When I recommend meditation to people (and that is often), I commonly get strange looks, and comments such as “yea right” or “thats not for me” or “I tried, and couldn’t do it”. To which I say, try, try again. There are too many incredible benefits to blow this one thing off. Shift your perspective on meditation. In support of each and every one of you giving meditation another go, I would like to introduce you to a form of meditation that is very dear to me. Mantra Meditation.
This form of meditation is so simple anybody could do it. I used to meditate semi regularly, and found the benefits that come with it. I was less knowledgeable about the many forms of meditation at the time, and would sit in silence, calming the mind. Reducing how much I was captivated by and attached to the thoughts that would still come and go.
For those of you who don’t know me, I suffered a traumatic Brain Injury 2 years ago. In the months of recovery, I struggled with cognitive function, and feeling in control of my thoughts. I additionally struggled with self-doubt and depression because of this, worrying I may never be able to communicate, work again, and live a full life. I knew I had to return to meditation, and found it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to do. My brain could not calm down, my thoughts were not organized, and I could not stay emotionally detached from them. I was busy trying to repair my damaged neuron pathways, while developing new ones and my brain felt like a jumbled mess. I tried and I tried to calm the mind, to no avail, and then I found mantras.
A mantra is a sequence of words or syllables that are chanted, usually repetitively, as part of Buddhist practice. A mantra is a centering thought, and something to focus on in addition to your breath. Some traditional mantra’s and meanings are “Om Bhavam Namah”(I am absolute existence), “So Hum” (I am), and “Om Ritam Namah” (My actions and desires are supported by cosmic intelligence.)
I found it hard to say these words I didn’t know, learning new things at the time was a different struggle as my frontal lobe, where we develop new memories, was damaged. So I took the idea of a mantra being repeated, and used positive affirmations as mantra’s. Using meditation and the law of attraction combined, I formulated mantras that I repeated over and over for 10 minutes a day. It became a daily ritual that I looked forward to. Every day I saw improvement in my recovery and my attitude towards it. I chose descriptive words I wanted to embrace and create in myself, and even those that weren’t true (yet), I faked it until they were. Positivity mantras such as “I am patient, I am kind, I am abundant, I am powerful, I am grateful”. I repeated positive affirmations about myself until I believed them, and they were true. I aligned these mantras with the breath, with the breath in(I am patient), with the breath out (I am kind). My negativity and depression faded away, and my brain recovery became more than doctors were expecting.
I can’t credit all of my recovery to meditation. I certainly was doing everything holistically possible to achieve my goal. I adjusted my nutrition, I played brain games, and I did lots and lots of self-care. Healing myself was my only job, since I couldn’t work. But I certainly claim meditation to have played a HUGE role in my healing process, and improving my brain function. Now I use meditation to continue improvement of my brain function (even though doctors already say I’m smarter than before). I use meditation to calm and center myself when I am stressed, and even in preventative measures when I’m not stressed, I meditate as a practice. I use meditation as a ritual, just like brushing my teeth; sometimes I even use brushing my teeth as a meditation. Brushing my teeth as a practice in being present and grounded in the moment, more to come on that in the blogs future.
I invite you to try this method of meditation for 10 minutes a day. If 10 minutes seems overwhelming, start small, and work your way up. 1 minute is better than none. Try the traditional Buddhist mantras. Repeating one of them over and over. Or create your own positive affirmation mantra, as I did. Be sure to focus on your breath as part of the practice. Bring awareness to the rise and fall, the in and out. Set a timer for your practice and a daily alarm for as a reminder to meet yourself for your practice.
Some positive affirmations that I love saying are:
“The universe is abundant generous and giving”
“I am abundant, aligned and living in the flow”
“I have the power to live in the flow of abundance”
“I have access to all I need and all I will ever need”
“Good things are coming to me, good things are within me”
I hope you try this form of meditation, and enjoy it. If it’s not for you, stay tuned, more meditation practices are to come. Good things are coming to you; good things are within you!