Say It Like You Mean It
It is estimated that the average person has over 60,000 thoughts every day. Not all of these thoughts are happy approving ones though.
Meditation helps you to think differently by getting you into a new habit of monitoring your thoughts and the resulting actions. In this way, you begin to notice what you are thinking and then choose to act in a manner that is not only optimistic but compassionate too.
One Highly Effective Tool
When meditating it is often a challenge to remain focused on a single object, be it the breath, a light, or even a rock!
To encourage a single-pointed focus, I encourage my students to use the simple, but highly effective tool of a mantra.
Protecting your mind
A mantra is a mental or auditory word or phrase, often with a personal or sacred meaning. Derived from the roots of two Sanskrit words; manas, referring to the mind, and tra, meaning that which protects, a mantra is therefore a thought, word, or sound which protects the mind.
Raise Your Shield
During your meditation practice, if you notice that your mind has wandered off, a mantra pulls it right back to where you want it to be. It serves as a replacement for unwanted thoughts by allowing you to concentrate easily and fully. You can repeat or chant a mantra, focusing on the meaning and the sound, while hearing the mantra vibrate within you.
Mantras act like a shield against not only your own random thoughts during meditation, but they also pop up when you think derogatory thoughts about yourself or someone else. What’s also great about a mantra is that it also pops up if you encounter a person or situation that is either obviously harmful or subtly damaging such as meeting someone who wants to share the latest gossip.
The First Mantra
Om is known as the first mantra. If the mind has a tendency to wander or unwanted thoughts enter the field of awareness, it provides a simple means to relax the mind and allow it to surrender into the peaceful influence of this singular point of focus. Om (also known as AUM) will be written about in more detail in a future posting.
Traditionally, mantras are repeated 108 times, signifying one complete round. You can say as many rounds as you want to every day. Over time, you will notice that the mantra does have both a protective and a positive effect on the way that you think and subsequently act because you are replacing negative thoughts with more beneficial views and beliefs.
What Mantra to Choose
Either Om or a word or phrase of your choice such as I am Loved, Peace, I am Healed
You can continue with this phrase or repeat a different one, so long as it is meaningful to you and not derogatory in any way.
Focus on the sound and vibration of the word and you will eventually begin to absorb the positive frequency of the mantra. This is scientifically proven to contribute to not only mental heath but physical health too.
Send in Reinforcements
Try looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself “I Love You.” Do it 108 times every day for a week. Notice how you feel every day.
In time you will not only feel loved, but you will know that you are loved and be able to love others too.
Repeat your mantra silently each time you meditate or when doing simple tasks or even walking the dog. It’s easy to carry your mantra with you wherever you go.
Keep it short and say it like you mean it.
Soon you will not only mean it, you will believe it even when you’re not saying it.