Another meditation technique that you can practice as a beginner or really at any stage is chant and mantra practice.
Now right off hand this may sound strange to the untrained ear. However chant and mantra have proven themselves in the medical field and scientific studies recently and in recent past years.
The way it is done is you use phrases that are usually memorized and usually in their original language such as Pali or Sanskrit, Chinese or Japanese and a lot of times Thai.
There are English mantras as well, but for the time being we will talk about mantra that are in the language of the Buddha, that is Pali and Sanskrit.
I will give the meanings of the chant and mantras as well. Chanting mantras use sound to calm the mind and place the person in meditation in a trance like state of tranquility. Scientifically the vibration of the sounds the mantra makes when chanted has a calming effect.
Paired with what the mantra means it is like using spells to get the point across.
Upon saying that you might have guessed that chanting mantras goes way back 1000’s of years where Brahman and other spiritualist would chant for hours on end looking for success in whatever the task was at hand.
You may chant with a set of prayer beads called Mala, or you may chant without anything. You may chant aloud or in silence, that is also up to you. You may chant in a meditation pose or walking around doing whatever you want.
There are some practitioners that chant themselves to sleep at night and say they sleep like a baby every night. Chanting mantras has its place among medicine as well.
Some chants are meant to heal while others are meant to bring success and happiness. There are chants for precarious times, chants for trying times and so on. There are mantras that you can create yourself to bring you happiness and fortune if that is your wish.
For the purpose of understanding better, look at chanting mantra meditation as spell craft. Done properly it can calm the mind as well as many more things. Let’s go down just a small list of common issues that you can use chanting meditation to control and/or cure.
- Inability to concentrate and/or focus
- Bipolar disorder
- Smoking addiction
- Any addiction
- Memory loss
- Struggling with anger
- Relationship issues
- High blood pressure
- Weak immune system
- Chronic pain
Chant and mantra meditation is not just for those that are on a spiritual path, it is for anyone wanting to change some negative things in their life. It’s for children, parents, teachers, doctors, patients, everyone.
You don’t need any fancy stuff to do chanting meditation either. All you need is about 10-20 minutes to yourself. Just sit quiet and still and close your eyes and focus on just your breath. This is the easiest meditation to do and you do not need any religion, priest or teacher.
As your mind wanders, and it will, just gently pull your focus back to your breathing as many times as it wanders, this is normal.
After a month or more you will see some drastic improvements in your life. Chanting meditation is something you can do sitting in traffic, at your desk, in front of the TV, walking between classes, taking a restroom break or anytime.
It is one meditation that you can do no matter what you are doing and anytime or all the time.
In monasteries all over chanting is done on a daily basis. No matter what they are doing there is always a chant of some mantra going over and over in their head.
This will actually keep you in a state of meditation all the time, which is good because if you like bliss then you will experience it in your life daily.
After chanting in meditation for so long it is not uncommon to want to listen to chant and mantra all the time, it does have a very soothing sound.
There are chant and mantra CD’s available to the practitioner for free from a number of Buddhist and Hindu sites on the Internet. Just search for “Free chanting CD’s” and you will find a nice selection.
They are freely distributed by monasteries and temples for others to have for practice. We all want everyone to experience the freedom in our minds that those that chant and meditate can say they have.
It is always a good idea to look up a few easy to say chants that are not too long to begin with.
Learn what they mean in English and use them for what they are meant for. There are healing chants that you can meditate on and the repetitive nature of the chant will help you heal, so use it accordingly.
Aside from that there are chants you can do for yourself and for others. There are chants that you can do for natural disasters to help those affected heal as well. Such as the medicine Buddha mantra that was chanted by all Buddhists for the earthquake of 2011.
If you are going to use mala beads you will first need to know how to use them. Now the first thing that you may ask is what are mala beads?
Well in short and to put it quite simple, mala beads are Buddhist prayer beads. Sometimes they are called Buddhist chanting beads.
Mala beads come in a variety of colors, made with a variety of materials and can either be a long strand like a necklace or a short strand like a bracelet. No matter what you call them or what they look like, you can use them all the same.
Mala beads are a tool that is used in chanting meditation and to remind us that we should chant a few times a day at the least. When we see the mala beads we are reminded of chanting and meditation and we can stop what we are doing and take a moment to do so.
In use, the mala beads are basically to aid the practitioner in chanting by allowing the person an easier task of keeping up with the amount of chants they have done.
For each chant a bead is passed through the fingers with the thumb and counted. On all sets of necklace mala you will find 108 beads with a mother bead, that is a larger bead that marks the beginning of the bead set.
On all sets of wrist mala you will find 22 beads with a mother bead. To use the necklace mala one would sit in meditation or chant and pass a bead through their fingers to keep count until they reach the traditional 108 repetitions of the chant.
The mother bead of any mala is not counted.
To use the wrist mala one would sit in meditation or chant and pass a bead through their fingers to keep count until they reach the traditional 108 repetitions of the chant. For wrist mala this means you would go past the mother bead without counting it 5 times.
108 divided by 22 is not exactly 108 repetitions but it is 4.9 as close as you can get. One very good chant to use with the mala is “Om Mani Padme Hum”. Chanting this mantra will help to dilute the negative karma you have gained over lifetimes.