Meditation is known for its many benefits: relaxation, concentration, creativity, harmony, etc... If you have not started meditating yet, you might be looking for an easy technique to get you going. And japa meditation is surely the answer!
What is Japa Meditation?
Japa comes from the ancient Indian language called sanskrit. Its root "jap-" means "to utter in a low voice, repeat internally, mutter". It basically means repeating a word or expression silently or in a low voice.
It originates from the East and is shared across Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. It is very similar to the prayer repitition with a rosary that is found in Christianity.
Japa Meditation is a Mantra Meditation
This type of meditation involves the repetition of a mantra or affirmation. A mantra is a powerful word with a specific sound that has psychological, physiological and spiritual effects on the meditator.
How does Japa Meditation work?
Generally, mantras are repeated 108 times with the use of a meditation necklace known as japa mala. By repeating the same word or expression, the mind start concentrating, removes itself from the surroundings and enters into a meditative state. Some affirm that we slowly dissolve into the vibration of the sound and access a higher consciousness state.
The sound of the mantra has a particular energy and vibration within the body. This has an effect on a physiological level (might create lungs, head, throat vibrations that liberate energy blocks for instance). The sounds of the original mantras were thouroughly studied by sages and used as real purification tools.
What is a Japamala?
Mala means "garland" in sanskrit is a meditation necklace formed by a loop of prayer beads. They are used in japa meditation to help count the repetittion of the mantra or sound,
Japa malas are made of 108 beads with an additional distrinctive bead that terminates the cycle, known as the "guru" bead. There are also malas of 54 or 27 beads. They are made of a variety of materials such as wood, stone, seeds, bone and precious metals. The material used bring a particular energy to the wearer and can enhance the effect of the meditation.
I found this beautiful japa meditation on youtube and wanted to share it with you. Ganesha mantra is known to remove all obstacles on your way.
Create your own Meditation Space at Home
If you are lucky enough, you might have a dedicated room or space with an altar where you can meditate. If not, choose a luminous space that makes you feel good where you unfold a meditation rug and place objects around you. These are examples of meditation accessories:
- Meditation candle
- Incense or essential oil
- Japa mala and/or crystals
- Natural rug to sit on
- Meditation cushion or yoga bolster
- Any photo or little statue that promotes peace within to create an altar.
Click the link if you are looking for meditation accessories online.