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I was in the sixth grade when my father, who has a keen interest in Meditation, asked me if I would like to try it too. I was too young at that time, to understand the depth of this concept or what I was going to take up. Contents1 First encounter with meditation1.1 It was Transcendental Meditation2 Second encounter with meditation2.1 It was turn for Mindfulness Meditation3 Both are great, but which one for you? Till date, I don’t know what mantra was given to my Dad, as it is supposed to be kept confidential and should not be pronounced even physically. Seven years later, I was again introduced to it, when I met an Aunt of mine, who practiced meditation.
Since, this time I was matured enough to start things and not leave them just like that, I decided to take up her style of contemplation, Mindfulness Meditation. Let me share the details of both with you, so that while choosing a technique for yourself, you would be able to make a well informed decision. Meet people who practice it, buy self-help books and guides or go online and read about the technique before starting.
Sit comfortably with eyes closed and silently repeat the mantra in your mind, trying to focus all your attention on it. Thoughts that come in the process are to be treated in a non-judgmental way and all focus should be brought back on the object chosen for meditation.
Effective in managing stress, anxiety, chronic pain, depression and medical or mental health conditions. This meditation can also be practiced in the lion posture (lying down position) but that often induces sleep, so is avoided by many. Both these forms of meditation are taught and practiced regularly in schools, colleges, health institutions, corporate wellness programs, hospitals, prison settings across the USA and the like. You can also try open eye meditation if you find concentrating with eyes closed a little difficult. Pranita SohonyLife saw me juggle with the 5 Ps of Advertising and now, I am juggling between the roles of a Mom and a Parenting Writer. When a mantra is repeated mentally it’s called japa, which translates from the Sanskrit as “muttering.” Practicing mantra meditation can awaken within you a deeper spiritual awareness and allow you to make that awareness a part of your daily life.
There are many types of meditation and within each type there are individual interpretations. As you begin exploring the practice of mantra meditation you may, at first, find it to be a bit mechanical or repetitious, but as your practice evolves you will discover your meditations to be anything but boring or tedious. When you reach this effortless repetition, you have reached a level known to the adept yogis as ajapa japa.
To reach this state requires practice and arises only after some considerable experience with a mantra.
As you develop a regular mantra meditation practice you will begin to develop a deeper understanding of self, you will begin to peel back the layers of your mind as awareness of your desires, fears, hopes, aspirations; all of your submerged thoughts float to the surface.
The mantra provides the mind with ‘something to do’ and keeps it from becoming distracted; it acts as a centering device creating a space for the everyday mind to rest in. There are meditative practices, such as Primordial Sound Meditation and Transcendental Meditation, where a teacher will give you a personal mantra.
There are usually three phases that you can progress through when developing a mantra practice. In the second phase your begin to let go of the attachment to the breath and begin to concentrate on the sound alone. In the final stage, as the mantra becomes a part of you, it will begin to naturally flow faster and the articulation of the syllables may become distorted and unrecognizable, yet, you remain fully aware and present to it.
As with all form of meditation, there will be ‘puppy training’ phase where you will need to continually keep returning to the mantra as the ‘puppy’ mind wanders off. The good news is that with regular practice the pace of the mantra will increase and you will notice a deepening of your concentration and best of all the process will be effortless. With diaphragmatic breathing the upper thoracic cage (chest) does NOT move either upward or outward.
More recently I've been practicing my sitting with a Sanskrit mantra, but my breath words are very important to me as part of mindfulness meditation, and when that mindfulness translates into "everday" off the cushion, I am so happy! Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, is the amount of energy expended to sustain the basic bodily functions of everyday life, such as breathing, blinking and the heart's beating. Residents of New York City face some of the highest prices in the world when it comes to housing, transportation and entertainment. Scott Robinson is an interfaith minister, musician, and spiritual director in Philadelphia.
There are three stages of the breath as a vehicle for meditation, witnessing, relaxing the nervous system and stilling the mind. In the wisdom tradition of Yoga, the breath is used as a vehicle for self-awareness and as a subtle focus that carries us inward.
Meditation begins as we bring our awareness to the breath, following the rhythmic movements and the natural sensations of the many elements of breathing.
