If you’ve ever practiced japa meditation you probably know just how effective it is for calming your mind and dropping you into an almost trance-like state of ease. Repeating mantras over and over again is what japa is all about. This constant repetition of powerful sacred words is why japa is one of the most effective forms of meditation on the planet. (Learn more in What is a japa mantra?)
Japa meditation actually shifts your brain state because you’re giving it a healing sound vibration. We are vibratory creatures and the practice of chanting specific mantras actually helps one heal on an energetic level. Yogis have done this for years and Western science is finally beginning to back this up. When you practice this type of mantra meditation, you substitute the chaotic thought patterns that reside subconsciously in your mind with sounds that are healing in nature. This quieting of the mind allows you to simply “be,” so that you can relax and rest in your true nature. (How do I cool down my mind?) Japa meditation relieves stress from both the mind and body. Studies have shown that it can even help reduce pain in people with physical ailments.
When you calm the mind, you become less anxious and your inner voice, your intuitive guidance, is able to more easily come to the surface. Japa mantra is deeply meditative: It gives you something concrete to focus upon, which is what our busy mind needs to become less chaotic and more still.
There are many mantras to choose from. One of the most powerful is Om Namah Shivayah. If you’re looking to begin with a mantra, this is a good one to start with. So, get yourself a nice pair of mala beads and begin the repetitive mantra meditation that is japa. Your mind, body AND spirit will be so happy you did.