Mantra Meditation Technique
Mantras are sacred sound vibrations composed of syllables containing great spiritual power.
The proper vibration of these mantras enables us to concentrate and focus this spiritual energy, allowing us to experience the wonderful benefits.
In Sanskrit, the word man indicates the mind, and the word tra indicates that which delivers, or liberates. Thus the effect of chanting a mantra is that one can deliver the mind from contemplation of the mundane in order to reach spiritual satisfaction.
How to meditate?
Meditation can be quite a tricky practice because the mind is like a naughty child. By its very nature, the mind tends to wander off during the meditation practice.
If ones energy is low at the time of meditation, there is every chance of falling asleep. If one’s energy is too high, fantasy and distraction become the barriers. At such times, the japa mala provides the much-needed anchor.
A japa mala is a string of 108 beads, with an extra bead called the head bead. It is a tool used to keep your mind on the meditation practice.
The beads of a japa malas are often made from materials such as tulsi (basil) wood, sandal-wood, rudraksh seeds, or crystal. Each type of material has certain properties that subtly affect the subconscious mind of the practitioner.
How to Use a Meditation Mala (Japa beads)
The japa mala is traditionally held in the right hand. The index finger never touches the mala. Beginning with the bead next to the head bead, gently roll the bead between the thumb and middle finger of your right hand while chanting:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Then move to the next bead and repeat the mantra.
In this way continue chanting on each of the 108 beads in the strand. This is known as one round of japa and takes between five and ten minutes for most people.
Before starting to chant a round of mantra meditation, it is recommended that you chant the following Pancha Tatva mantra:
jaya sri Krishna chaitanya Prabhu nityananda
sri advaita gadadhara srivasadi gaura bhakta vrinda
If you are going to chant more than one round of japa, then without chanting on the head bead – reverse the direction of your chanting to begin the second round.
There are two ways to chant the maha mantra: group chanting (kirtan) and softly (Japa).
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