Practice Guidelines: Mantra Practice Guidelines
Following is a brief summary of the guidelines provided by Dr. David Frawley in Mantra Yoga and Primal Sound 2010 p 165.
- Chant with a peaceful intention and calm mind.
- Before starting to chant, honor the Divine power of the mantra.
- Seek assistance from a guru, holy site or force of nature.
- Pronounce the mantra properly.
- Begin chanting out loud, then chant softly and move to mental chanting. Do most chanting silently.
- Repeat the mantra so often that it begins to repeat itself spontaneously.
- Count mantras using a mala or rosary of 108 beads. For longer mantras, count one recitation of the mantra per bead. With single syllable bija mantras, it can be easier to count 16 repetitions per bead in which case 60 rounds are necessary for 100,000 repetitions.
- Chanting fast helps energize prana. Chanting slowly helps calm the mind.
- “It is best not to give to others mantras that you yourself have not already practiced or worked with for some period of time. Usually a year is a good minimum. It is better yet to only pass on mantras that you have been taught by a teacher or empowered by a tradition to teach.”
Sincere Feeling & Intense Concentration
For eons, yogis, sages, and saints have touted the practice of mantra and meditation as a means to inner peace, happiness, love, and wisdom. Within their words and teachings on the practice of mantra, one theme is ever-present: mantra practice must be done with “sincere feeling… intense concentration… until Divine contact is actually felt,” as Yogananda said… The quality of mantra practice that these wise beings described is not merely rote repetition of some mystic incantation… [It] is, instead, an occasion for a deeply felt, powerful, and embodied experience within the mind, heart, and body of the chanter. – Girish