I have briefly heard of mantra meditations but never really gave them much thought. However, when she said we would explore a mantra meditation I immediately envisioned someone sitting saying “OM” over and over and actually that is a mantra. The idea is to clear your mind and if saying something over and over gets you think about breathing and your mantra it might keep other thoughts at bay for a bit.
We used a mantra with the walking meditation but I already wrote about how I was hoping for something a little bit better. Our instructor mentioned that sometimes a Guru will hand down a mantra to a student to be used by only them and not to be shared with others. I don’t have a Guru and our instructor didn’t want to hand mantra’s down so she helped me come up with my own. I use this quite a bit when I’m in my car on my way home from work. I use this as I sit at my desk and need to let the thoughts leave me for a brief amount of time. I have started using it with my walking meditation and although my thoughts sneak back in even when I think I’m focusing on breathing and mantra I just start over again.
I find myself needing to start over a lot with meditation. This morning I was in Bikram and while I was waiting for class to start I was trying mantra meditation. I am only focused for a few minutes at a time.
The mantra meditation can be used in a sitting position which is just that. You find a comfortable position to sit in that allows your spine to be nice and straight. Comfortable here is the key word. You might be thinking that just sitting on some pillows would be nice but you find these areas that start to fall asleep or the ankles start to ache being against the floor. The knees start to speak to you or your lower back has some of its own conversation to throw your way. She said if this starts to happen send some breath to those areas. It might sound strange but it worked. I preface by saying it worked for me for a short time.
Once I sent some breath and I still had some areas that were screaming she made mentioned that I could move slowly into a new position but not to move fast in and out of the position because that would just cause my entire body angst. Once in angst it is harder for the body to relax again and find the place of meditation. I had to move slowly a lot. I’m OK for minutes at a time but long term sitting in any position is tough for my joints. I just adjust and modify. I’ll adapt to longer stints of meditation but right now I’m happy with a few minutes.
We did some lying down meditations and I have to admit up front, or my husband will think I’m a total chicken but I fell asleep during our first lying down mediation and even let out a snore. There is a fine line between meditation and sleeping for me in that position. I meant no disrespect by falling asleep and as it turns out many people fall asleep. Thank goodness I’m not the only one!! Kind of embarrassing because my husband pointed out I don’t even snore at home but here I did on a cold hardwood floor after only moments.
The idea is to get comfy on the floor too but I didn’t have to send breath to any parts it all felt fine. I drifted into sleep so I don’t know how long a good meditation is in a horizontal position. I do get into savassana almost every day but I don’t fall asleep and my mind wonders from thought to thought to thought so this is a perfect time to practice my meditation.