How is mantra meditation different from normal meditation?

Q:

How is mantra meditation different from normal meditation?

A:

Mantra meditation is one of the most effective styles of meditation out there. When I say effective, I mean, it works to focus, and consequently, quiet, the mind in a way other forms of meditation don’t do. It’s a focused concentration meditation, whereas other popular forms are considered open meditations.

For example, vipassana meditation, a form used in the world of mindfulness, is considered an open meditation. You might use your breath as a means of focus to begin. But, as time goes on, you’ll begin bringing your awareness to whatever else exists in your internal and external environment. In this form, it’s as if you’re watching and witnessing anything and everything that comes into your consciousness, with a non-judgmental kind of attention. It allows for whatever comes in. (Learn more in Detoxing From Stimulation: Learning Patience and Trust Through Vipassana Meditation.)

Mantra meditation, on the other hand, doesn’t aim for this kind of open allowing. It works in a different way, making use of a mantra, or sacred sound, to focus the mind. When we sit to practice mantra meditation, we train our attention to focus solely upon the sound of the mantra and nothing else.

A mantra can be thought of as a kind of tool for the mind. It has an uncanny way of bringing the awareness into stillness, that’s then directed toward a particular sacred sound. The mantra is then repeated over and over again. This continual repetition of sound brings our minds into a kind of trance-like state. Once we reach this trance-like state, our minds can relax deeper and deeper. It shifts our brains into a deep state of relaxation, which has a deeply healing impact.

For this reason, mantra meditation is one of the best forms of meditation to focus the busy, modern day mind. It’s also fun, with so many mantras to choose from, you’ll never get bored!

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Written by Aimee Hughes
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Aimee is a yogi and writer who's been practicing yoga daily for more than 21 years. Since a journey to India when she was 20, the practice has been her constant companion. She loves exploring the vast and seemingly endless worlds of yoga. Aimee has also written a book titled, "The Sexy Vegan Kitchen: Culinary Adventures in Love & Sex."

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