Have you ever wondered why many people sing “OM” or make other sounds while meditating?
OM is a so-called mantra. Mantras are sacred words or phrases from the spiritual world and different religions. Especially in Hinduism and Buddhism mantras are common in meditation and prayers.
Using mantras during meditation can have a positive effect on your body and mind.
In this article, we will explain what a mantra and the deeper meaning of mantras really is. We will also explain, how mantras can be used in different situations to achieve the best results. Finally, we will show you the benefits of using them in meditation.
Here is a clickable table of contents to navigate through this article:
- What Is a Mantra?
- What Is the Meaning of Mantra?
- Mantra Meditation
- Mantra Examples
- How Do I Find My Mantra?
What Is a Mantra?
A mantra definition:
“Mantras are words or phrases that are constantly repeated during meditation. These can, but do not have to, have a religious-spiritual meaning.”
As explained in the introduction, mantras are healing words or phrases that occur especially in Hinduism and Buddhism. Correspondingly, mantras have their origin in the ancient Hindus who spread the use of mantras all over the world.
Today, most mantras have more of a spiritual meaning than a religious one.
Examples of typical spiritual and religious mantras are:
- You are not your thoughts
- I love
- I am
We will dive deeper into the examples in the chapter below.
Many mantras, such as “Live your life” or “I breathe vital energy” seem more like affirmations. However, mantras that are short and crisp, such as OM, are still more effective and efficient.
At its core, mantras are the foundation of all religious traditions, scriptures, and prayers. If carefully chosen, mantras should have the ability to change your subconscious and your habits.
The mantra should be chanted regularly for several months to achieve the desired effects.
It’s important to know, that mantras serve one purpose: they lead you back to simplicity. We live in such a complex world where you can easily get lost in details. Mantras can help you return to a simplified lifestyle and focus on the things that inspire you and really make you happy.
What Is the Meaning of Mantra?
In Sanskrit, mantra means something like “song”, “hymn” or “saying”. The actual meaning is not clear since the term can be interpreted both spiritually and religiously. Even a “relax” is strictly speaking a mantra.
Mantras are “pure sounds”. If a mantra is “pure” or not, depends less on the meaning of the respective mantra, but more on the actual sound.
This is because meaning depends on context. Sounds, on the other hand, are heard by everyone in the same way.
The actual effect of each mantra depends on three things: tone, how long and often it is chanted and the way it is pronounced.
Many meditation teachers think that only certain words, or more precisely certain “secret” words (which only a few know), are real mantras with which you can enter a deeper meditation and reach a certain level of enlightenment.
This is simply wrong.
There is NO need to use Hindu words or words in a language you are not familiar with. Much context is lost in translation anyway, so why use a word you can’t pronounce or have trouble understanding? Why use a word that does not speak to your soul?
Just because you want to meditate doesn’t mean that you have to adopt the spiritual or religious practices of others. After all, meditation is the journey into the inner being. You alone have the key to this realm in your hands. Therefore, you should feel free to use any word or phrase that you believe is right for you!
A daily meditation practice helps you to develop a more present, peaceful and balanced lifestyle, that is reflected in every aspect of life. Mantras can help you develop this, by making meditation a lot easier.
Meditation with mantras has one big advantage: even if you don’t believe in the spiritual meaning of the respective mantras, which is your right, they at least give your mind something to do.
That’s why mantras are a useful way to help you deal with distractions while meditating.
Mantra based meditation means much more than just sounding like a broken record. Healing mantras are usually sacred. They lift you up and help you to concentrate during meditation. In other words, they are designed to change you from within.
You can use mantras to get into a meditative state more easily, to silence your head, or to reach a certain goal (usually associated with meditation).
Entering meditation with a mantra is easier because your brain is busy singing the mantra. Therefore, it is unlikely that your mind will begin to wander. Monotonous tasks, such as regularly repeating a mantra, bring your mind into an alpha state, which further supports the meditation experience.
