A Step-by-Step Guide To Mantra Chanting
By Anadmutri Gurumaa
Reading time: 4 minutes
Mind can be a powerful tool if we know how to harness its powers. A trained mind is like a radiant sun – confident, joyful, focused and contented. On the other hand, a weak mind is diffident, depressed, scattered and anxious. Everything is possible with a one-pointed mind. But for that, we must put in the right effort.
Imagine a beautiful statue covered with thick layers of ice. It will take a great effort to scrape the ice layer by layer to see the statue’s beauty. Our mind is like a concealed statue - covered by layers of bad habits and delusions. Mantra helps to pierce these layers. Through its vibrations, the mantra imparts a one-pointed concentration to the mind.
Sound is a force that penetrates even our body organs. Mantra chanting is like a gate to deeper layers of our being. The more we chant, the deeper we go. But for this experience, you must know the gate’s key: proper chanting of the mantra with the right preparation.
The first step is choosing the right mantra. Choose one that is familiar to your religion or belief or that you like. It does not matter if the mantra is short or long. Once selected, stick to it - do not switch the mantra until you complete the resolve of chanting it for a set number of days. If you do not know which one to choose, opt for OM - it is the root of all mantras.
The second step is choosing the spot for practice. Opt for a place you can use regularly for chanting. It should be clean and, preferably, quiet. You can light some incense to sanctify it and place some flowers and a candle. This will create a conducive ambience. And if you wish, you can place a picture of your spiritual master. Why? The master’s image will serve as an inspiration to your mind.
The next step is to sit still and breathe deeply for a few minutes. Long, smooth inhalation and long soft exhalation. This will help to slow down the mind and reduce the barrage of thoughts. Then you are ready for the mantra chanting. In the beginning, it may be helpful to chant along with some musical recording of a mantra chanting. The pleasing music will be calming and keep the mind more focused. Initially, chanting with a recording is easier than chanting on your own. But remember, the mantra will be effective only if the mind is not in turmoil nor lost in millions of thoughts.
Each time you chant, observe the vibrations in your chest and forehead. Be in the present moment, enjoy the sound and try to embrace the sound. Keep your eyes closed gently and point them towards the mid-point of your eyebrows. Be at ease; there should be no tension in the body or mind.
Initially, you will tend to drift away from the mantra and get involved in all sorts of thoughts. It’s okay; whenever you realise you have drifted away from the mantra, bring the attention back to the mantra. A longer period of chanting will be much more effective as our mind needs time to calm down. With continued practice, you will find that the mind settles on the mantra effortlessly. A time comes when the tongue is silent, and the mind is engrossed in the chanting. This is the gateway to beautiful experiences of the inner realm. Enjoy, relax and dive deep within.
For more information on mantra chanting, you are welcome to read my book, Mantra Yoga. You will also find useful tracks on various types of mantra chanting in the music section of my app Amrit Varsha – Pearls of Wisdom.