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There's a reason people say 'om' when they meditate.

So, what’s a mantra?

By KATHY WILSON

Am I the only one who has always associated chanting and mantras with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (and not in a good way)?

You know the scene where the gorgeous Indiana has to fight for his life against a tribe of crazy savages? They’d clearly been smoking something they shouldn’t and had worked themselves up into quite a state by ….you guessed it…. chanting.

They were very, very interested in taking Indie’s heart out of his chest while it was still beating.

It’s okay. He got away. And got the girl. And saved his hat.

But the image has stuck with me for more than 20 years now and has always made me shy away from anything that involved chanting either out loud or internally (which it turns out is called a mantra).

That was until in the process of researching meditation, I discovered that there is a reason many mediation teachers and students use these techniques.

Today, we are going to take a look at mantras, (because we have a lovely mantra meditation for you to try out today).

Mantras are really just a series of words or sounds that are repeated silently.

The basic idea is that a Mantra provides something for the mind to focus on. – not dissimilar to many meditations that focus on the feeling of the breath as it enters and leaves the body.

I like to think of it like puffing smoke into a hive of bees. There is something about repetition that seems to lure the mind into a state of quiet and calm.

And if the image of bees isn’t quite glamorous enough for you, how’s this? In the yoga tradition the primary mantra is the word Om. It is said to be the original sound from which the universe arose and now permeates the universe.

Some physicists suggest that this sound, which permeates the universe may be he echo of the big band, the explosion of energy that began the universe.

So if you have a spare 10 minutes today, try it out. Listen to this lovely meditation that uses a simple mantra to help you focus. It was recorded by the lovely Rhia Valentine of the Universal Change Group (links) who gently talks you  through the process and then gives you time to try it out.

Enjoy!

Kathy Wilson runs a meditation website called mydiamonddays.com that sends subscribers 10 minute meditations from experts all over the world sent to their inbox daily. You can check out her website or visit her facebook page here