I recently took part in the online mantra meditation journey led by Deva Premal and Miten. The journey consisted of practising mantra meditation for 21 days by listening to each day’s recording and joining in with chanting the mantra. Each day Deva and Miten talked about the meaning of the mantra, suggested some aspects you could focus on, and guided you through the meditation. It was free to join and according to the website, a total of 64,000 people in 198 countries took part. All you needed was Internet access and 15 minutes a day. (Although the programme has now finished you can buy the 21 music tracks as well as the guided meditation audio tracks from the course website) and they have created a page of all 21 mantras here, although I’m not sure if that is only visible to those who registered to take part in the programme.)
So, what was my experience of the programme?
During the last couple of years I have begun to enjoy and practice meditation more but did not have a daily meditation practice. Doing this online journey has changed that. It’s also quite illuminating that days when you think “Oh, I haven’t got time for 15 minutes of meditating” are precisely the days you need to meditate! Having a set structure and guided meditation was useful as it meant I didn’t have to think ‘oh, what meditation approach shall I do today?’ and also ensured I did the full 15 minutes.
I enjoyed chanting the different mantras, and having previously practised mantra meditation on some retreats I knew I liked this approach, although it isn’t for everybody. Some people find the chanting, music or the words distracting and others find it difficult to focus on a relevant meaning when the words are in Sanskrit and we’re thinking in English (or whatever language). Of the 21 mantras that they used I only knew 6 of them. I learnt some new ones that I particularly liked and have managed to remember. What I also found was that the ones I ‘enjoyed’ most or I felt ‘worked’ for me were where the meaning was less about the ‘universal supreme being’ and more about a specific feeling, for example, compassion, happiness, abundance and love. This just says more about me than about the other mantras though!
After day 21, they suggested that we choose one mantra and continue with it for another 21 days. You don’t always have to formally sit and chant, you can repeat it to yourself in the shower, when commuting to work, when walking the dog, shopping etc. I have been using the one I chose during such times (walking, cycling or running to work, and depending on if other people are around, doing it out loud!).
And perhaps the more significant benefit is that I am now also setting aside some time each day for a seated meditation practice.
If you like the idea of taking part in a free online guided meditation course I’ve just been sent details of another one being run along similar lines: 15-Step Healing Rhythms to relax, relieve and restore which starts on Monday 10th June. There may well be other similar things online if you look around.