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Mantras - The Universal sounds


 Mantra is a sound from and of the heart.

Mantra meditation is a form of meditation that involves the repetition of a sacred word, phrase or sound known as a mantra. This practice has deep roots in various spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, as well as in other contemplative practices around the world they are utilized as powerful tools for spiritual growth and self-realization.

In mantra meditation, the repeated chanting or silent repetition of the mantra serves as a focal point for the mind, helping to quiet distractions and cultivate inner peace and spiritual awareness. Mantras are believed to have vibrational qualities that resonate with the practitioner's consciousness, facilitating deeper states of meditation and connection with the divine.

Throughout history, mantra meditation has been used as a tool for spiritual growth, enlightenment, and self-discovery. It is valued for its ability to calm the mind, reduce stress, and promote a sense of harmony and well-being. Additionally, different mantras hold specific meanings and intentions within their respective spiritual traditions, adding layers of depth and significance to the practice.

Overall, mantra meditation is a powerful and versatile practice that continues to be embraced by individuals seeking inner peace, spiritual connection, and personal transformation across diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.

Mantras are chosen based on various factors, including tradition, personal affinity, and spiritual guidance. In some cases, a teacher or spiritual mentor may prescribe a specific mantra to a practitioner based on their individual needs or goals. Alternatively, practitioners may choose their mantras based on personal resonance, cultural background, or spiritual inclination.

The significance of repetition in mantra meditation lies in its ability to focus the mind and cultivate a state of mindfulness. By repeatedly chanting or mentally reciting the mantra, the practitioner creates a rhythm that helps to quiet distracting thoughts and bring about a sense of inner stillness. This repetitive practice can also lead to a deepening of concentration and an increased awareness of one's inner experiences.

Furthermore, the vibrational qualities of the mantra are believed to have transformative effects on the practitioner's consciousness. The sound vibrations of the mantra resonate within the body, mind, and spirit, facilitating a profound connection with the divine or the higher self. Through continued repetition, the practitioner may experience a sense of alignment, harmony, and spiritual awakening. 

Overall, mantra meditation offers a powerful and accessible path to inner peace, self-awareness, and spiritual growth, drawing upon the ancient wisdom of sacred sounds and the innate power of the human mind. Regular chanting of the sound current merges with the five Koshas (five layers of the body) to unite the physical body with the vibrations of the sound. 

When choosing a mantra for meditation, practitioners have various approaches at their disposal, ranging from traditional methods rooted in spiritual traditions to personal preferences based on individual resonance and intention. Here are some different approaches and guidance on selecting a mantra that aligns with one's intentions and beliefs:

  1. Traditional Methods:
  • Guru-Given Mantras: In some spiritual traditions, such as Hinduism or Sikhism, a guru or spiritual teacher may impart a specific mantra to a disciple based on their spiritual needs and readiness. These mantras are often considered sacred and carry the blessings and guidance of the guru.
  • Scriptural Mantras: Many mantras are derived from ancient scriptures and texts, such as the Vedas in Hinduism or the Buddhist sutras. Practitioners may choose mantras from these sacred texts based on their resonance with the teachings and spiritual lineage.
  • Mantras for Deities: Devotional practices often involve chanting mantras associated with specific deities or divine beings. Practitioners may select a mantra based on their connection to a particular deity or the qualities they wish to cultivate in themselves through devotion.
  1. Personal Preference:
  • Meaningful Words or Phrases: Some practitioners choose mantras based on words or phrases that hold personal significance or reflect their intentions for meditation. These could be qualities they aspire to embody (e.g., peace, love, compassion) or affirmations that resonate with their spiritual path.
  • Language Preference: Mantras are available in various languages, including Sanskrit, Tibetan, Pali, and English. Practitioners may choose a mantra in a language they feel connected to or that evokes a particular mood or energy.
  • Intuitive Selection: Trusting one's intuition, practitioners may allow a mantra to naturally arise during meditation or contemplation. This approach involves listening inwardly and being open to receiving a mantra that resonates deeply on a subconscious level.

Guidance on Selecting a Mantra:

  • Reflect on Intentions: Before selecting a mantra, take time to clarify your intentions for meditation. What qualities or states of mind are you seeking to cultivate? What aspects of your spiritual journey are you focusing on?
  • Listen to Your Heart: Pay attention to what resonates with you on a deeper level. Whether it's the sound, meaning, or feeling invoked by a mantra, trust your intuition to guide you towards the right choice.
  • Experiment and Explore: Don't be afraid to explore different mantras and see how they affect your meditation practice. Try chanting or repeating different mantras to see which ones feel most uplifting, calming, or transformative.
  • Seek Guidance if Needed: If you're unsure or seeking deeper insight, consult with a spiritual teacher, mentor, or guide who can offer guidance and support in selecting a mantra that aligns with your spiritual path.

Ultimately, the most effective mantra is one that resonates authentically with the practitioner's intentions, beliefs, and spiritual journey, serving as a potent tool for meditation and inner transformation.


