Japa Mantra Meditation and the Use of Malas
Japa Mantra Meditation is an ancient Buddhist practice where a chosen mantra is repeated out loud 108 times in Sanskrit. Japa meditation is a sound meditation. Each sound of the Sanskrit language has a unique vibration which affects the energetic makeup of your mind and body. Sound is a form of energy made up of vibrations or wavelengths. Specific wavelengths in Sanskrit have the power to focus the mind, invoke spiritual qualities, promote healing, and fulfill desires. The intention or belief you are focusing on is embedded in the sound of the Sanskrit words themselves. The word mantra comes from two Sanskrit roots: manas, meaning “mind,” and tara, meaning “to cross.” Mantra literally means “to cross the mind.” As the mantra is repeated the energy encased in sound is released, thereby creating a specific thought pattern in the mind.For example, the mantra “So Hum” translates to “I am That,” and profoundly declares our existence and communion with the Universe at large. This mantra strengthens and balances the root chakra which is where our sense of existence lies.
To enhance your Japa meditation practice, choose a mala necklace made with gemstones that heighten individual qualities you are seeking to strengthen. Our turquoise and jasper mala necklace aids in balancing the root chakra with grounding energy giving the meditator a sense of safety and security. Japa meditation can be done alone or in a group. It can be done formally with eyes closed on a meditation cushion or informally while you are driving (with eyes open, please!).
To practice formal Japa Mantra Meditation using a mala follow these simple steps:
- Find a quiet place and sit comfortably on the floor, a meditation cushion, or a chair.
- Hold your mala at the first bead next to the large Guru bead with your thumb and middle finger. Your index finger should point away from you, signifying the ego moving away from self during chanting.
- Close your eyes. Take a moment to center yourself by taking several deep breaths in and out through the nose.
- Begin repeating your chosen mantra out loud noticing the vibration of the words as you speak.
- Slide your thumb to the next mala bead and repeat the mantra, going all the way around the necklace until you reach the Guru bead.
- After 108 repetitions, check in with yourself and observe any shifts in your mental or energetic state.
To carry these healing energies with you throughout the day, try wearing our jasper mala bracelet. Wrist malas are beautiful reminders to repeat your Japa Mantra Meditation, bring you back to a state of mindfulness, or to pause for a moment of peace during a hectic day.