Mantra

Mantra meditation is a catch-all term for meditations involving the use of a mantra in some form. Even so, there is a very clear distinction between the use of mantras that have a specific meaning – which is the vast majority – and mantras used in the Beeja method, which are sonic vehicles that have a more holistic resonance. This is very important, as both scientifically and anecdotally the difference in impact, physiologically, neurologically, and spiritually, is huge.  

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  • What is Mantra meditation?

    Whilst you could create a mantra for meditation in any language, most popular mantras originate from India. The Sanskrit language or its near cousin Pali seem very effective at getting results.

    Some of the most common mantras in popular use are listed below, and are very different to the types of mantras we use at Beeja, which are typically a lot simpler, and have a much deeper resonance within your being:

    • “Aum” – pronounced ‘ah-oooh-mmmm’. Widely known as the universal mantra, it is not actually meant to be used as a mantra; it is the sound of the layer in consciousness (the aum kara) from where all primordial sounds issue. It’s good to begin or end a yoga class with, or the chanting of an ancient sloka, but we don’t recommend using it as a japa mantra (one which involves continued repetition).
    • “Om Mani Padme Hum” – this is probably the most popular Buddhist mantra, which originates from Tibet and loosely translates to ‘Hail the jewel in the lotus.’
    • “Namo Amitabha” – a less acclaimed mantra from the Buddhist repertoire which means something similar to ‘Homage to the Buddha of boundless light.’
    • “So hum” – this is often popular within yoga circles. It means ‘I am that’.
    • “Loka samasta sukhino bhavantu” – this is a cool one to chant out loud as a group and means something along the lines of ‘may it be so that all beings in every place are centred in the joy, happiness and freedom from suffering that comes from being stationed in unified experience.’
    • “Om Gam Ganapatayei Namah” – A popular one in India and fodder for some great kirtan music! It means ‘I bow to the elephant-faced deity who is capable of removing all obstacles. May you bestow your blessings on me.’
    • “Aum Namah Shivaya” – a contender for most popular mantra in India. To a follower of Shiva, it means ‘I bow to Shiva, the supreme deity of transformation who represents the truest, highest self.’
    • “May I be happy. May I be well. May I be safe. May I be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.” – this is a Loving Kindness mantra which has some very worthy sentiments to it.
    • “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” – the ‘maha-mantra‘ of the Hare Krishnas. The Krishnas practice this as part of their Bhakti yoga, which means ‘union through devotion.’ They are incredibly devotional to Krishna, and try and invoke Krishna’s benevolence and consciousness by chanting his name (and his forebear Rama’s name also). Usually accompanied by mala beads or tambourines!
  • How is Mantra meditation practiced?

    Mantra meditation is usually chanted out loud, or under the breath, while using rosary beads or malas. Sometimes it will be done silently within the mind. The idea is to repeat it for anything from one to 108 times.

    Some mantras are recommended to do alongside your breath – for example with ‘so hum’, you do the ‘so’ on the inhale, and the ‘hum’ on the exhale.

    The repetition is almost always in the form of japa – which means to repeat continuously. The idea is to stay with the mantra the whole way through your meditation.

    Mantra meditation can be done solo, or as a group activity  – it’s fair to say that chanting in a group is much more gratifying.

  • Beeja meditation vs other Mantra meditation

    The key difference is that the mantras we use in Beeja meditation have no meaning, allowing your brain to interact with it as a resonance rather than the articulation of a particular principle. Their primary quality is to be tailored to the activation of your nervous system so that they effortlessly transport you into a state of transcendence.

    They are also used in a different way, and this is something that is best taught personally. Having a teacher on hand to guide you makes a massive difference to how much you get out of your meditation.

    The more regular mantras are there to be used as affirmational tools, or as ways of invoking something. Interestingly, they are way more powerful when the consciousness of the person saying them is advanced. And one of the best ways to advance your state of consciousness is to do a daily practice of Beeja meditation. This is because your state of consciousness becomes more integrated into a more expanded state when you are privy to regular transcendentexperience.

    As a helpful summary, we’ve picked out here some of the clearest distinctions between Beeja and other forms of mantra meditation. 

    Effectiveness

    • In terms of efficacy, whenever any comparative studies have been carried out, Beeja meditation has been shown to be approximately four times more effective at reducing symptoms of psychological conditions and four times as powerful at delivering present moment awareness.

     

    Do it anywhere

    • Beeja meditation is much more discrete to practice. You gently repeat the Beeja mantras within the mind and so you can do it on the train, tube, bus, plane and in all sorts of places without anyone realising you’re in a very serene and expansive place. 

     

    Beyond religion

    • Beeja meditation transcends all religion. Whereas many of the above mantra meditations (‘aum’ and ‘loving kindness’ aside) feel like they are associated with a set of religious beliefs that may not feel relevant to you.
    • There is also an interesting and important caveat that some are only meant to be practiced by monks – the repeated practise of which leads to feelings of detachment, which is not very healthy for people engaged in everyday life.

     

    Please be mindful when choosing and using mantras in a DIY fashion as some are very powerful and may not always be the right fit for you and your lifestyle.

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  • Reviews

    Beccy, Estate Agent

    “I loved, loved, LOVED Will's beginners meditation course! I came away super motivated to practise twice a day, every day without fail, and so far it has worked brilliantly :) I had been practicing mantra meditation for about a year using a brain entrainment programme called Lifeflow meditation. It consisted of listening to audio tracks designed to affect our brain wave patterns. Over the weekend that I learned Beeja meditation I realised that I had been missing out certain essential things from my meditation practice and it was also obvious that this new mantra was way more effective than the one I got online.”   

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