What Is Japa Meditation
You might be wondering what Japa Meditation is, but using Japa meditation to boost your mental state is nothing new! Japa in Sanskrit means muttering, and Japa meditation is the act of reciting Mantras whilst meditating.
Making healthy habits is important for a balanced lifestyle, we make habits by living in a repetitive way. During Japa Meditation, we do this by repeating a single syllable or multiple syllable mantra.
- Have transformative powers for self-realization, and growth.
- Protect the mind with powerful spiritual energies.
- Connect with strong universal energies, to enhance awakening and enlightenment.
Understanding Mantras For Japa Meditation
To understand the power of Japa meditation, we must first understand the power of mantras. Traditionally Japa and Mantric recitation are based on an esoteric understanding of the Sanskrit alphabet. The sacred Sanskrit language is fundamental to psychocosmic energies.
Which Mantra Should You Use
Firstly traditional mantras do not have to be used. When using Japa meditation to boost your mental state it is important to use a mantra that you love. Your intention is power, and any mantra can bring benefit to your meditations. With the power of intention, any mantra can bring benefit to your meditation.
It is always best to study and learn about the mantra you are using. This will help you to form strong intentions. It is advised to use one mantra at a time during your practices. This will also help you to focus your intentions and your energies.
Step 1: Prepare your Japa meditation space
During your meditation, it is important to feel comfortable and at peace. Many individuals have a dedicated meditation space or chose a location where they will not be disturbed.
The location itself again is not a huge factor, as transcending into meditation allows you to leave this location. Many individuals choose to meditate outside, within a quiet room, or even in their office.
The most important thing is to make sure that you are in a space where you will not be distracted or disturbed for the length of your meditation.
Step 2: Prepare your mind
To use japa meditation as a way to boost your mental state, you must first prepare this mental space. If you do not have a specific meditation room or place within your home, it can be useful to have a small ritual for setting up your space.
This is particularly important if you are meditating in a room that is full of other energies, such as a busy family home or your office space.
Take the time to place out some fabrics, crystals, or statues that help you feel relaxed. Allow some time for deep breathing to really get yourself into a meditative state.
Change the energies in your space.
Tap into your senses with meditative music, incense, and different fabrics.
Practice some deep breathing, and begin to connect with your higher self.
Step 3: Picking a mantra
Japa meditation can be practiced in a few different ways. You can speak the mantra aloud, whisper the mantra or say them mentally. As long as you are using the mantra with strong intent, you can use whichever method suits you.
Beginners will often say the mantra aloud or whisper them before moving on to reciting them mentally. Reciting your mantras aloud can be particularly useful. The brain is able to hear the mantric sounds, and this feedback loop allows your brain to create strong connections.
Have you ever been reading a book, and only at the end of a page come to realize that you have not taken any of the information in? This occurs when we are being mindless. If your mind begins to wander during meditation, be sure to bring it back to your place of focus.
If you begin to mindlessly recite mantras they will not have any energy behind them, there will be no intention, and it will be a waste of your time.
Example mantras to use:
- A powerful syllable that represents wholeness within the universe.
- It is the sound that which all came from and it encompasses all things.
- Great for beginners.
- It helps you to awaken and connect with your true essence.
- Translates into “I am that”
- Easily links to your inhale and exhale. Inhale So and exhale Hum.
- Use this mantra to help bring focus
Om Shanti Om
- Om resembles all within the universe.
- Shanti means peace, it is repeated 3 times for peace in your mind, body and speech.
- Use this mantra to bring a deep state of peace.
Step 4: Using malas during Japa meditation
Throughout history this mantric meditation style has been completed with the use of rosaries/malas. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity, and Islam all use this spiritual tool.
Use your intuition to help pick malas that are best for you. Many individuals will have different mala beads to connect with different energies. Malas are made from many different kinds of woods, seeds, nuts, shells and crystals.
Traditional mala beads often consist of 108 beads, but they can also be found with fewer. For ease, many sets of mala beads contain decorative beads as separators. A larger bead, known as a meru, semeru or guru bead is sometimes used. Tassels, charms, and lucky knots are attached as extra decoration and inspiration for the wearer.
Step 5: Putting it into practice
The right hand is used to hold malas. The mala beads are usually held in the right hand, but you can hold them in any way that you find comfortable. It is best not to get distracted from the main purpose of meditation. To hold your malas, the beads should be draped over your middle finger or the right finger and moved down with your thumb.
The index finger isn’t used during japa meditation as it is viewed as the threatening finger. We must treat mala beads with the upmost respect. Our intention comes from our heart, so it is best to hold them at heart level and make sure they do not drag on the floor.
Counting with your mala
After a mantra is repeated you move onto the next bead. Mala beads include a number of different beads. Traditionally there are 108 beads, but you may come across malas with a lot fewer beads.
As you recite your mantras, many practitioners will deduct a few beads from the final count to allow for slips and any moments of inattention. A traditional 108 would be count as 100 mantras. So, ten rounds of this mala will equal 1,000 mantras.
After you have completed one full round of your mala beads, you will find yourself back at the guru bead. You should never count or cross over the guru bead, instead, you should turn the mala beads around and begin a new round.
Your new round will begin with the bead that ended your last bead. This is to respect the guru and keep a humble nature whilst on your spiritual path.
Mala beads are sacred spiritual tools and treated with respect. Mala beads are often kept in separate boxes, bags or wrapped in cloth and kept somewhere safe when not in use.
Step 6: Using Japa meditation to boost your mental state
You shouldn’t leave the mindfulness practice you learned behind. Japa meditation can boost your mental state and the most important zen space is the space within your mind. Begin to use your Japa practice to help boost you by question your thoughts, be mindful, and speak nicely to yourself.
Beginning a journey of personal growth and self-transformation takes a lot of strength and energy, but it’s worth it! All day long, we have thoughts, and we interact with others. Take what you have learned during your Japa meditation, and begin to look at the way you are speaking to yourself and others. Use language and your words as a way to spread love and transform your spiritual journey.
Let me know what you think in the comments down below. Do you use Japa Meditation, or are you interested in starting?