Tag Archives: sanskrit

How to Meditate Using Mantra

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!

MeditationMoment 1Meditation Moment: 52 Weekly Affirmations
A Sound Sleep 1A Sound Sleep: Guided Meditations with Relaxing Music & Nature Sounds
ChakraMeditations&Tones 1Chakra Meditations & Tones

Sounding the Chakras to Bring Balance and Overcome Stress

by Dudley Evenson

Over the past few decades, much has been written and shared about the chakras.  Information drawn from ancient Indian metaphysical teachings has been joined by modern psychological and anatomical awareness to bring about a synthesis of understanding which has practical application in helping us to live healthy, harmonious lives. The chakras are the seven major energy vortices located along the central meridian from the base of the spine to the top of the head which are associated with major organs and glandular systems.  They also have psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects and are important to the harmonious function and integration of body, mind and spirit.

The word chakra means ‘a wheel that spins’ in Sanskrit.  We can imagine them as orbs or spherical balls of vibrational energy.  These subtle energy centers serve as gateways or transfer points between the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of our being.  As we come to a greater understanding of the chakras and how they work, we are better able to bring into balance the various aspects of our being and create a truly fulfilling life. Vibrant, radiant balance among all the chakras is the goal.

In these times of great economic uncertainty, many people are feeling vulnerable and unsure about their ability to pay their bills and cover their basic survival needs.  Issues such as these are very much related to the First Chakra or the Root Chakra as it is known.  This chakra is related to the Earth element and has to do with survival issues, what we do for work, how we feed, clothe, and shelter ourselves. Do we feel supported and well taken care of?  If not, we need to address these concerns by focusing on that chakra and use certain tools and techniques to enhance its function.  When we learn to identify our issues and become aware of which chakra they relate to, we are better able to bring that chakra into greater functionality and allow it to radiate fully the life force as it flows through us.

The first three chakras are related to the physical aspects of our being and are associated with the elements of Earth, Water and Fire relating to our needs for food, water, and energy.  Our Fourth Chakra is the transfer point between the lower physical chakras and the three higher spiritual chakras.  This Heart Chakra relates to the element Air and is about exchanging energy and of course giving and receiving love.  The Fifth Chakra is at the throat level and has to do with communication, relating to the element of Sound or ether.  The Sixth Chakra is our mental and vision center and relates to Light, while our Seventh Chakra is our Crown Chakra and connects us with Consciousness and Spirit.

A helpful tool for bringing the chakras into balance employs using the voice to tone and resonate the chakra.  Since sound is also a subtle energy, it has the ability to alter our state of consciousness.  When sound is coupled with intention, the result is magnified.  Of course, one of the most important aspects of making a sound relates to the breath.  When we focus on breathing deeply and fully, we are in fact bringing in more of the life force.  As we learn to control our breath, we are better able to control our thoughts and our mind.  Breathing that focuses on a short, full inhalation and long extended exhalation will have the greatest effect.  Including a sound with the exhalation can help to slow down the exhalation, creating the desired ratio of in and out breath.  A meditative practice that involves toning can help to resonate the various chakras and bring them into balance.

There are several systems of toning that can be used.  The ancient Sanskrit system of Bija mantras can be quite effective.  The order of the Bija mantras are (from first to seventh) Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Sham, Aum.  When done in a meditative state and when possible, using mudras (hand positions), toning the Bija mantras can be a highly effective way to center oneself and resonate all the chakras.

Another system that is helpful uses vowel tones associated with each chakra.  These are longer more open tones and can be very effective in controlling the breath and energizing the chakras.  A system developed by Jonathan Goldman uses these vowels (from root to crown) – uhh, ooo, ohh, ahh, eye, aye, eee.   With the Bija mantras one lets the ‘mmm’ sound resonate, whereas with the vowel toning system, the focus is on the long open sound.  The vowel tones can also be done in a scale from low to high, for example using the notes c-d-e-f-g-a-b.   The rainbow spectrum of colors can also be visualized from the lower chakras to the higher as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

One can also use a short affirmation to sing or state the principle one wants to focus on for each chakra.  It is important that the statement is positive and in the present tense.  Repeating it frequently with high intention or using the toning and color visualizations can help to create healthy chakras that will support the well being of body, mind and spirit.

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Dudley Evenson and her husband, Dean Evenson, are award-winning musicians, multi-media producers and co-founders of independent record label Soundings of the Planet which celebrates 30 years of creating Peace Through Music. They are sound healing pioneers and have produced over 60 albums since 1979.  The Evensons’ inspiring music of flute, harp and natural sounds has been used in hospitals, prisons, schools, and spiritual centers to support people’s healing or life process. The Evensons present multi-media events and teach an online courses at DailyOm.com called A Year of Guided Meditations and Satiama.com called Deepen Your Meditation Using Sound Tools: Toning, Mantra, Chanting and Affirmations.