Japa Meditation - Using Mantras In Meditation

by marciag

Japa meditation is considered even today one of the most effective meditation techniques used to eliminate stress from your life.

Japa meditation is considered even today one of the most effective meditation techniques used to eliminate stress from your life.This technique is said to have originated in India around 2300 B.C. The word ‘Japa’ in the original Sanskrit means, ‘to utter softly, to mutter, or to speak internally.’

This meditation requires practitioners to speak a mantra or a very short prayer softly and quietly or to oneself. If you are speaking your mantra lightly, yet audibly, this is referred to as Vaikhari Japa.

When you repeat your mantra silently, however, it is referred to as Manasika Japa. Manasika Japa is usually revered as the most potent of the two Japa types. It is considered more powerful than the first because by not saying out loud the mantra, you involve your entire brain to focus on in by using your inner voice.

It does require a complete focus of the mind. Once this focus is accomplished, outside influences are blocked. Then you as the practitioner can go very deeply into a meditative state.

By practicing it, you will find yourself in a place of calm that will help you reach inner peace and balance.

What Exactly Is Japa Meditation?

At its core, it is a technique that allows the mind to focus on a particular thought by removing any external disturbances. It will help to cleanse the mind from worries and tensions that cloud our judgment from time to time. This type of meditation can be done as a group or on an individual level.

It does this by using a mantra that you keep repeating over and over again. A mantra is a word or syllable from the Sanskrit alphabet, such as 'ah' or 'om', that it is repeated at regular intervals to achieve the desired results. Whether Jehovah, God, Allah, Jah, etc., any name that gives you, as an individual, the highest sense of serenity.

Not every meditation technique uses mantras, however Japa is all based on chanting it through the practice. By repeating the mantra in your mind or loudly (depending on the type you are doing), you are removing the stress and the tension that surrounds you.

At its core level, when you are repeating the mantra over and over again, it creates vibrations that are positive in their effects in your life.

Many people use non-Sanskrit words for the mantra, such as evoking the name of God over and over again. You don't have to actually use the prescribed words for achieving the same results, you can use pretty much any mantra you are more comfortable with.

Are You Familiar With The Japa Meditation?

The Right Posture And Using Meditation Accessories

crossed leg meditation postureThe best way to practice it effectively is by sitting cross legged on the floor. You can also simply sit on a chair with your legs firmly on the floor and your back straight.

Once comfortably seated, start chanting the chosen mantra over and over again, while using a bead rosary made of exactly 108 beads, called Japa Mala. These beads are the Hindu prayer beads commonly used in this type of meditation.

It is important that while meditating to keep your mind focused on the mantra. If you find it wandering around, simply gently guide it back towards chanting the mantra.

This technique can be used by anyone, including beginners since it doesn't need a lot of effort. However this does not mean that you don't need to regularly practice. Just like with everything else in life, Japa meditation needs lots of practice to experience results.

Using Japa Mala Beads

In Japa meditation Japa mala beads are used much like the rosary beads used in Catholicism. There are usually 108 beads on a Japa mala.

Basically during the meditation, the mantra is repeated and counted with the beads and not with numbers in your head like a meditation newbie would do.

Traditionally, the mala beads are all the same circumference with one at the middle or end of the chain being slightly larger. This bead is known as the meru. In many religions, the meru is not to be counted or touched. If you do not already have Japa mala, you can still begin practicing it by using the technique outlined below.

You will also need a mantra. A mantra can be a word or a short, one sentenced prayer. This word should be one that evokes a sense of calm or a feeling of inspiration. Most people who practice Japa meditation, use the name of their God.

If you do not have a mantra, you may use the sound of “Aum,” pronounce ’A-oo-um.’ When you begin Japa, it may be best to repeat your mantra aloud. The sound will give you a vibration in your throat and chest which helps you to remain relaxed and focused on the meditation. After a time, when you are comfortable with Japa, you may move on to Manasika Japa.

Image copyright: marciag

Japa Mala Beads

Perfect Accessories For The Japa Meditation
ROSEWOOD JAPA MALA w/ Om Zippered Pouch ~ 108 Prayer Beads on Red K...

Japa Meditation Technique To Follow Along

Japa meditation is usually practiced by sitting cross legged on a thin cushion or cloth. You will need to be comfortable while you meditate, but not so comfortable that you will fall asleep. If you are not able to sit cross legged, sitting in a chair with your back straight and feet firmly on the floor will be fine.

Keep these things in mind when finding the posture or position that is right for you. You will also need a quiet place, such as a room inside your home where you will not be disturbed or a quiet garden if the weather permits, there are excellent outdoor places to practice meditation nearby. You may choose to have soft, meditative music in the background or you may meditate in quietness.

(The technique outlined here takes into consideration that you may not already have a Japa mala or a specific mantra.)

  1. First, make sure you are not tense or restless. If necessary, relax your body from your feet to your crown.

    To do this, concentrate on your feet; flex then relax them and say to yourself that your feet are relaxed.

  2. Next, continue with your calves and thighs. Do this all the way up your body to the crown of your head.

    You should now be relaxed and your body is restful.

  3. Next, sit on your cushion or in your chair. Put your hands in your lap. Close your eyes and take a deep, cleansing breath; blow it out slowly through your nostrils.
  4. Now, imagine the letter A. See it clearly in your mind. Picture the details. It can be an upper case A or a lower case a. Keep the letter in focus for a few seconds.
  5. Mentally move to the right of the letter and picture the letter B. Again, focus on the details, see it clearly.
  6. Now, move back to the left slightly and focus on the blank space between the letters. Focus there for a few seconds.
     Do not dwell on any random thoughts that come to mind. Just allow them to flow through and out of your mind.
  7. Begin to say your mantra. Allow the sound to come from deep within your chest and move up slowly and smoothly through your throat.

    Hold your mantra for about 10 seconds. Feel the vibration of the sound of the mantra. Do this two times.

  8. Then move from the letter b to the letter c, repeating the process of focusing on the space and chanting the mantra up to the letter G.

As you become familiar with this method of meditation, you may want to repeat the mantra several times between the letters.

Also, it may be beneficial to you to extend the time of focus between the letters by a few more seconds.

Video Guide On How To Do The Japa Meditation Properly

With the use of japa mala beads and a mantra

Benefits of Japa Meditation

Practicing it comes with many benefits. First, it eases the clutter that your busy life has encumbered your mind with.

It helps to erase daily stresses so that you can think more clearly.

Then, it connects you with the Divine, the Universe, or the Creator, whichever God you regularly worship. This connection increases your compassion and caring for others around you.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, the famous best-selling author of such books as Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the Ages and several others, is using Japa in his own daily practice and he is recommends it as well to everyone. In an interview with the Holistic Health Magazine Share Guide, he said:

"My japa has a mantra. It's the repetition of the sound of the Names for the Divine...Usually it has the sound "AH" in it somewhere--whether it's Yahweh, or God, or Krishna, or Allah or Ra or Kali or Durga."

Japa Meditation: Getting in the Gap - Making Conscious Contact with God Through Meditation

by Dr. Wayne Dyer
Getting in the Gap: Making Conscious Contact with God Thr...

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Updated: 04/26/2013, marciag
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