Meditations and Mantra: Try Them Out in Your Practice
There are many forms of meditation. In most cases, the common meditation forms fall into one of two categories: Mindfulness and Insight. There are also demanding concentration meditations, chakra meditations, and mantra meditations. Here we’ll deal only with the two forms noted above and the use of mantras.
Insight meditation (called Vipassana) is one of the the bedrocks of meditation practice. This ancient Indian meditation aims at seeing things as they REALLY are. It may become transformative through extensive self (mind, phenomena) observation. Powerful mind training here may result in you learning HOW you help to cause your own emotional suffering. It enhances the view that long-term happiness is internal, and comes about via extended acute observation of how the mind works. In today’s words, we may learn to live and act via our wise mind skills, thus be happier. It easily relates to core Buddhist views on The Four Noble Truths, The Eight-Fold Path, as well as samsaric suffering by incessant attachment, desire, and craving. The main learnings are personally witnessed impermanence (arising and falling of all phenomena), dependent origination (nothing comes about by itself), and ultimately emptiness (Eastern not Western). This form of meditation has been used extensively all over the world for addictions and for people who have difficulty with action urges and emotion regulation (mainly in prisons).
Mindfulness meditation (today very common in the West) is based on vipassana roots, but emphasizes awareness and bare attention mainly in the present moment. The initiation and returning of attention to an object of awareness is the basic practice. Awareness occurs in both inner and outer experiences. Focused attention on the breath or movement of mind-thoughts (without grasping, responding, or following) are common practices. This form of meditation has moved strongly into clinical psychological interventions, where a person learns to focus on the present moment without judging. People may also learn to use very practical breathing skills. The past and future are de-emphasized, and people may experience a very relaxing side-effect from regular practice. There are now thousands of “good enough” clinical studies on the positive effects of mindfulness meditation.
There are many well-documented benefits of regular meditation practice. Some are possible DNA improvements, brain plasticity (better neural connectivity), clear and calm mind, bodily relaxation, improvements in chronic pain, depression, anxiety, emotional self-regulation (anger, addictions), and spirituality.
Use of a mantra in meditation is a common practice. A mantra is a phrase that is repeated many times with intention and inner energy. The practice may expand mental focus and energies. It may also lead to insights, creativity, even healing. The basic instruction is to select a meaningful mantra and repeat it many times. It sometimes helps to classically condition the mantra to time of day (to meditate), location, and the use of beads. A very interesting reality of using beads is that the practice may improve mind training via finger-tip manipulations and resulting firing of brain cells in the somatosensory areas of the brain, thus perhaps increasing brain plasticity. Thus the mantra meditation becomes easier and more automatic over time. Here are a few common mantra. Perhaps you will select and practice one of them, soon.
- Universal Mantra: Baba Nam Kevalam (Beloved Name Only, or Love is all there is)
- Healing Mantra of the Medicine Buddha: Tayatha Om Bhaishajye, Bhaishajye Mahabhaisajye, Taja Samudgate Svaha
- Mantra of Compassion and Protection: Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha
- Shakyamuni Buddha’s Mantra for Meditation and Wisdom: Om Muni Muni Mahaunaye Svaha
- Mantra for Healing Relationships: Om Sharavana Bhavaya Namaha
For more details refer to Wiley, M. 5 Healing Mantras to Change Your Life. Easy Health Options, June 17, 2017. easyhealthoptions.com/5-healing-mantras-change-life… Retrieved 6-17-17.
Anthony R. Quintiliani, PhD., LADC
From the Eleanor R. Liebman Center for Secular Meditation in Monkton, Vermont and the Home of The Monkton Sangha
Author of Mindful Happiness
New Edition of Mindful Happiness in Production…Coming soon!