Mantra based meditation with a defined goal is an amazingly effective manifestation technique. In a relaxed state, there is far less mental resistance to goals that can be so freely visualized when you repeat your “I am” mantra, for example.
By repeating it all the time, the idea is imprinted in your mind and helps to dissolve the inner resistance that you would otherwise feel. Resistances like “I’m not good enough to achieve this” disappear by themselves when you combine visualization meditations with a manifesting mantra.
We at Mindmonia have created an overview of proven mantras for you. As we mentioned above, there are countless mantras. We ourselves have meditated with plenty of them.
The examples that follow are mantras with which we have achieved the best results.
With these examples, you’ll bring your meditation experience to a new level.
OM is probably the best known and most universal mantra. It creates a “sound of creation” and causes energy to accumulate and flow upwards outside your body.
You can use this mantra pretty much in any situation, regardless of your spiritual inclinations. It is an incredibly soothing sound, especially when you let the vibration linger in your throat. You can literally feel your body vibrate when you repeat this mantra for a while.
OM is the mantra of acceptance and approval. It helps you to accept your higher self and allow the energy to flow openly and freely through you. It is often called the collecting mantra as it collects your inner energy and prepares it for transmission.
If you repeat the OM Mantra just solely for the feeling, without any spiritual meaning, the experience can already be very pleasant, calming and balancing. However, if you have a feeling for the deeper meanings of the mantra, the experience can be even richer and more enlightening.
It is said that the true meaning of OM can only be understood through revelation.
In other words, you must sing it to understand it.
OM is considered to be the most sacred mantra (and probably also the most frequently used). OM is Sanskrit and stands for the “vibration of manifestation”. It is also the connection between absolute and higher consciousness.
The OM Mantra can be used both during meditation and in daily life as it brings a centering, balancing quality to everyday life. Basically, it brings clarity of mind and a greater ability to be in the world and serve others selflessly.
Imagine you have a busy schedule and jump from one appointment to the next. Your stress level and tension will increase and your ability to concentrate will drop. Since the appointments are close together, you don’t have time to meditate.
In such a situation try to retreat for a few minutes. Find a place to retreat in order to give your mind a break. Sit down, take a few deep breaths and sing the OM Mantra for a few minutes. Even two minutes can make a difference. You will see that you will approach your appointments more relaxed and calmly afterwards.
Here is a video with an OM meditation:
As mentioned above, mantras are about three things: the tone, how long and often it is chanted and the way it is pronounced. Take the test: meditate twice, once with the upper video and once with this one:
Even if the same mantra is used, the pitch and frequency can make a significant difference in the meditation experience.
Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra
Om Mani Padme Hum is a mantra from Tibet and means something like: “The jewel is in the lotus” or ” Glory to the jewel in the lotus”. The jewel, in this case, is the Buddha of Mercy.
Since we at Mindmonia do not want to get too deep into religious topics, we will keep this mantra deliberately shorter. It’s an important mantra and we want to make sure that you can benefit from it in your meditation, regardless of your beliefs.
Om Mani Padme Hum Meaning
According to the Dalai Lama, Om Mani Padme Hum has the power “to transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.”
Om Mani Padme Hum Translation
In order to really understand the translation, we have to break down the mantra into its syllables:
- Om: sound of creation
- Mani: jewel, represents the resolution of jealousy and greed
- Padme: lotus, represents wisdom
- Hum: steadfastness, freedom from aggression and anger
Put together, this results in “the jewel lies in the lotus“.
Sat Nam Mantra
Sat Nam is a spiritual mantra that can be used for both yoga and meditation. The translation results in “seed of wisdom” or “the truth is my destiny”.
Sat Nam Meaning
Sat Nam is about showing your true self. No one else can express the exact combination of your energies except yourself.
