I used to use a breathing meditation often as a form of pain management. However, over the years the type of pain that I had, changed, and with it so did treatment. Along the way I abandoned my meditations. However with in the last 6 months I have been increasingly interested in getting back into meditation on a regular basis. Therefore I have decided for the month of April I will meditate at least once a day for 20 minutes.
I have decided to use a mantra meditation. A mantra meditation is simply reciting a phrase or word over and over again to focus your thoughts on a specific idea, or nothing at all. Some will use this type of meditation along with affirmations to change behavior or attitude. I prefer to use a mantra that isn’t a part of my cultural zeitgeist so my mind is less likely to wander. I considered learning more about Transcendental Meditation, but soon realized that it isn’t for me. (maybe I will write a post about that one day)
Everyday during the month of April I will use a mantra meditation based on the Buddhist mantra: Om Mani Padme Hum The Dalai Lama describes the mantra’s meaning as:
“It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani padme hum, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast… The first, Om […] symbolizes the practitioner’s impure body, speech, and mind; it also symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha[…]”
- “The path is indicated by the next four syllables. Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method: (the) altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love.[…]”
- “The two syllables, padme, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom[…]”
- “Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable hum, which indicates indivisibility[…]”
“Thus the six syllables, om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha[…]”
For me, this mantra doesn’t have the same religious significance that it does for many raised in the Buddhist tradition. However it does help me quiet the mind and focus on being in the present moment. If you want to try mantra meditation yourself, you can use any phrase or words that brings you comfort.
I will write an update at the end of the month to let you all know how things went. ✌