Meditation: Mantra

Before starting Naming meditation Candle meditation Mantra meditation Acceptance meditation
Return to home pageReturn to home page

A mantra is a syllable, string of syllables, word, or string of words repeated during meditation. You can chant your mantra or simply repeat it in your mind. 

The word mantra comes from the Hindu use of this technique and is used by some religious meditation practitioners in a more specific sense than it is here, but mantras do not have to be religious.

The main thing with using a mantra to meditate is to find a mantra that works for you — one you can actually keep repeating. You can say your mantra out loud or in your head.

Don’t change mantras half-way through your meditation. Use the one you chose at the start for the whole meditation.

Choosing a mantra

One of my meditation teachers taught that we should never use a mantra that is in anything other than our first language — we're trying to make our subconscious minds work with us, and they’re best off with our native language. So ‘om’ and all the Buddhist mantras are pretty much ruled out by this. So is anything in Latin.

I quite like ‘om,’ anyway, as a focus, but I do find the first-language argument has positives too.

A favourite phrase can act as a mantra, if it is short and you are comfortable with using it that way.

I am

One of my favourite mantras is based on a simple pattern: you take a noun never a verb or adjective) that you would like more of in your life, and you add ‘I am’ to it.

You could try ‘I am happiness,’ ‘I am love,’ or ‘I am joy.’

If you’re stressed about money or debt, ‘I am abundance’ is one you might try. If you’re in a chaotic mess, try ‘I am peace.’

Using the mantra

  1. Check your posture, then ground and centre.
  2. Start repeating your mantra. Repeat it aloud or in your head, as you prefer.
  3. If you find you’ve gone off on a tangent, that’s okay. Just start repeating again.

Meditation is most useful when practised every day, even for short periods of time.

As with the acceptance meditation, there are always bits of ones mind that flat-out reject ones chosen statement. You don't have to do anything about them except to keep saying the mantra. Youre not trying to drown them out or disagree with them — youre just saying it alongside, free to feel however you do feel about the mantra.

This website is copyright © Maire K. C. Smith 2006. All rights reserved. For all enquiries contact Maire K. C. Smith.