Mantra is a tool that can help us focus and quiet our minds. In Sanskrit, the word mantra means mind protection since using a mantra or short spiritual phrase or affirmation can replace and overcome incessant tape loops and negative thoughts, thus clearing the mind and bringing it to a calm quiet space.
I like to use mantra to clear my mind and prepare for meditation. Typically, we have a constant dialogue going on within our minds. This inner conversation can range anywhere from the news we heard on the radio, to making a ‘to do list’ or replaying an unpleasant interaction with a friend, co-worker or relative.
It is very difficult to get these thought patterns out of our minds and they especially tend crop up when we are trying to meditate. This is why in meditation we use several concentration techniques to overcome the busy monkey mind and allow for the one-pointed concentration of the meditation process. In addition to focusing on the breath as a concentration device, we can use mantra, chanting and affirmations to help clear the mind of unnecessary clutter and allow us to enter a deep state of inner quiet.
A mantra is a short sound or phrase, usually with a spiritual significance which carries a vibration and frequency that extends beyond the simple meaning of its words. In the highest sense, mantras carry thought waves that can energize the prana or life force through constant repetition and they can reach deep into the subconscious mind. More simply, they can help overcome the mind chatter and prepare the way for an expansion of consciousness.
By becoming aware of the rampant mental processes that we wish to control, we can learn how to use our minds and our voice in harmony to stay focused. We need a guardian at the gate of our awareness to keep the demons of our mental processes from distracting us and a mantra is one way to do this.
I would love to hear how you use mantra or affirmations in your own meditation process so post a comment here. I am also giving away a free mp3 download to people who post comments.
Oh and here are some of the recordings I have created that include my guided affirmations. Enjoy!