This mantra is more than what it means in its translation. It is an experience. When you sing “Sat Nam” or meditate with it, you call into your consciousness and get to know yourself better. You’ll experience what these words actually mean: truth, enlightenment and above all consciousness.
Sat Nam Translation
Sat is Sikh and means truth. Nam means name. Combined, Sat Nam essentially means something like: “I am the truth” or “The truth is my destiny”.
Sat Nam Meditation
When you sing the Sat Nam Mantra, you use the power of the spoken word. It takes courage to tell the truth. Some people find it easier to lie. When you sing Sat Nam from your heart, it will be easier for you to tell the truth because you break through mental barriers in your head.
Here is a video with a Sat Nam meditation:
As you sing this mantra, your ability to stand up for yourself and control negative impulses increases. It also enhances your self-control. In addition, your self-esteem will grow as you sing “RAM”, and you will become more self-confident.
Throughout history, various meanings have been associated with the Sanskrit word “RAM”. Many believe that it’s symbolic for daily life as an act of worship and at the same time brings one closer to God. We believe that it describes the “purest self” and therefore opens and strengthens the solar plexus chakra.
As mentioned above, it is up to you what meaning you give to each mantra. You can practice this mantra, like any other mantra, regardless of your faith.
Om Namah Shivaya Mantra
Om Namah Shivaya is probably the most popular mantra in the field of yoga mantras. It is a quite popular mantra as it addresses the highest Hindu god Shiva.
Om Namah Shivaya Meaning
Om Namah Shivaya is meant to reach the highest and purest self. Among other things, it can also be seen as an act of respectful bowing to Shiva, as it means something like “worship to Shiva” or “I bow to Shiva”. Shiva is the “true self” or the belief that every human being is eternal, even after death.
Om Namah Shivaya Translation
Om Namah Shivaya contains five syllables (na-mah-shi-va-ya) which all have different meanings. The Om is the sixth syllable when you place it at the beginning of the mantra. In Hindu traditions, Namah means “worship” and “respect”, while Shivaya means “orientation towards absolute reality”.
Put together it results in a translation such as “worship to Shiva”.
Om Namah Shivaya Meditation
When you meditate with that mantra, you’re working on yourself. You come closer to your own self-realization and at the same time dissolve your ego. By facing your “pure self”, you are able to reduce negative, ego-based feelings such as jealousy, disappointment, anger, frustration, insecurity, and greed.
Here is a video on how to use the Om Namah Shivaya Mantra:
How Do I Find My Mantra?
Each of us has a so-called bija, a very personal mantra, to which your body and mind respond best. According to some stories, the bija is exactly the sound that the universe made when you were born. How much you believe in this theory is up to you.
We at Mindmonia have created a short 3-step guide for you on how to find your personal mantra:
- The first step is to choose an area where you want to improve. It is important that you concentrate on only one part of your life.
- Choose a mantra that you like. As we already mentioned, it does not have to be spiritual, religious or in a foreign language. “I know I’m great” is also a mantra.
- In the last step, you have to sing your mantra several times a day. Check in a weekly rhythm whether your mantra is good for you and whether you can notice any improvement by singing it. If not, try another one. Especially for the beginning, we recommend not to use too long or complicated mantras.
In fact, it’s very easy to find your personal mantra. Only you know what motivates you. It is you who know yourself best. Therefore, ask yourself: “What is really important in life?”
If you can answer this question, it’s easy to find your own mantra because every mantra has its own meaning, benefits and use cases. However, let it be said that you can also create your own mantra.
Mantras are words or phrases that are constantly repeated during meditation. They do not have to be spiritual, religious or Hindu.
Healing mantras are especially suitable when you meditate because they give your mind something to do. Especially for beginners, that are often distracted during meditation or have trouble silencing their minds, mantras are an excellent complement to meditation practice.
Each of us has a personal mantra, a personal sound to which he or she reacts best. Begin today and do your meditation with a mantra and give it a try. Start to find your own mantra to meditate even better.
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