Here are some common mantras used in meditation along with their meanings:

  • Kirtan Kriya (SAA TAA NAA MAA):
    • Meaning: Saa (Infinity, Cosmos, Beginning) Taa (Life, Existence) Naa (Death Change, Transformation), Maa (Rebirth)
    • Significance: Kirtan Kriya combines the mental, physical, and emotional bodies, the five tattvas (Elements) and the Nadis (Meridian lines). The technique vibrates into each Kosha of the body to release deeply stored emotions.
  • Om (Aum):
    • Meaning: Om is considered the most sacred sound in Hinduism and is often described as the sound of the universe or the vibration of creation. It represents the past, present, and future, as well as the waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states of consciousness.
    • Significance: Chanting Om is believed to align the practitioner with the cosmic energies, promote inner peace, and enhance spiritual awareness. It is often used as a universal mantra in meditation practices across various traditions.
  • So Hum:
    • Meaning: So Hum is a Sanskrit phrase that translates to "I am that" or "I am that I am." It reflects the interconnectedness of the individual self (jiva) with the universal consciousness (Brahman).
    • Significance: Chanting So Hum can help practitioners cultivate a sense of oneness with the universe and dissolve the illusion of separateness. It promotes self-awareness, acceptance, and inner harmony.
  • Om Namah Shivaya:
    • Meaning: Om Namah Shivaya is a powerful mantra dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism. It translates to "I bow to Shiva" or "I honour the inner self."
    • Significance: Chanting Om Namah Shivaya invokes the qualities of Lord Shiva, such as strength, transformation, and auspiciousness. It is believed to purify the mind, remove obstacles, and facilitate spiritual evolution.
  • Om Mani Padme Hum:
    • Meaning: Om Mani Padme Hum is a Tibetan Buddhist mantra associated with compassion and the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara. It translates to "Hail the jewel in the lotus."
    • Significance: Chanting Om Mani Padme Hum invokes the blessings of compassion and wisdom, purifies negative karma, and promotes inner and outer peace.

The meaning of a mantra plays a significant role in enhancing its effectiveness in meditation:

  • Focus and Intention: Understanding the meaning of a mantra helps the practitioner focus their intention during meditation. When one chants or repeats a mantra with awareness of its significance, it deepens concentration and aligns the mind with the intended qualities or energies represented by the mantra.
  • Emotional Resonance: Mantras carry subtle vibrational frequencies that resonate with specific emotions, energies, or spiritual states. Knowing the meaning of a mantra allows practitioners to connect more deeply with its vibrational essence, evoking corresponding feelings of peace, love, compassion, or spiritual awakening.
  • Spiritual Connection: Mantras are often associated with deities, divine qualities, or spiritual principles. Understanding the meaning of a mantra strengthens the practitioner's connection with the divine or the higher self, fostering a sense of reverence, devotion, and surrender during meditation.
  • Transformation and Healing: Mantras have the power to transform consciousness and facilitate inner healing. When practitioners chant or repeat a mantra with awareness of its meaning, they engage in a process of self-inquiry, self-reflection, and self-transformation, leading to profound spiritual growth and awakening.

In summary, the meaning of a mantra enhances its effectiveness in meditation by deepening focus, evoking emotional resonance, strengthening spiritual connection, and facilitating transformation and healing. By understanding and embodying the essence of a mantra, practitioners can unlock its transformative power and experience profound states of inner peace, harmony, and spiritual realization.

Integrating mantra meditation into daily routines can enhance overall well-being and foster a deeper connection with oneself. Here are some suggestions for incorporating mantra meditation into different parts of your day:

Morning Rituals:

  1. Wake Up with Mantras: Begin your day by chanting or silently repeating your chosen mantra upon waking. Set aside a few minutes to sit comfortably and focus on your breath while repeating the mantra to centre your mind and set positive intentions for the day.
  2. Combine with Yoga or Stretching: Practice mantra meditation while performing your morning yoga or stretching routine. Coordinate the rhythm of your breath with the repetition of your mantra to deepen relaxation and enhance mindfulness.

Throughout the Day:

  1. Mantra: Mantras can be chanted throughout the day mentally, with regular breaks.  In stressful moments or when you feel overwhelmed. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and repeat your mantra to calm the mind and restore inner balance.
  2. Mindful Walking: Incorporate mantra meditation into your daily walks by repeating your mantra with each step. Focus on the rhythm of your footsteps and the sound of your mantra to cultivate mindfulness and presence in movement.

e.g. Some of you have practised Kirtan Kriya (SA TA NA MA) at our walking Yoga sessions in the park. Practicing the mantra whilst walking in the sunshine, especially in the park is both magical and soothing for the nerves, especially when you feel the gentle breeze kissing your skin, listening to birds and whispers from the trees!

Before Bedtime:

  1. Evening Reflection: Wind down at the end of the day by practising mantra meditation before bedtime. Sit quietly in bed, close your eyes, and repeat your mantra as you relax your body and mind. Let go of any lingering tension or worries, allowing yourself to drift into a peaceful sleep.
  2. Release and Surrender: Use mantra meditation as a tool for releasing stress and surrendering to the present moment before sleep. Repeat your mantra to let go of any thoughts, emotions, or attachments that no longer serve you, allowing your mind to quieten and your body to relax fully.

