If you’re looking for a simple way to calm yourself and refocus your attention anytime and anywhere, mantra meditation is an excellent tool.
What if I told you there’s a simple tool you can use to foster calm and peace at any moment of your life? A tool that will help you sleep better at night and be more productive during your waking hours?
And will cost you absolutely nothing?
Because there is. It’s called mantra meditation.
If you haven’t tried meditation before, or even if you’ve stuck your little toe in, you might be wondering if it lives up to the hype or if it’s some mystical practice that’s a little too “woo-woo.”
You’re not alone. But don’t let a little woo-woo talk you out of something as powerful as the benefits of mantra meditation.
I’ve been practicing meditation for 50 years. (I know, I know, I’m old, right?) But each time I practice meditation, I feel like a beginner—young, enthusiastic, open-minded.
I’ve trained in many different styles of meditation—pranayama, Tibetan, and various hybrid approaches. When I found mantra meditation, I knew I had found my path to inner and outer peace.
This is different from trying to “stop” my mind. There are plenty of meditation disciplines where the objective is to stop your thoughts, but that creates a tension that doesn’t work for me. It feels like I’m trying to stop a freight train, and I become distracted from my practice rather than engaged.
I’m a pragmatist. Those who know me know that I prefer practical applications with a payoff. I meditate to bring myself a sense of calm. I meditate for creativity. I meditate to get away for a few moments and refresh my mind.
Honestly, it’s like a mini-vacation I give myself.
The benefits of mantra meditation are many, and that’s one of them. Here’s a couple more:
When I use mantra meditation, I sleep better, my moods are steadier, and I’m more creative. I’ll often do some right before bed, or even while in bed, to help me relax and drift off to sleep.
Sometimes I use meditation instead of sleep.
There have been times our team has worked with us, and we’ve needed to work through the night. To do that, we take a cue from sailors who travel around the world—they wait until they reach a clear zone and take a 20-minute nap. Twenty minutes is enough time to refresh your mind and give yourself a needed rest.
So, when we’d start to get foggy in our writing or find ourselves nodding off, we’d take a few minutes to practice mantra meditation. Then, I’d set the alarm, go into a quiet room and repeat a mantra several times, first loud and then softening, rhythmically. Many times, I’d find myself awakened by the alarm after a refreshing 20-minute sleep.
Why does this work?
Our brains have different waves—Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta:
Occasionally, during mantra meditation sessions, you may drop into Delta sleep, but your awareness will hover in Theta most of the time. This state allows you to return refreshed and aware, without that grogginess that can come with a longer nap.
Other benefits of mantra meditation?
Another benefit of mantra meditation is that my practice helps me become a more focused leader, who approaches situations with a more even temper.
Truthfully? For me, the meditation practice is often about survival. I tend to operate under enormous pressure, so learning to defuse that stress that and escape with mantra meditation has been a game-changer for me.
Want to try it?
Ever heard of “monkey mind?” This is the busyness that occasionally happens in your mind. It happens in everyone’s mind, and it ALWAYS shows up when you sit down to meditate. Suddenly, all the things you need to do, ask, fix, find or be, line themselves up to distract you.
As you begin to practice mantra meditation, it’s essential to let yourself carry it out however you see fit. If you have an itch, go ahead and scratch. If you’re uncomfortable, shift your posture. If you attempt to ignore or override these distractions, they tend to become more intense and disturbing.
Meditation is simply about refreshing your mind and allowing yourself to escape for a few moments:
When I follow these steps, eventually, I will find myself reaching a state of relaxation. Until my monkey mind takes over, and I lose it for a minute, chasing another thought, another insight, another hurt, or concern.
The moment that happens, I interrupt my mind by repeating my mantra.
Sometimes there’s a higher self that allows new wisdom and insight to come in. How that works is way beyond me. But, wherever it comes from and whatever it is, I never cease to enjoy the vacation.
You may have heard the Buddhist “Om” repeated during meditation. Some of our Jewish students use “Aleph,” the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Some Christians prefer to repeat “Hallelujah,” “I Am,” or another meaningful word or phrase. You could pick a letter or any word for your mantra.
I repeat the mantra “Akal” in my meditation.
However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret—your mantra doesn’t matter. It can be a sound. It can be a word you like. It can be anything. As long as it resonates with you, simply allow the sound of the repeating rhythm to bring you to that peaceful-relaxed state of mind.
So, what are you waiting for?
It’s easy to get intimidated by the formality and nuance of meditation. It seems so ancient and mysterious. But it’s simple: a mantra replaces the 10,000 different thoughts in your mind with one powerful, clear, conscious engaged thought.
What’s not to love about that?
Want more ideas and opportunities to learn? Check out our upcoming events. You can also explore our webinars and presentations on leadership, relationships, self-discovery, and more on Wright Now. We offer an array of classes to help you get ahead in your career, boost your relationships, and discover yourself. Learn more today, so you can go forth and ignite your world!
Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.