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MEDITATION IS A MOST POWERFUL TOOL FOR CULTIVATING MINDFULNESS – TO PAY ATTENTION, ON PURPOSE, IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. It can take on a variety of forms including breathing, mantra, and visualization meditation. Meditation is always accessible – you don’t need a perfect time or spot or set of circumstances to drop in and experience the benefits of this powerful practice.
Stillness, and the soothing power of reflection and repetition are the heart of meditation.
A consistent meditation practice has been evidenced to significantly increase brain activity, called gamma wave activity, in areas associated with positive emotions, like happiness. Gamma waves involve mental processes including attention, memory, learning, and conscious perception.
a mantra may be as simple as a single word
shanti / peace
…or a healing phrase affirmation
I am enough
I am love
I am compassionate
I see the beauty in the everyday
HOW TO USE A MALA FOR MANTRA MEDITATION
Mantra meditation is the practice of a word or phrase that you repeat.
Mantras can be very powerful tools, helping to calm and focus the mind. They are also used to support a path, intention, or goals.
Begin by sitting in a quiet, comfortable spot – cross-legged, with your back straight. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths.
With your thumb and middle finger, hold your mala, touching the first bead next to the guru. Roll the bead toward you while you recite your mantra, move on to the next bead and repeat. Move your way around the mala, touching each bead as you repeat your mala, either aloud or in your head. Once you reach the guru, sit quietly, allowing the your mantra intention wash over you and take root.
mantra … a sacred sentence … utter from the lips, but felt in the heart
I am filled with greatness
I am wise
I am learning, and I am growing
I love and appreciate myself as I am
I accept myself completely
I am both sensitive and strong
I am filled with humility, I am enough as I am
the SEVEN CHAKRAS
the body is the vehicle, consciousness the driver. yoga is the path, and the chakras are the map … anodea judith
BIJA (SEED SOUNDS) MANTRAS
1 / MULADHARA – ROOT
– safety, connectedness –
2 / SWADHISTHANA – SACRAL
– creation, creativity, sexuality –
3 / MANIPURA – SOLAR PLEXUS
– personal power, self-esteem –
4 / ANAHATA – HEART
– love, compassion –
5 / VISHUDDHA – THROAT
– self expression, willpower –
6 / AJNA – THIRD-EYE
– intuition, insight –
7 / SAHASRARA – CROWN CHAKRA
– connection to divine –
MULADHARA – ROOT
I am divinely grounded
SWADHISTHANA – SACRAL
I flow with divine grace in my life
MANIPURA – SOLAR PLEXUS
I stand in my divine willpower
ANAHATA – HEART
I am divine love
VISHUDDHA – THROAT
I speak my inner divine truth
AJNA – THIRD-EYE
I am tuned into my inner divine wisdom
SAHASRARA – CROWN CHAKRA
I am divine
“With the syllable Aum as their sole support, the wise person attains that which is peaceful, unageing, deathless, fearless – the Supreme.”
– Atharva Veda, Prasna Upanishad 5.7
The Yogatattva Upanishad states that the five lower chakras are related to the five elements. There are said to be five great elements that make up the world;
earth (prithivi) :: water (apas/jala) :: fire (tejas/agni) :: air (vayu) :: ether (akasha)
Each element has a bija mantra associated with it, when this mantra is sounded it resonates in the chakra and purifies the nadis (subtle channels of energy). The nadis the link the higher spiritual aspects of our being with our mind, emotions and our body.
The third eye chakra is created from ‘Mahattva’, the great or supreme element out of which all the other elements are formed. The bija mantra for the Third Eye Chakra is AUM.
The Crown Chakra is beyond all elements and contains all sounds. The mantra AUM is generally used for this chakra as it is the source of all sounds and is the primal cosmic sound Anahata Nada.
LAM – Base Chakra
Visualize a square shape in the base chakra. The bija mantra (seed sound) for this chakra is LAM sounded as LANG. The ‘L’ sound in the bija mantra LANG is produced by placing the tongue behind the upper teeth. The mantra is made up of two sounds that are roughly equal in length LA and NG. The duration of the two sounds is the same for all the bija mantras The NG sound is produced with a nasal intonation creating a resonant humming sound half way between an ‘M’ and a ‘N’. The mantra LANG is focused in the base chakra.
VAM – Sacral Chakra
Visualize a circular shape in the sacral chakra. The bija mantra for this chakra is VAM sounded as VANG. The ‘V’ sound in the bija mantra is VANG produced by the lips as though making a ‘FF’ sound before the VA. The mantra VANG is focused in the sacral chakra.
RAM – Solar Plexus Chakra
Visualize a triangular shape in the solar plexus chakra. The bija mantra for this chakra is RAM sounded as RANG. The ‘R’ sound in the bija mantra RANG is produced with the tip of the tongue curling up to touch the roof of the mouth. The main point of concentration when producing this seed sound is on the third chakra. The sound originates from the navel when repeated in a proper manner.
YAM – Heart Chakra
Visualize a six-pointed star in the heart chakra. The bija mantra for this chakra is YAM sounded as YANG. The ‘Y’ sound in the bija mantra YANG is produced with the tongue pressed against the soft palate at the front of the roof of the mouth. The mantra is focused in the heart chakra.
HAM – Throat Chakra
Visualize a crescent shape in the throat chakra. The bija mantra for this chakra is HAM sounded as HANG. The ‘H’ sound in the bija mantra HANG is produced at the back of the throat. The mantra is focused in the throat chakra.
AUM – Third Eye Chakra
Visualize a circle with two petals on either side. The bija mantra AUM is created from three sounds, A, U and M. The mantra AUM is focused in the third eye chakra.
AUM – Crown Chakra
The sounds associated with this chakra are all the vowels and consonants of the Sanskrit alphabet. The mantra AUM can be used for this chakra as it contains all the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet. The bija mantra AUM is sounded in the crown chakra.
om mani padme hum
according to the 14th Dalai Lama
- It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani padme hum, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast…
The first, Om symbolizes the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; it also symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.
- The path of the middle way is indicated by the next four syllables. Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method: (the) altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love.
- The two syllables, padme, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom.
- Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable hum, which indicates indivisibility.
- Thus the six syllables, om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha.