"In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." John 1:1. Christian thought has taken a logical approach to the statement of the word being God, and of course, stressing the importance of their doctrine using this statement to emphasize the "word of God". But, the Eastern world has taken a different approach to "words", with the understanding that the first word, through its emanating vibration, created the universe, Aum.
Hinduism stresses the original language to be sanskrit, a language meant to be felt through singing. The importance not necessarily on the interpretation as the sanskrit based Vedas consist of hymns as opposed to philosophical discourse, but the vibration felt within uttering such terms that leave remnants within one's vibrational field. The vibrations are to be felt within each molecule pervading one's being to the point where one is completely absorbed in the vibration being left in a trance, like some drug induced raver experiencing every note musically displayed, or a churchgoer lost in the eloquent hymns of the choir.
Though we often look for interpretation and understanding when provided some religious or philosophical concept, such is only part of experiencing mantras. We're too logically induced in the patriarchal upbringing, where the rebels are considered the ones who are moved by the feels of feminine intuition and go against the grain while looking insane. In the East we are provided with a plethora of mantras, often towards different entities, or to bring in differing fortunes. But, even in the East, the logical mind seems to want to grasp onto definitions and reasons, where the realm of mantras is a realm that is beyond the realm of the common senses that leave us engrossed within the maya based illusion creating delusion. In other words, mantras are meant to be experienced and consciousness shifting, before they are to be logically understood.
I've practiced mantras on and off all throughout my childhood. Though at that time, I was too engrossed with the thought of the practice, what it could bring, and what the mantra means. I picked up the mantra practice again in 2014, where blended in with bouts of mindfulness, the practice evolved on it's own course where I feel like I've been internally guided on how to do the practice correctly. I still use the same japa beads that I've had since I was a child as a reminder of where I've come from, but now, instead of the number of times that I do a mantra being important, what I stress is the ability to feel into the vibrations of the terms, which often leaves me with the inability to even do one round with my japa beads. I sometimes now feel extremely stressed in the practice, like my body is attempting to hold and handle too much feels. From feeling tension within my head to my body feeling extremely exhausted, I noticed that the practice is like strength training. I'm all for it, since it's all about expanding our own abilities, and mostly, our own consciousness or ability to be aware and perceive new insights.
Provided that I use entities as guides to bring me towards expanding my consciousness, there are two entities that I have settled with, Kali and Padmasambhava. I've been intrigued with Kali since I was a child, and she feels to represent the highest feminine for me, the Adi-Shakti. Her fierceness is what I believe has helped me clear away and pierce into the heart of the matter. Overall, she's a great thought-clearer who helps me get into mindfulness. One would think that the other entity would be Kali's counterpart, Shiva. However, I define Shiva as Higher Self, the cosmic consciousness, the state of mind that I wish to obtain in my practice. Shiva's mantra appears to be calm and relaxing, and if Kali gets too intense, I turn to Shiva. However, Padmasambhava is my choice, where, as an enlightened master above the wheel of samsara, he appears to provide all sorts of shocks to my consciousness and an overall feeling of upliftment. I've done mantras to many of the entities within the Hindu pantheon and the Christian Lord's Prayer, where the two above-mentioned feels right for me, for now.
Kali is intense and would rather not disclose her mantra here. However, Her Mahavidya form of Tara, which I believe is also within the Tibetan Buddhist home where she appears more compassionate, would be a beautiful expression I would recommend. Om Tare Tu Tare Ture Soha is a beautiful calming resonance over the fiery Kali. In addition, the Guru Rinpoche mantra for Padmasambhava is also highly recommended, which can easily be found on youtube. Overall, I feel the feminine will help you deal with circumstances, clearing, and is an overall blessing to walk life with clearing the way for the masculine to adjust consciousness. Hence, I wouldn't recommend jumping around with different mantras, but dedicating a practice to a chosen few, if not one mantra.
In proceeding to do a mantra, enter the meditative trance by whatever means you see fit. This means, get into a state where you're deeply relaxed, your breathe is deeply moving in (towards lower spine) and out in a natural manner, and you may be getting slightly sleepy in an almost hypnotic state. One technique that I'll occasionally use is to focus on each body part from the top of my head downwards (or vice-versa) with the intent that each body part is relaxing. For me, telling each body part, or sending it some sort of relaxing imaginary light works to release significant tension. In fact, use some hypnotherapy techniques, like swallowing an imaginary relaxing pill and feel it dissolve immediately into your blood stream relaxing your entire body. In doing this practice, thoughts will naturally subside the deeper one relaxes. And the closest you can get to higher self is the closest you can get to subduing the monkey mind of thoughts.
When you proceed to do the mantra, the goal is to feel it. Hence, use the imaginative abilities to move the vibration from the mantra around your body. I typically use my internal mind voice to chant mantras, which then can go through numerous phases within my inner cavities.
1) I typically begin with visualizing my pineal gland as numerous loudspeakers pointing in every direction bursting out the mantra into my inner body. Just like you can feel the bass from loudspeakers, so do I feel the reverberations within myself.
2) The stronger those vibrations get within myself, the more chaotic it becomes to contain. Hence, I will then see my skin as like a stable "bell" attempting to hold the vibrations within. The stronger the vibrations get, the "bell" begins to also vibrate and pulsate outwards into the world.
3) When the intensity of the vibration becomes too intense within, I imagine that the top of my head opens allowing the vibration to shoot upwards and out of me. Do note, that I also perceive a grounding cord from my root chakra into the center of the Earth. Like an electrical shock, grounding is necessary.
4) The crown opening usually helps release a significant amount of intensity, where I then rest in the lingering vibrations of the mantra within myself, where I attempt to have each of my molecules absorb the vibrations.
5) Thereafter, I proceed to not only have each of my molecules absorb the vibration, but also become loudspeakers and pulsate the mantra outwards. This has a dual affect of emitting and absorbing the vibration.
6) If your mantra is based of an entity, imagine yourself as that entity. It's important to note that the symbolism behind that entity of your choice is important, as that is what you are attempting to embody, to bring in to help assist you.
My practice is constantly evolving, and I allow myself to listen within on how to proceed when I do my mantra meditations. My goal is to use whatever entity I choose to expand myself, to allow more Higher Self to flow within with the help of the entity. The feel of it is like blissful breathing within my body, and mostly within my head, where the darkness of closing my eyes begins to "light up" as if there was a light bulb on top of my crown. Occasionally, I'll perceive different insights, or will immediately write a blog post thereafter knowing I'm embodying something special. However, my goal is to remain in this field of energy as much as possible, which can be depressing and doubtful thereafter as I fall back into my Earthly circumstances. Again, it's like fitness, take in higher light and let that dissolve your current way of thinking into something more expansive.
Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions