Japa Meditation is a simple technique that involves the repetition of a mantra out loud or internally. This can be done seated and still or in conjunction with other yoga and meditation techniques. Although a meaningful mantra makes the practice more effective, it is the process of uninterrupted focus on the repetition of it that occupies the superficial levels of our consciousness. Through concentration, we transcend the fluctuations of the mind to a place of mental clarity. Mantras can be in any language and from any culture. This is where a qualified and trusted meditation or yoga teacher can suggest one for you to work with. Or you can tap into your intuition and listen for the mantra that wants to work with you. All of our 200 hour, 21 day intensive yoga teacher training immersion certification programs include this style of meditation in the curriculum and it is always a favorite.
This is an effective form of meditation that has been the subject of much research. Branded and popular forms of meditation such as Transcendental Meditation ™ (TM) and Vedic Meditation teach this technique to many people around the world. According to Wikipedia, there is reported to be over 5 million people practicing Transcendental Meditation worldwide. The TM organization has conducted many evidence based research studies to confirm the benefits of this technique. They have found success in treating depression, insomnia, addiction, PTSD, ADHD and the Autism spectrum. This technique is known to be highly effective in the management of stress and anxiety, in producing clarity of mind resulting in greater energy, creativity and awareness, and in having multiple benefits for cultivating heart health. More info about Transcendental Meditation can be found here:
On our Yoga teacher training course, we all use the same mantra, “Aham Prema”. This means, “I am Divine Love”, and also loosely translates to Ram Das’s iconic “I am Loving Awareness”. You are welcome to use either the English or Sanskrit variations, or any other mantra or affirmation that resonates with you.
The technique is this: first set a timer for 2 minutes longer than you wish to meditate for. Try to use your internal clock to let you know when your meditation practice is over but have the alarm as a back up just in case. Arrange your body comfortably in a seat (asana) with your hands resting in a mudra. I like to do a few minutes of pranayama before I get started. Set the intention for your meditation.
Begin repeating your mantra internally. Concentrate fully on your mantra. When you notice the mind wavering, re-align your awareness and return your inner focus to the mantra. Keep doing just that and surrender to the expansion of your consciousness. After your alarm has gone off, sit quietly without using your mantra for about 2 minutes to allow the mind to settle and assimilate the benefits of your meditation session.
About Dr. Liz Lindh:
I am Dr. Liz Lindh, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, holistic skincare and natural beauty expert, Yoga Teacher and Yoga Teacher Trainer. I am the Director of The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica and Founder of Lakshmi Rising School for Yoga & Wellness.