As we settle into awareness there is a shift that begins to take place in our nervous system.

Witnessing is the process of bringing your attention fully to each of the sensations in the mind-body.
Notice the cool feeling as the air rushes up through your nose on the in breath and how it’s warmed as the air is expelled.
Once you have become comfortable with allow your awareness to move into the body, follow the breath into your chest, feel the movement of all the muscles as each expands and contracts as the breath fills your lungs.
Remember this is a natural process, so let it occur naturally, there is no need to ‘conform’ to a ‘style’ of breathing.
Later during meditation you can maintain awareness even if you return your attention to the breath. As your practice evolves it will, naturally and organically, become less about controlling your breath and more about being the witness. Meditation is a process of letting go, especially in the beginning; there is the release of negative energy in the form of stress, negative emotions, worry or regret. Because the breath can be voluntary it is possible to maintain equilibrium reducing the natural tension between negative thoughts and conscious relaxed breathing.
It is while practicing meditation that breath awareness will interrupt the flow of negative energy, keeping it from taking up residency, which in turn calms the nervous system.
It is in the deeper stages of breath awareness and as our nervous system relaxes that leads us in to the meditative state.
When the attention is on the breath, the air moving in and out of the nose, then the focus of our concentration is on a physical sensation.
As our practice evolves the mental repetition of our mantra will replace breath awareness, allowing it to fade gently into the background.
Understanding and practicing the three stages of the breath as a vehicle for meditation, will allow you to move from meditation as a practice to meditation as an experience. And if you want the message of meditation to spread, please click the LIKE button below share this article on Facebook. This entry was posted in How to Meditate, Meditation Benefits, Meditation Help, Meditation Techniques and tagged beginning meditator, How to meditate, Meditation Benefits, meditation help, meditative state, wisdom tradition of Yoga by Tommyji.
The Natural Stress Relief technique can be learned at home for US$25: instant download (text file + audio file).
Warning: you will not receive personal training on NSR, so you need to rely on your own discipline to learn the technique. The Maharishi Foundation demands that we display in our web materials the following disclaimer.
We agree to do so as a courtesy, even though the content of such disclaimer, in our opinion, is obvious and superfluous.
Should you wish to receive such TM® program instruction, you must contact an authorized TM® program center.
Our organization is not affiliated with the sponsors of that website and we are not authorized to teach the TM® or Transcendental Meditation® program or any other programs founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi".
Transcendental Meditation and with the little information I got, I said ‘Yes’ for my childish reasons.
I told her that I too tried Transcendental Meditation as a child, but quit it for no reason. Called so because it is believed that while practicing this technique the regular thought process is ‘transcended’ by a state of pure consciousness. Sowing seeds of meditation and Yoga in my tot and relishing every bit of Mum-hood, I intend to share my wonderful experiences with all the peachy parents out there. For some, it’s following the breath and for others it’s quiet reflection or self-awareness. You will begin to notice it changes as you practice, it may grow louder or softer, faster or slower, the rhythm may change and follow the breath or instead it may follow a pattern of its own. Reaching this stage of effortless effort, your practice becomes filled with true joy and you begin to experience the field of quiet expanded awareness. And with each meditation you witness your life as it unfolds and as it does a deeper spiritual awareness grows.
For example, from the Buddhist tradition, Om mani padme hum (“May the blessed union of practice and wisdom awaken”) or from the Christian tradition, Kyrie eleison (“Lord have mercy”).
The first is linking the sound to the breath (which is one of the reasons I like the so hum mantra, because it’s very natural to repeat ‘so’ on the in breath and ‘hum’ on the out breath). Once this begins to happen you will notice that the rhythm of the mantra will flow at its own pace. Eventually it will be as if you are listening to it, not mentally repeating and it will fade into silence, the only thing left is you as pure awareness. This would be extremely tiresome if it wasn’t for the fact, that even in the earliest stages of the practice, the results are genuine feelings of peace. Protein needs building blocks like amino acids which can be found in soy, to be absorbed properly, vegan or not. Following the breath is the means to a deeper connection and concentration of the mind-body, which leads to a sweet sense of peace and tranquility. This witnessing, which is the first stage of breath awareness is the process of bring awareness to all the physical and mental elements, from awareness of the air movement in and out of our lungs to the slowing of thoughts arising in the mind. There is a close relationship between the breath and our nervous system; if we are frightened or apprehensive our breath is shallow and short, stopping and starting erratically, if however, we breathe slowly and deeply our nervous system relaxes.

