Guided & Mantra Meditation & Chants
Mantra meditation, guided meditation and chants make excellent tools to help you focus in qigong/chi kung. They provide auditory and visualization stimuli that help you relax and focus your concentration as you meditate.
For many practitioners in meditation, it is very difficult to empty one’s mind of all thoughts and distractions. In Chinese we liken it to trying to “still running horses:”
It seems, the more you try, the more distractions intrude, and your thoughts keep running around, out of control, like wild horses.
That is why most beginners find chi kung/qigong that consists of dynamic movements to be particularly beneficial when having something on which to focus.
Another way to get around the problem is mantra meditation: providing repetitive meditation chants or images for the mind to focus on. Instead of emptying the mind of all thoughts — a more difficult process — provide a target for the mind to latch onto.
Indian yogis believe words incorporated in mantra meditation not only have special meaning but resonate at certain frequencies that help entrain our brain. These frequencies, they believe, are the frequencies of creation. “Om” is the most often used mantra because it is the sound of creation.
What is mantra meditation? It is simply meditating on repetitive chants that have special meaning and resonance.
But remember, these chants and mantras do alter brainwave patterns and resulting states of consciousness, making you susceptible to suggestion and trance-like states.
Do not listen to them when driving a vehicle or operating potentially hazardous machinery. Please read the Disclaimer before undertaking any of the practices given here and elsewhere on this website.
Besides mantra meditation there is guided meditation. Guided meditation can provide sensual imagery that can satisfy all five senses, while guiding you through the process of meditation.
Depending on the words, they can be designed for specific types of meditation, for example, for the purpose of relaxation, past life regression and recall, improving concentration, or overcoming anxieties… and a whole lot more.
Here is a little known poem that I often use for meditating on past lives:
The Sun may be clouded, yet ever the Sun
Will sweep on its course till the cycle has run.
And when into chaos the systems are hurled,
Again shall the Builder reshape a new world.
Your path may be clouded, uncertain your goal;
Move on — for your orbit is fixed for your soul.
And though it may lead into darkness of night
The torch of the Builder shall give us new light.
You were, You will be! Know this while you are:
Your spirit has travelled both long and afar.
It came from the Source, to the Source it returns.
The Spark that was lighted eternally burns.
It slept in a jewel, it leapt in a wave.
It roamed in the forest, it rose from a grave.
It took on strange garbs for long aeons of years
And now in the soul of yourself it appears.
From body to body your spirit speeds on,
It seeks a new form when the old one is gone
And the form that it finds is the fabric you wrought
On the loom of the mind, from the fibre of thought.
As dew is drawn upward, in rain to descend,
Your thoughts drift away and in Destiny blend.
You cannot escape them for petty or great
Or evil or noble, they fashion your fate.
Somewhere on some planet: some time and somehow
Your life will reflect all the thoughts of your Now.
The Law is unerring, no blood can atone —
The structure you rear, you must live in alone.
From cycle to cycle, through time and through space
Your lives, with your longings will ever keep pace,
And all that you ask for and all you desire
Must come at your bidding, as flames out of fire.
Once list to that Voice and all tumult is done —
Your life is the Life of the Infinite One.
In the hurrying race you’re conscious of pause
With love for the purpose and love for the cause.
You are your own Devil, you are your own God,
You fashioned the path your footsteps have trod.
And no-one can save you from Evil or Sin
Until you shall hark to the Spirit within.
— Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Or they can be very general, such as the following:
Breathe in relaxation.
Breathe out restfulness.
Discard the artificial and manmade
Embrace peace, solitude with Nature
From Chaos, comes Order
Chi, God’s Breath of Life
Flowing through you and all of Creation
The One breathes Life to Yin and Yang
And then to Spawn a Myriad of Creations
Breathe in Life and Creation.
Breathe out calm and serenity.
His Image Mirroring the Universe
A Microcosm within the Macrocosm
The chi flowing within me and throughout.
Exude healing energy.
Sublimate the self, become One with the Universe.
My Conscience, God’s Voice.
Mindful of Tao, resonates true with Nature.
Inhale wisdom and humility.
Exhale truth and understanding
Life after Life, we spin out our Karma
Eternity everlasting, as is our Essence.
A life journey never ending.
Embrace mental quietness.
Affirm outward serenity.
Letting go to reach control.
From Chaos evolves Order.
From wuwei to taiji, the Grand Ultimate.
If you are an auditory person, mantra meditation and meditation chants, the beat of a metronome or a ticking clock provide repetitive sounds that can be ideal stimuli to “occupy” a distracted mind.
There are many Buddhist mantras that you can use in mantra meditation. Three kinds of mantras I teach my students also help synchronize their breathing:
- so heng, meaning “I am.”Mentally say these words slowly in your mind: so as you breathe in, and heng as you breathe out. This mantra is ideal when you are breathing in and out through your nostrils, your tongue resting in a natural position just against your upper teeth and palate, and your lips pressed closed together.
- heng saJust as in the so heng mantra, mentally chant heng as you inhale, and sa as you exhale, at the same time resting your tongue against the upper palate.
- ha-a-a-aThis mantra reflects the sound of life, as expressed in the sample yogic breathing exercise, Serenity Breath. Practicing this mantra will aid in the promotion and regeneration of new cells in your body.
You can even create your own repetitive affirmations that you can use in lieu of mantras or chants in mantra meditation. For example, “Slow and deep,” to remind you of your breathing, or “Serene and relaxed.”
Try to use words that have soft consonants, as the softer sounds are more compatible with the flow of vital chi energy.
Auditory stimuli is not for everyone. Even though I have gotten used to mantra meditation and meditation chants, I still find the sound of a metronome or a ticking clock somewhat distracting.
Repetitive sounds of ocean waves seem to be more relaxing for me, but for another chi kung/qigong classmate, it reminds him of stormy seas and motion sickness!
So for your own meditation, you be the judge. Try out different kinds of guided meditation, mantra meditation and meditation chants. One meditation chant may affect you differently from another, just as one guided meditation will work for you in a way another does not. The only way to know is to experiment.
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