When it comes to meditation, you’re probably no stranger to the benefits of settling into the lotus position while letting your thoughts whisk by as your awareness travels inwards.
But before you sink into this level of consciousness, what helps you say “no” to all those menacing thoughts trying to sidetrack you from achieving the tranquility you desire? As this is something we’ve all struggled with, thought we’d see how legendary Deepak Chopra M.D, physician and writer, does it.
For those not familiar with Deepak, he’s written 65 books on spirituality, success, health and enlightenment – so we think there might be a thing or two he can teach us.
To help him achieve peace and tranquility, Deepak practices mantra meditation – the act of repeating a mantra either loudly or silently during meditation.
“Mantra” is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “tool of the mind” or otherwise known as “instrument of thought.” So when you’re struggling to switch your mind off and get into that deep meditative state, using a mantra, either silently or through chanting, is an effective way to get you into the meditative rhythm allowing for peace clarity.
The benefits of mantras involving chanting have long been recognized by Indians, Aborigines and other traditional cultures for thousands of years. Chanting in many cultures is used as a way to create special vibrations calling out to the Universe – acting like a manifesting boomerang!
Beyond the Universe, the sound vibrations experienced through mantra meditation enhances tranquility and steadies your awareness inwards, guiding you through your meditative journey. It is also a powerful remedy for those suffering from stress, depression and anxiety; due to it’s ability to create oneness and calmness.
The particular mantra Deepak uses is “so-hum,” which is a meditation of the breath. It is a natural mantra, as when you observe your breath, you hear “so” when you inhale and “hum” when you exhale.
Why not give it a try?
1) Get into the lotus position or sit comfortably on a chair with your feet on the ground. Rest your hands on your knees and have your palms facing up and your thumb and index finger touching, while the rest of your fingers are straight.
2) Close your eyes and start to observe your breath. It may help to focus on one thing to still your mind so it becomes difficult for your thoughts to wander. Observe each inhalation and exhalation, while resisting the temptation to get distracted by any changes in your breath.
3) Now you’re ready to add a mantra. Inhale deeply and close your mouth, if you concentrate, you’ll hear the “so” sound, followed by a “hum” noise as you forcefully exhale through your nose. Continue with this for five minutes, while gently observing your breath. Let each breath pass without judgement or anticipation as it enters and leaves your body.
As you get more familiar with this technique, gradually try and build your practice up to 20 minutes a day (or whatever you feel comfortable doing).
Give it a go and tell us whether it helped you with your meditation practice.