A mantra is one syllable, Word or phrase that is repeated over and over again, It is often like a song and its purpose sharpen your mind.
There are mantras in different spiritual traditions of the world, Buddhists, especially the Tibetan schools and “of the pure land” rarely used mantras. Other traditions that have used them include Taoism, Jainism and Sikhism.
Which it is a mantra
Throughout history there have been several misunderstandings about these words, There are those who believed that they were spells or magic words. But the function and origin of mantras is very different, According to Sangharakshita, founder of the Western Buddhist order:
“In a traditional sense, the mantra is defined as “what protects the mind”.The recitation of a mantra undoubtedly protects the mind, Although also protect it other spiritual practices. Then in essence, a mantra is a sound symbol, like a Buddha or a bodhisattva is an iconographic symbol of a specific aspect of the enlightened mind”.
A question that comes up frequently on the mantras is if exact pronunciation and intonation are important. In this sense there are those who consider that the mantras should be toned accurately to achieve the “vibration” correct and emerge effect. However, different traditions of the world have local variants of similar mantras and have still benefited from their respective practices. What is most important is the intention behind the mantra. In this sense we can consider it a vehicle of emotions or qualities that we want to grow as compassion for example.
Also the repetition by way of singing these words or phrases involves an acompasamiento of breath, in such a way that practitioners who are fighting to establish a leisurely and natural breathing can rely on the singing of mantras. On the other hand those who suffer distraction can also auxiliary recitation to concentrate and stop wandering. Allowing that little by little the mind relaxes.
1. How is it done?
As most of the practice of this meditation is practiced sitting already is on the floor or a chair with your back straight and your eyes closed.
Then repeats the mantra mentally, in silence, again and again during the session or is sung again and again, Depending on the specific practice. Depending on this the mantra can be recited gently to help the concentration or coordinate with the monitoring of respiration.
2. What should I do with my mind?
It is good to be clear about the intention behind meditation, How to generate calm, or cultivate compassion, only that this is not a desire that it eats to the meditator, but a compass that guides their practice. As the mantra is repeated and binds to breath this practice arouses the mind and attention to the present moment. Sometimes words can become abstract and without meaning or clear depending on the State of mind.
Some popular mantras of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions are: OM, OM namah shivaya and om mani padme hum. This type of practice can be accompanied of a bad o Buddhist rosary that helps to reinforce attention about the repetition of the mantra.
3. Is for me?
For many people it is easier to focus on a word or phrase in the breath. The fact that the mantra is a Word, It can help mute the internal dialogue that constantly engages when you try to meditate. In such a way that this practice is especially recommended for those moments in which our minds seems to be the scene of an avalanche of thoughts. Also, if practiced the intonation group, You can create an environment even more conducive to deepen in meditation.