep within and let it draw out for the entire out breath. Breathe in again.
- Repeat the mantra and breath this way slowly and steadily, allowing the rhythm of doing this to become your focus and anchor point.
- If your mind begins to wander, gently bring your attention back to your mantra and breath. Don’t get frustrated or discouraged if this happens – it’s normal for the mind to wander during meditation.
- Don’t worry about “doing it right.” Meditation is a personal practice and there’s no one “correct” way to do it