As you settle in to your awareness, begin to focus on the inhalation, feeling a sense of renewal with each breath in and then renew your focus on the out breath and the release of tension that takes place with it. You will notice a difference in the way and amount different muscle will contract and expand depending on the position you are in, whether sitting erect or lying down, be aware of those differences. If you sit in an upright and erect position you will become aware that there is less expansion of your chest as you breathe and it becomes more of a widening in your rib cage. Each emotion has its own unique form of breathing, whether crying or laughter, the breath changes. These thoughts are released as we slip into the meditative state, arising from their subconscious moorings. Through awareness and presence (witnessing) when we notice the negative thoughts arising by focusing on and preserving the relaxed breath, we can maintain self-control.
It’s breath awareness and the associated relaxed nervous system that allows us to create distance between our witnessing self and the causes of our stress. This is accomplished as we combine breath awareness with a mantra; a process of watching the breath move in and out through the nose while repeating a mantra or sound.
When we add the mantra to the breath, we move our focus from the physical sensation to the mental sound. Breath awareness works much like a meditation ‘safety net,’ catching us when we inevitably lose our concentration.
Ultimately, the same process will happen to the mantra, and as it fades the silence that has always been there emerges as we enter the field of unbounded awareness.
Deepak Chopra created the Primordial Sound® meditation, that is similar to Maharishi's TM. Reasons like, it would be a good time-killer for my summer vacations and that I would get to spend a good deal of time with my Dad, which I otherwise couldn’t.
Naive, as I was, I pushed meditation under the pile of few so-called important things I did as a child.
I would like to add that in Transcendental Meditation, we effortlessly bring our attention to the mantra. It re-connects every fragmented projection of the psyche, each separated part of the body, and synchronizes the finite sense of self to the Infinite Oneness. A mantra, which is the repetition of a sound or prayer, is a primary part of the meditative tradition of yoga. The pronunciation may become unclear and it can even begin to sound as if you are hearing it instead of repeating it. In the same way that a beautiful piece of music can so engage the mind that you become part of the music, the mantra can so engage your mind that you slip in to pure awareness. One of the most popular mantras from the Vedic tradition is the Gayatri mantra (“May my mind be guided by divine light”). The connection of the breath and the mantra deepens your concentration which helps keep the mind from wandering. One is to use a mala, a string of a 108 beads used to count repetitions of your mantra (see video below).
By this time your mantra will be an old friend, someone you will feel at peace with when they are around.
In the end, your mantra will become more than a practice, it will awaken you to your true nature, the real you, which is whole, loving, peaceful, creative and filled with joy and purpose. There are some things you can do when grocery shopping in NYC that can save you some money and keep you within your grocery budget. You can chatter the mantras and studies shows that each and every mantra has its own power. But, whatever position you choose, let each breath flow into the next, without pause but without forcing or trying to control it, this is because a pause leaves an opening for the mind to become distracted. Stress also has a deep and pervasive effect, restricting the normal flow of our breath, because of this our health can be adversely affected. The mantra works as an ‘instrument’ of the mind, focusing it, creating in it a space or stillness, which becomes the source of well-being, peace and unconditioned joy.
One of my personal favorites is the very simple so hum mantra; a mantra that has no meaning attached to it.
This is a more subtle form of the mantra process, you have let go of the support of the breath and begin to rest wholly within yourself. Another way to deepen your concentration is to connect the sound of one mantra to the next, eliminating the gaps between the sounds. However, as we develop an awareness of our breath through practice and because we can control our breathing voluntarily, we can make adjustments that will have a positive effect.
This might cause the body to sleep, if it needs to sleep, or come into a state of restful alertness.
One of the advantages of using a mantra that has no meaning is there is less likely hood of the mind getting distracted and keep our attention at the level of the mind.
I would never have noticed that if I allowed memory and anticipation to hijack the here-and-now.

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