Complementing Other Mindfulness Practices:

  1. Yoga: Mantra meditation can enhance the meditative aspect of yoga practice by providing a focal point for the mind and deepening concentration. Chanting mantras during yoga asanas or incorporating mantra meditation into the final relaxation (savasana) can help to integrate body, mind, and spirit, fostering a sense of inner peace and unity.
  2. Mindful Breathing: Pairing mantra meditation with mindful breathing practices can amplify the benefits of both techniques. Use your mantra as a mantra to focus on during mindful breathing exercises, synchronizing the rhythm of your breath with the repetition of your mantra to cultivate deeper relaxation, clarity, and presence.

By integrating mantra meditation into your daily routines and combining it with other mindfulness practices like yoga and mindful breathing, you can cultivate a more balanced, centred, and harmonious way of living, fostering greater peace, clarity, and joy in your daily life.

Addressing common challenges encountered during meditation is essential for maintaining consistency and deepening one's practice. Here are some strategies to overcome these challenges:

  1. Wandering Thoughts:
  • Acknowledge and Accept: Recognize that it's natural for thoughts to arise during meditation. Instead of resisting or becoming frustrated by them, acknowledge their presence and gently redirect your focus back to your mantra or breath.
  • Use the Mantra as an Anchor: When you notice your mind wandering, gently bring your attention to your chosen mantra. Use the repetition of the mantra as a focal point to guide your awareness back to the present moment.
  • Practice Non-Judgmental Awareness: Approach your thoughts with curiosity and non-judgmental awareness. Rather than getting caught up in the content of your thoughts, observe them from a place of detachment and let them pass by like clouds in the sky.
  1. Difficulty Maintaining Consistency:
  • Start Small: Begin with short, manageable meditation sessions, even if it's just a few minutes a day. Consistency is more important than duration when establishing a meditation habit. Gradually increase the length of your sessions as you build your practice.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Be realistic about your meditation goals and expectations. Instead of aiming for perfection or rigid adherence to a schedule, focus on cultivating a consistent practice that fits into your daily life.
  • Create a Routine: Establish a regular meditation routine by integrating it into your daily schedule. Choose a specific time and place for meditation that works best for you, whether it's in the morning, during lunch breaks, or before bedtime.
  1. Deepening Meditation Practice:
  • Explore Guided Meditations: Incorporate guided meditation sessions into your practice to explore different techniques and styles. Guided meditations can provide structure, support, and inspiration for deepening your practice.
  • Experiment with Mantra Variations: Explore different variations of mantra meditation, such as chanting aloud, whispering, or silently repeating the mantra. Experimenting with different techniques can help you find what resonates best with you.
  • Attend Retreats or Workshops: Consider attending meditation retreats, workshops, or classes to deepen your practice and connect with a community of like-minded practitioners. Immersive experiences can provide valuable insights, guidance, and inspiration for your meditation journey.
  • Cultivate Patience and Compassion: Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate the ups and downs of meditation practice. Understand that progress in meditation is often gradual and nonlinear and be gentle with yourself during times of resistance or difficulty.

By implementing these strategies and approaches, practitioners can overcome common challenges, maintain consistency in their meditation practice, and deepen their journey of self-discovery, inner peace, and spiritual growth. Remember that meditation is a lifelong journey, and every moment of practice brings an opportunity for greater insight, awareness, and transformation.


Key points about mantra meditation and its benefits include:

  1. Focus and Concentration: Mantra meditation serves as a focal point for the mind, helping to quiet distractions and deepen concentration.
  2. Stress Reduction: Regular practice of mantra meditation can alleviate stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.
  3. Spiritual Connection: Mantras are deeply rooted in spiritual traditions and are believed to facilitate a connection with the divine or the higher self, fostering spiritual growth and self-realization.
  4. Inner Peace and Harmony: Mantra meditation cultivates a sense of inner peace, harmony, and well-being, helping practitioners navigate life's challenges with greater equanimity and resilience.
  5. Transformation and Self-Discovery: Through mantra meditation, practitioners can explore their inner landscape, gain insights into their thoughts and emotions, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal transformation.
  6. Mindfulness and Presence: Mantra meditation promotes mindfulness and presence, allowing practitioners to anchor themselves in the present moment and cultivate a deeper sense of awareness and appreciation for life.

I encourage you to explore mantra meditation further and experience its transformative power in their lives. Whether you're seeking stress relief, spiritual connection, or inner peace, mantra meditation offers a profound and accessible path to self-discovery and well-being.

Begin by exploring different mantras and finding one that resonates with your intentions and beliefs. Experiment with various meditation techniques and approaches to find what works best for you. Remember that consistency and patience are key as you embark on your meditation journey.

Consider seeking guidance from experienced teachers, attending meditation retreats or workshops, and connecting with like-minded practitioners to deepen your practice and gain support along the way.

Ultimately, mantra meditation is a journey of self-exploration and inner awakening. Embrace the process with an open heart and mind and allow yourself to experience the transformative power of mantra meditation in your daily life.

Embrace positivity! Start your mantra journey today!

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