MANTRA YOGA | MANTRA MEDITATION
A journey from Sound to Silence (Soundlessness)
Meaning & Importance of Mantra Chanting
In all spiritual traditions, Mantra Yoga or Meditation is regarded as one of the easiest and best means to experience higher energy and consciousness. Mantra meditation is powerful sound practice and mantras are the combinations of many sounds that activate the energy centers, energy source, and energy channels to attain a thoughtless state. Mantras have been seen and developed by the Yogis and Rishis, therefore they are known as “Mantra Drashta” – the Visionaries of Mantras.
Mantras are impulses or rhythms of the consciousness. Mantra is a sound vibration, used to free the mind from its obsessive nature. The definition of mantra says: “Manana-TrayateitiMantrah” means liberating the mind from its obsessive involvement in tensions, worries, and anxieties is called mantra”. Sound belongs to “Space” Element. The whole work of yoga is to develop the ever-expanding space within us. Yoga says the sound is the basic ingredient of Energy. Hence sound is one of the powerful and easiest tools to experience higher energy and consciousness.
For example, if we use the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”– from a religious perspective, it means ‘I Salute Shiva’. From the yogic perspective, OM is the seed mantra (Bija mantra) of Ajna Chakra, the Sixth chakra. ‘Na & Ma’ are sounds of the Fifth chakra, ‘Shi &Va’ are sounds of the Second Chakra. and ‘Ya’ is the sound of the Heart Chakra. Hence by chanting “OM Namah Shivaya’’, our major energy centers get activated and channelized into meditation and higher consciousness.
In mantra chanting the main focus on listening to the sound of the mantra and feeling its vibration on body, mind, and heart. It is realigning, rebalancing the body, mind, and heart to enter into the state of higher consciousness. Mantra helps to release the repressed emotions and conditionings from the unconscious and subconscious mind. Mantra is also an effective means of developing a platform of ‘WitnessingAwareness’ where the practitioner can watch the different thoughts, feelings, and sensations of the body.
Yoga & Meditation Mantra Technique
Mantra Meditation has four stages as follows
1stStage: Mantra Chanting(20-25min)
Chant or intone any mantra either in standing or in sitting. Remain fully alert and aware during the chanting, otherwise, it will lead into the sleepy state which is termed as ‘’Yoga Tandra” means “Yogic Drowsiness” which is a negative state of meditation. It is very necessary to follow all the awareness points of mantra meditation mentioned below to avoid the yogic sleepy state:
Awareness Points During Mantra Chanting
- Listen to your own chanting sounds of Mantra with full awareness.
- Feeling your trunk an empty vessel and directing the sound of mantra to your Navel center.
- Feel the vibration of sounds of mantra in your trunk and whole body.
- Listening to the silence gap between two mantra chanting sounds.
- Give a comfortable Silence Gap between two mantras.
- Feel the Stillness of mind after each mantra chanting.
- Inhale slowly, softly and smoothly with full awareness and start repeating the mantra.
2nd Stage: Be Still, Watch & Observe (05min)
After Chanting, in standing or sitting, be complete silent, calm and quiet. Just watch, observe your body, body sensations, breath, breath movements, thoughts and feelings.
3rd Stage: Stillness Practice (15min)
Do a short practice of stillness meditation for 3 rounds to deepen the silence of the mind and meditative state. Best is 3 rounds.
4th Stage: Let-go (10min)
Keeping your eyes closed, lie down in Shavasana. Stay relaxed, restful, still, silent. Be with your inner silence.