Japa, which means “muttering” in Sanskrit, is the name for meditation that involves mantra recitations. Learn how to correctly practice japa meditation here.
Have you ever wondered why so many ancient rituals use chanting words and sounds in repetition?
It is no coincidence that pronouncing phrases in repetition is a successful form of meditation in religions like Buddhism and Hinduism.
But, you do not need to follow a certain faith to gain the benefits of chanting. You can use mantras from the Indian meditative practice of Japa.
Read on to learn how to properly practice Japa to achieve a higher state of consciousness.
What is Japa Meditation?
The practice of Japa meditation dates back to the mantras of one of the oldest languages of Sanskrit and has been used by Hindus to invoke a state of peace for thousands of years.
Japa or muttering of specific mantras (either sounds or phrases) focuses the mind and removes negative thoughts.
If practiced ritualistically, the mind can easily filter the negative and give you power over your thoughts. You can begin to regulate your energy flow or shakti to alleviate physical suffering of the mind and body while elevating the spirit.
Choosing and Using a Mantra
Japa meditation mantras are extremely personal and should be chosen wisely. You will want to know the true meaning behind your mantra and focus on this meaning while chanting.
You should use the same mantra every time you meditate and not share it with anyone. It should be precious and personal to you.
Many beginners will find a quiet place to say their mantra out loud since the audio helps you focus and remove inner thoughts. As you progress and become accustomed to Japa, you can whisper or say your mantra in your head.
How to Use the Sacred Mala Beads?
Wearing mala beads during Japa is part of the ancient practice. These Japa malas are usually blessed by your guru and given to you before use.
They can be made of organic materials like seeds, wood, stone, or even bone beads. Most malas have 108 beads on them including a larger guru bead in the center with a marker like a tassel.
During meditation, mala prayer beads should be kept at heart level to avoid touching the ground. You will use your middle finger to hold the beads as you move from bead to bead with your thumb after each repetition.
A full mantra includes once around the mala and can be repeated up to 10 times.
Malas are sacred and should be kept in a clean cloth or bag out of sight when not in use. Others should not use or touch them.
Benefits of Japa Practice
By wearing a mala and practicing Japa, meditation can be much easier. Focusing on the words and movement through the mala can place the mind in a state of relaxation.
Daily practice can also increase your mind’s ability to concentrate while performing other tasks.
It can also cleanse the mind of past regrets and eliminate worries of the future. The mind can stay centered on the present to truly live in the moment.
Practicing Japa is just one of the ways that you can increase your level of intuition and consciousness. Continue reading the spirituality section of our blog to find out more ways that elevate your soul.