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About Healing

How to Chant a Mantra for Healing
By:J.R. Erickson

Mantras are words or sounds used in spiritual practice. The term "mantra" is created from the Sanskrit words "man," which translates to "mind," and "tra," which means "instrument," according to a 2011 article on the Huffington Post website. So a mantra is an instrument of the mind. Mantras are repeated during meditation to help the person who is meditating focus and, at times, to guide the meditation toward a specific goal such as healing.

Choose a mantra. Traditional mantras were often sacred sounds or names, but a mantra can be any word or words that, when repeated, help to elevate the spirit and eliminate thoughts. In their 2009 Huffington Post article "Do Mantras Really Work," meditation teachers Ed and Deb Shapiro explain that mantras generally are words that have special meaning, and it is their sound that is integral to chanting. A commonly used mantra in the East is "Om" or "Aum," which represents the sound of the universe. You might also consider the word "heal" as your mantra because that is your ultimate goal.

Find a comfortable, quiet space. Mantras are chanted during meditation as you close your mind to thoughts and become open to silence. Choose a space that is quiet, where you are unlikely to encounter interruptions or distractions. Some people chant mantras in nature to get the added benefit of natural sounds such as running water or singing birds.

Position your body. There is no specific position you must sit in when chanting a mantra, but you want to be comfortable and able to breath easily. If you meditate, choose the position you generally meditate in, such as straight-backed with legs crossed. You can sit in a chair or on the floor, or even lie down if that's more comfortable.

Repeat your mantra. Begin to repeat your mantra slowly and in time with your breathing. You can repeat the mantra each time you inhale or exhale, or say half of the mantra while inhaling and the other while exhaling. Say your mantra out loud, if possible, though you also can repeat it silently.

Clear your mind. During meditation your thoughts may wander. Simply steer your focus back to you breathing and to your mantra, releasing your thoughts.

Consider asking friends to join you. Chanting a mantra with others may increase the benefits of meditation. Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said meditation is about vibrations, and when groups meditate together, they increase the positive energy in a space, which is felt by everyone.