Mantra - derived form Sanskrit, is translated as mind- tool.
A mantra is simply a word or phrase that can be chanted, silently recited or whispered. Mantra is a powerful meditation tool that takes the practitioner away from their monkey mind or mind that is filled with chatter and thoughts and brings the practitioner to their truer shelf. It is a way to separate your thoughts from your true self and thereby release your self from negative thoughts and patterns. It gives you a tool for separating from these thoughts and allows you to become an observer. By chanting or silently repeating a mantra as simple as Om (AUM), one often starts to feel a sense of calm and clarity. Neuroscience has begun to prove that the use of mantra does indeed have calming effects on our nervous system and allows the brain to become more focused. This meditative or relaxed state that the body and mind can attain after mantra use is so beneficial, especially, in our fast paced modern lives.
So how do you begin?
A mantra can be as simple as a single word Om(AUM), or the preferred two- worded mantra, for example, OM - SHREEM. A two worded mantra allows you to silently recite one word on an inhalation and one word on the exhalation. Meditation teachers recommend that beginners either lay down or sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and silently recite the mantra while inhaling: (OM) and exhaling: (SHREEM). And like with all meditation practices, if thoughts or concerns enter your mind, just simply notice them and then let them go, returning to your practice. It is recommended that you use the mantra/meditation practice daily for 5-10 min. The more you use the practice the stronger the mantra and it's benefits will be.