Mantras are one of the most ubiquitous forms of meditation and a great place for beginners to start. We can find mantras in yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and more. And they are very beneficial in various ways, whether that be to strengthen our focus, productivity, compassion, self awareness or for.many other reawons.
Below, I will lead you through a basic mantra meditation. Plus. I will discuss the benefits and the science. And to learn more, you might like to refer to my list of the best mantra books.
Mantra Meditation Script
1: Sit comfortably with good posture. Make sure your spine is straight but relaxed. You should feel grounded.
Posture is always important in meditation. However, it is particularly important in mantra meditation. We need good posture to help support the breath so we can create a consistent sound, which we will then meditate on.
Note that if you are following the Vedic tradition you will generally perform a spiritual ritual before the meditation.
2: Choose a mantra to meditate on (see examples below)
There are many different mantras to meditate on. Most are in the Sanskrit language. Different mantras are used for different reasons.
For this beginner’s mantra meditation we will meditate on “Om” (pronounced “Aum”). This is the primordial sound of the universe. It’s the first mantra I myself learned as a teenager.
Don’t worry too much about the meaning of the mantra. Think of them not as words with meanings but as sounds that represent nature .
In his book Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man, neuroscientist Mark Changizi posits that the major phenomes of speech have evolved to resemble the sounds of nature.
When we recite mantras, we are recreating the sounds of nature. So, think more about the sound of the mantra rather than its literal meaning. As well as reciting the mantra, you can also do chanting.
3: Take a few mindful breaths to relax
Before we start meditating on a mantra, we want to relax and focus.
Take some deep breaths while mindfully observing the breath moving through your body. This will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, reduce amygdala activity, and balance cortisol so you relax.
4: Begin to recite the mantra. Make sure your throat, mouth, and tongue are relaxed while you vocalize the sound.
Sometimes when we speak we create tension in the various muscles and organs used in speech. When we meditate we want the whole body to be relaxed. So make sure that you are relaxed while making the sound of the mantra.
You should be able to feel the connection between the breath and the sound of the mantra. And your breath should begin in your abdomen.
5: Focus on the sound
Focus your mind on the sound of the mantra. Notice the qualities of the sound. And notice the way the sound creates reverberations in your body.
These reverberations are actually one of the benefits of mantra meditation. The reverberations gently massage the body from the inside, helping muscles and organs to relax.
You might find it difficult to focus at first. Goodness knows, when I started, I had the attention span of a fish. And that’s fine. We all have to start somewhere.
If you lose focus, just gently return your mind to the sound and continue to meditate.
6: Moving the mantra inside
In Nada Yoga and some other practises we move the mantra inside. To do this, stop making the sound of the mantra. Instead, think about the sound in your mind. Then let the sound repeat in your mind without effort. Finally, make your mind one with the mantra (this is a state called Samyama).
7: Continue for 15 to 20 minutes, then gently open your eyes.
Benefits of mantra meditation
There are many different theories on the benefits of mantra meditation. Science tells us it is good for relaxation, stress, sleep, anxiety, and mental health  . But beyond this, we get into the spiritual benefits.
For instance, in An Outline Of The Religious Literature In India, J. Farguhur states that meditation mantras are religious thoughts or prayers that have supernatural powers.
And in Heinrich Robert Zimmer’s Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization, meditation mantras are defined as verbal instruments that produce certain traits in the mind.
The exact benefits of mantra meditation are debatable. Plus, it depends on your beliefs and on the mantra you are using. But certainly, we can say that they help us to relax and focus the mind.
I personally love how they restore my inner peace and free my mind of thoughts. Indeed, the word “Mantra” is a Sanskrit term in which “Man” means Mind and “Tra” means Release. And so, “mantra” means to release the mind.
I have created additional guides for the following:
One of the absolute best meditation mantras is “Om”, which is pronounced “Aum”. This is the primordial sound of the universe.
Visualising Om Ah Hung
“Om ah hung” is a Buddhist mantra for mental health. We recite OM, AH, and HUNG while visualising those syllables at the head, throat, and heart.
Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Mani Padme Hum is a mantra that is used to invoke the blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion.
Oṃ muni muni mahāmuni śākyamuni svāhā Om muni muni mahamuni shakyamuni svaha
Om muni muni mahamuni shakyamuniye svaha
The meaning of this Buddhist meditation mantra is “Om wise one, wise one, greatly wise one, wise one of the Shakyans, Hail!
Any of the 108 Primordial Sounds
You can use any of the following 108 primordial sounds for mantra meditation. I’ve put the spelling and the pronunciation below. Note that the literal meaning of these sounds does not matter. They are used to verbally recreate the sounds of nature. You can reas about this on Chopra.
Giving Is Caring
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison