Mantra Japa is a popular concentration technique that calms the mind and can lead it into the meditative state. Simply repeating a mantra over and over ago, internally / mentally, is mantra jape. A mantra generally comes from a language based on sound, like sanskrit, although some people might tell you that ‘Peace’ or ‘Love’ or ‘Jesus’ can also be mantras, and sure why not? 😉 Just repeat whatever warms your heart, whatever elevates you, whatever lifts you up over and over and over again, building those grooves in the brain and in the spirit, and let that mantra permeate your moment-to-moment living.
The use of a mantra to help meditate is somewhat related to the idea of surrender. When using a mantra, on some level there is an acceptance, “Ultimately, whatever thoughts i have are not as significant as that which lies beyond all the thoughts, which is why i’m submitting to using this mantra to concentrate the mind, calm and quiet the mind, still the mind, so that perhaps i’ll move beyond the realm of thoughts and experience the vastness of that which is beyond the thoughts.” Using mantra means letting go of the ego and personal will, at least for a little bit. And whenever the mind wanders away from the mantra, bring it back to the mantra, letting that mantra embody your greatest source of strength, peace, love, joy, power, all goodness. Let the mantra signify the Best, the Most High, the Highest Good, the Divine, God, the Allness, Fullness, the Eternal One and Truth. Then any remembrance of the mantra throughout the day instantly connects you and energizes you with a Great Power.
Surrendering to a mantra or single word or phrase is a wonderful place to be. Before reaching that place, though, it can be helpful to first surrender to something a bit more general, which is kind of like what prayer is. In prayer, we generally direct the thoughts / mind to elevated thoughts and intentions for people, the world, life, the universe, etc. We elevate our consciousness to conversation with the Divine, and so we realize that sacred space more fully.
Gratitude exercises are a great preliminary step to mantra and meditation. Simply list things you are grateful for, each time beginning with, “I am grateful for…” or even “I am so happy and grateful for…” and then you list and list and list, and realize the abundance of creation and the goodness of all and the bountiful gifts!
Before surrendering to a single focus on a mantra, you can surrender to expressing gratitude for a whole variety of things. So gratitude exercises allow the mind a bit more freedom to wander and experience a variety of thought sensations. Then, after you’ve completed your gratitude exercises, perhaps practicing for 5-10 minutes, you can then say something like, “and now I am so grateful for surrendering completely to the mantra, allowing repetition of this mantra to serve the Highest Good of All, knowing that repeating this mantra is a fully dedicated act and it is the most I can to do serve One and All, and it is so!”
Just like, “There is nothing you can do to earn God’s love,” we can “Relax – God’s in control.” And because God’s in control, we can relax and let go of thinking that we need to think to save the world. Instead, simply with our intention that the repetition of our mantra serves the Highest Good of All, it does. The moment you intend it, it is so! And you can relax. And whatever activity it is, whether mantra repetition or study or conversation or eating or drinking, walking or playing or relaxing, you can intend the highest good and offer it all up to God, fully dedicated, and it is so! So relax 🙂
Prepare for mantra repetition with some expression of gratitude. Repeat the mantra, offer it all up to the Divine and the Highest Good of All, and allow the mantra to be a source of incredible power and strength and goodness and peace, and it is so 🙂