I have a busy mind and I find it difficult, most of the time, to just sit and meditate—whether that’s focusing on the breath, counting or one of the many other techniques available. What works for me is a type of contemplation called Vedic meditation; also called mantra meditation. Mantra meditation involves the chanting of Sanskrit word phrases which have particular meanings.

Now don’t get too spooked about this! This is not about any religious philosophy. The practice of reciting mantras doesn’t require you to alter your belief systems.

What is a Mantra? – The word, mantra, is translated as manas (mind) and tra (tool) — “tool for the mind.” I find using the phrases to focus works way better at taking me out of my own head and into a more contemplative state.

By chanting a mantra over and over again, the mind becomes focused on the mantra and less distracted by normal thoughts. Inherently scattered minds (like mine!), need an object of meditation; an object of attention. That is what the mantra is.

Many mantras are simple short sentences and there are English phonetic versions which make pronunciation simple. There are even one-word mantras, like OM, which may have heard of? There are many other one word mantras, but more of that later. You don’t need a beautiful voice because the key thing is the vibrations that happen in your body when you make the sounds… this is where the benefits begin. It helps to know what the words to translate to but even that is not absolutely essential.