Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mantra Meditation?
The technique of mantra meditation has been practised for over 5000 years, originating from the ancient Vedic civilisation. In the early '60s and '70s it became a world wide spiritual movement that was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and popularised in the West by the Beatles. Mantra meditation helps to release stress on all levels with the use of a silent mantra.
How is mantra meditation different from mantras spoken or chanted?
All mantras begin with vibration, and vibration is found in everything. Every atom in the universe and every cell in your body is constantly vibrating. The vibrational frequency of the mantra can be powerfully felt when chanted. Vedic mantras, however, operate on a more subtle, silent frequency, and are specifically designed for releasing stress from the nervous system.
What mantras do you use?
The mantras that I use are the ones given to my teacher, Ian Hayward, at the Maharishi Vedic University in Valkenburg, Holland over 25 years ago. While the mantras remain the same, Ian has simplified the technique so that it can be more easily integrated with our active, everyday lives. The mantras are a 3-part sound vibration that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation, classified as Advanced Techniques.
When will I start to notice benefits?
Meditation is very much like exercise. The more you meditate, the stronger your practice and the more benefits you will receive. Some people will notice changes—like calmness, clarity, improved energy, ability to sleep soundly—almost immediately, while other benefits may take more time to integrate. We are exposed to stress and stimulants on a daily basis, so meditating daily is essential for clearing the pathways to balance and well-being.
Do the mantras have any meaning?
Many healing mantras (such as the Gayatri mantra) have a deeper meaning and subtle intention that, when chanted, can help to uplift and energise the body, mind, and spirit. The Vedic mantras that we use, however, are primeval sound energies (simple seed sounds) with the sole purpose of creating a vibration or resonance. The mantra sequence that is given on our Beginner Mantra Meditation course is silently repeated and operates on a cellular level to release stress held within the nervous system.
Can I share my mantra?
Traditionally speaking, mantras were handed down from guru to disciple and were discouraged from being shared with others. This was to honour the teacher/student relationship and to ensure that the proper mantra and technique were given. To honour this ancient, spiritual custom we encourage you to keep your mantra dearly to yourself.
More recently, online learning has reshaped the teacher/student model, and many mantras are easily accessible online. The approach and use of the mantra, however, is essential to the technique and we discourage anyone from 'trying out' a mantra without proper instruction. But if you and your partner, friend, or family member would like to share the online course fee and learn to meditate together, please do so. Everything is better when shared—especially meditation!
Can I meditate with any mantra?
Many people find success in meditating with mantras such as So Hum or Om, especially to help calm and focus the mind. These mantras are best chanted out loud and create a strong vibrational resonance. The silent mantras that we use are more subtle and specific to each individual's nervous system. They will not have the same effect when chanted out loud—just as OM will not have the same effect when chanted silently.
What are bija seed sounds?
'Bija' or seed sounds are carefully constructed Sanskrit syllables. The sound OM, for example, is the most well-known and universal of the bija mantras. OM is a combination of the first and last letters of the Sanskrit language, and is said to be the primordial sound of the universe. The chakra system is also associated with seed sounds that utilize the power of sound vibrations to activate the energy centres in our body. The unique combination of seed sounds used in mantra meditation allow for total body relaxation with clear, present moment awareness.