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Choosing a mantra

Discussion in 'Meditation Chatter Box' started by Mzungu, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. Mzungu

    Mzungu Member

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    Hi Everyone

    As I am just getting started with meditation, I have to choose a mantra. Can anyone suggest a few mantras or can I choose anything I want?

    Also, how do I know which mantra would work for me? If I have chosen one, do I have to stick with it or can I replace it with another one if I feel so inclined?
     
  2. Mzungu

    Mzungu Member

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    Ahem.... I guess I should have searched the forum archives for an answer to my question about mantras :eek:

    I just did and found the following answer posted before by Michael on the subject of mantras:

    "The mantra based meditation technique 'Discover Meditation' will work just fine if you choose your own mantra.

    I would suggest you pick a mantra that sounds soothing to you.

    If the first sound you select is later felt to be unsuitable, I encourage you to then choose or create another mantra until you find something that resonates with you.

    Regarding your comment:

    "Could I use longer mantras like full sentences or rows of letters to make it more challenging and to require sharper concentration"

    To get the greatest success with my course, I encourage you to choose a simple mantra and avoid complex sentences.

    When you listen to Discover Meditation, you will hear me talk about not trying so hard... This applies to concentrating on your mantra also.

    When you repeat your chosen mantra in your mind it should not be a strained effort to try and keep it as your dominant focus.

    When you find your attention has wandered, you should make no effort to return deliberately to your mantra, but just resume its repetition in a passive manner by 'favoring' your mantra over other thoughts.

    Please let us all know how you get along.

    Michael"
     
  3. Inedible

    Inedible Member

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    There are all sorts of mantras you can use. Yes, you can change to a different mantra, but it is better to be consistent for a while. 40 days, for example, seems to be a fairly common duration before switching. You might choose a series of related mantras and work with them one at a time: lam, vam, ram, yam, ham, om, ah for example, the seed-syllables of the chakras. The 'a' is sounded like "ah".

    If you find you can't pick one, you can use the sound of your breathing as a mantra. Ujjayi breathing, an exercise from Hatha Yoga, is done by tilting your head forward slightly and gently constricting your throat so that the breath causes an audible sound. This is like hissing with your mouth closed. You use the sound to make your breath slow and even. The out-breath should be a little longer than the in-breath.
     
  4. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Breathing

    I've heard this called the "Darth Vader Breath", or DVB because when it's done properly it sounds a bit like his breathing in Star Wars. Something interesting about breathing this way is that it stimulates the vagus nerve towards the back of the throat. Deepak Chopra, in particular, recommends this kind of breathing as a way to slow down our heart rate. In one of his lectures he mentions that he's taught this breathing to Olympic athletes as a way to control and reduce their heart rate and make more efficient use of oxygen. Wiki has a nice, layman's explanation if anyone is interested that can be found at: Vagus nerve - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     

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