- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I have talked to you several times about meditation in my blog, but would like to tell you about another type called "Mantra Meditation".
The word "Mantra" is said to come from a root meaning "that which protects the mind". Mantra's are sounds, words, or phrases, used as an object for concentration by the person who is meditating.
We have discussed "visual" meditation where we focus on a place or experience, and mindful meditation where we focus on our breath, and now "mantra" meditation where we focus on a word or phrase.
Your phrase or word can be chanted out loud, or internally, however it feels the best for you. There are many mantra's that come from the Hindu culture, and many more from the Buddhist practice. These mantra's can be found in Hindu and Buddhist texts, and are easily available to you on the Internet.
A Buddhist mantra, "Om shanti shanti shanti" is a chant for peace. Saying this mantra over and over in a meditation will promote peace in you and for the world.
You can also create your own mantra. It could be a word that has no literal meaning, but a sound that resonates in you. Mantra's are words and sounds that are said to evoke the spiritual forces in and around us when we meditate.
There is a meditation temple that I have gone to for many years that is up in the foothills of Montecito. It is so peaceful and calming when I am able to spend time there. Every evening at 6 or 6:30, the nuns who run the temple do a prayer and chanting that is called vespers. They play drums, bells, and chant several prayer songs in a twenty minute period of time.
It is very meditative to hear these women do the chants. I have been lulled into meditation through the sounds of their chanting voices many times.
Meditation is a tool to reduce stress, improve your immune system, reduce blood pressure, increase your focus, and will simply help to make your life better, or should I say, it will allow you to live "better" in your life.
There are choices in how you can meditate. Find one or two types that works for you, and remember that it is a practice. When you begin, it may feel like it is not working, but just like exercise, the more you practice it, the better you will get at it.
Once you put meditation into your daily life, you will see the difference. It will be a tool that you will use to better yourself and your life, and that is always good!