This is a simple group exercise. All sit in a circle, with eyes closed. After taking a few deep breaths, begin a long drawn out A-U-M (OM) chant. It need not be synchronized, and is very effective in relaxing people. It is a common experience that the AUM is chanting itself, through the members of the group.
The term mantra should be familiar to most readers. It is usually associated with sounds or words that when spoken or sung, evoke a particular magical power or energy. Two of the best-known mantras are AUM or Om, The term mantra is derived from the sanskrit root “man”, which means, ‘to think’. Thus the uttered sound is merely an aid to the focusing and direction of thought, and initiates of Tantrika regard the different types of mantra as vehicles for articulating spiritual energy as sound.
For example, there are ‘seed’ mantras such as Hrim, Krim and Srim. which represents the quintessence of the power of particular deities; there are also mantras which are based on texts, and have symbolic, rather than literal meanings, and, as in most cultures, spells and mnemonic formula.
In tantrik ritual, or Puja, the seed mantras are pronounced from the diaphragm, the throat, rolled around the tongue and finally closed off with the nasal sound “m”. Mantras may be uttered ‘in silence’, as it were, and be none the less effective.
Similarly, Cherokee shaman songs may be sung or thought, and remain effective. According to one medicine man, the same song could be used for ‘every purpose there is’, adding that it is ‘the intention of the heart, and the knowledge, that really count.’
In techniques such as japas (recitation), the practitioner repeats a sound or phrase repeatedly, moving eventually from spoken speech to ‘silent’ speech. The original words may degenerate into a meaningless mush, but again, it is the rhythm which whirls the practitioner’s brain towards ecstasy – recognisable by the perception that it is no longer you who chants, but that the chant chants itself through you.
Again, don’t take my word for it, have a go yourself. You don’t have to use a phrase which necessarily has any ‘mystical’ significance – it’s the rhythm and momentum that’s important – try it with ‘My Mum’s Monkey Makes Many Mistakes’ for about half an hour a day for a few weeks, and see where it takes you.
This mantra invokes the healing power of the sun. When using it, for maximum benefit spend some time in the sun each day. You will achieve optimal results by practicing the mantra between ten and twenty minutes each day for forty days.
Om Hiranyagharbhaya Namaha
(Om Heer an yah gar bah yah Nah mah hah)
“Om and salutations to the Shining One
who heals and is golden-colored.”
Here is a simple tutorial and a simple mantra for a meditation technique. It is very similar to the Transcendental Meditation technique, and if you have a different mantra that you’d like to use, feel free to do so.
The instruction is from the book Deep Meditation by Yogani. The book is a quick and easy read, a slim 100-page book in pretty big type-and at a little under ten bucks, it’s also a bargain. And while I recommend you buy a copy, I thought I’d provide ten key points from the book which are listed below.
1. For most people, twenty minutes is the best duration for a meditation session. It is done twice per day, once before the morning meal and the day’s activity, and then again before the evening meal and the evening’s activity.
2. A word on how to sit for meditation: The first priority is comfort. It is not desirable to sit in a way that distracts us from the easy procedure of meditation.
3. For our practice of deep meditation, we will use the thought I AM. This will be our mantra. We can also spell it AYAM.
4. While sitting comfortable with eyes closed, we’ll just relax. We will notice thoughts, stream of thoughts. That is fine. We just let them go without minding them. After about a minute, we gently introduce the mantra.
5. Whenever we realize we are not thinking the mantra inside any more, we come back to it easily.
6. As soon as we realize we are off into a stream of thoughts, no matter how mundane or profound, we just easily go back to the mantra. Like that. We don’t make a struggle of it. The idea is not that we have to be on the mantra all the time.
7. Thoughts are a normal part of the deep meditation process. We just ease back to the mantra again. We favor it. Deep meditation is going toward, not pushing away from.
8. No struggle. No fuss. No iron willpower or mental heroics are necessary for this practice. All such efforts are away from the simplicity of deep meditation and will reduce its effectiveness.
9. When we realize we have been off somewhere, we just ease back into the mantra again. We are reading it inward with our attention to progressively deeper levels of inner silence in the mind.
10. This cycle of thinking the mantra, losing it, and coming out into a stream of thoughts is a process of purification. It is very powerful, and will ultimately yield a constant experience of inner silence in our meditation and, more importantly, in our daily activity.
This mantra has no approximate translation. The sounds related directly to the principles which govern each of the first six chakras on the spine…Earth, water, fire, air, ether.
Notice that this does not refer to the chakras themselves which have a different set of seed sounds, but rather the principles which govern those chakras in their place. A very rough, non-literal translation could be something like:
‘Om and salutations to that which I am capable of becoming.’
This mantra will start one out on the path of subtle development of spiritual attainments. It is the beginning on the path of Siddha Yoga, or the Yoga of Perfection of the Divine Vehicle.
Perhaps something in your life, inner or outer, needs repair or restoration. Life is calling you now to take action and take yourself in hand. Instead of being afraid that you can’t do it, allow yourself to feel the One Being acting through you. This pathway of the heart asks for concentrated, creative energy.
Center again in the heart.
Breathe the sound Ya JaBaar rhythmically,
bending slightly forward as you breathe out,
and back as you breathe in.
Allow the sound to rock you into action,
like the feeling of riding a camel in the caravan of life.
Allow the sound to spread first to the periphery,
and feel healthy boundaries restored.
Then gently invite all voices of your inner self to gather,
and allow the arms of the Beloved to enfold you in healing.
Continue the meditation for 15 to 20 minutes.
For best results, commit to it as a 40 day practice.
From The Sufi Book of Life
by Neil Douglas-Klotz
These short mantras can also be used as part of a regular mantra practice.
With one hand lightly on your heart, breathe easily and gently, feel the awareness of breath and heartbeat creating a clear, spacious place inside.
Breathe with the sound of the word bismillah (BiS-MiL-LaaH).
When we remember to connect our heart to the Heart of the Cosmos, we recall that, as the Sufis say, “God is your lover, not your jailer.”
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