Self, Health And Wellness

How To Stop Overthinking & Ease Anxiety By Chanting Ancient Healing Mantras

Photo: Unsplash: Lior Shapira
What Is A Mantra? How To Stop Overthinking & Ease Anxiety With Mindfulness Meditation

Chanting sacred mantras is a potent and effective way to heal yourself, ease your anxiety, and stop overthinking. Practiced regularly, mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool for people experiencing difficulty dealing with rumination and negative, obsessive thoughts.

What is a mantra?

According to New World Encyclopedia:

"A mantra (from Sanskrit: man- 'to think' and -tra meaning, tool) literally means 'instrument of thought.' Originating in ancient India out of Vedic Hinduism, mantras serve a variety of functions ... It is said that a mantra, when recited with proper understanding and intonation, can revitalize the mind with mystic power and help deliver it fro illusion to enlightenment."

Sacred mantras are the sound manifestations of divinity: pure existence, consciousness and love.

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As love is the highest vibration, the divine mantras are powerfully purifying and protective.

The ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda holds that the material universe is made up of sound vibration, and that the forms of this world are molecules vibrating at different frequencies.

The Vedas, which are the oldest body of religious texts and scriptures of Hinduism, explain that the original and all-inclusive sound vibration of creation is the well-known sacred sound "Om." All potential vibrations and forms manifest from and exist within this sacred syllable. Thus, Om is understood to be the original sound vibration of God.

These are mantras that connect to our soul or divine identity, while other mantras connect to various aspects of God/Goddess, as well as to the planets and their astrological influences.

There are also specific healing mantras for balancing the body, mind, organs, doshas, emotions, and chakras.

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When mindfully repeated, specific mantras have the power to free the mind from suffering, anxiety, and illusion. They also help purify the heart and consciousness by removing negative influences, leading us toward a state of self-realization and pure love of God.

Silent meditation during which you make no sound at all is one way of connecting with the power of mantras.

Additionally, there are two types of mantras that utilize the power of sacred sound: Japa (meditating on sacred mantras) and Kirtan (singing divine mantras).

Japa, in Sanskrit "जप", is defined as"the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name," and includes the quiet, just slightly audible repetition of a particular mantra.

It is "derived from derived from the root jap-, meaning 'to utter in a low voice, repeat internally, mutter'."

Kirtan or Kirtana, in Sanskrit "कीर्तन", is "a call-and-response style song or chant, set to music, wherein multiple singers recite or describe a legend, or express loving devotion to a deity, or discuss spiritual ideas." In Sanskrit, the word "means 'narrating, reciting, telling, describing' of an idea or story."

This audible chanting or singing of mantras is a powerful way to purify both the mental and physical body, as it quickly clears mental and emotional obstacles. Singing sacred mantras, prayers, hymns, and chants purifies the mind and heart, and helps us feel connected to the divine.

A unique quality of Kirtan is that it naturally pacifies the mind and senses.

It is understood to be the easiest and most beneficial practice in this present age of anxiety, (Kali Yuga in Sanskrit scriptures), because it effortlessly and joyfully aligns the soul with its true nature and source.

Additionally, when Kirtan is done in a group, the heart vibrations of all those participating come into alignment. This creates a feeling of oneness, openness, and love. When Kirtan is done with concentration and devotion, it purifies the atmosphere and the elements of the universe and ripples out to anyone who happens to hear it and beyond.

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In the present age of Kali Yuga, perhaps the most well-known and powerful mantra is the mantra of love, called the Maha Mantra, or the Hare Krishna mantra.

It is:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

The three names in the Maha Mantra are Hare, Krsna, and Rama.

  • Hare indicates the ecstatic feminine aspect of God, which includes Her unlimited energies
  • Krsna means God has the all-loving, attracting and attractive force in and behind all existence
  • Rama is the divine reservoir and source of all pleasure and happiness

When combined, the six sacred syllables of the Maha Mantra create a sound vibration that is purely transcendental. By immersing ourselves in the vibration of the Maha Mantra, the all-loving, attractive, and blissful energy of the divine can cleanse and awaken our heart.

There are no strict rules for chanting. Many people chant slightly audibly or silently while holding beads.

Chanting may also done together in small or large groups of people. This is known as Sankirtan. or congregational chanting of God’s names.

Chanting in a group is powerful and blissful, as the hearts of all unite in sacred sound.

In fact, a study published in the journal Frontiers In Neuroscience by a team of Swedish researchers showed that when members of a choir sing together, their heart rates tend to synchronize and beat as one. This synchronicity produces a sense of calm that is similar to the effects of yoga and meditation.

Many yoga studios now include Kirtan, and there are many ways to practice chanting mantras by seeking insight from those who are knowledgeable.

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Jonathan and Katherine Glass are holistic health practitioners and educators who bring their passion to fruition through their work at the Healing Essence Center in Concord, Massachusetts. Send them an email for more information.