Mindfulness meditation, as it is known in the West, is a hugely useful and helpful thing to do if you
want to be able to cope better with the ups and downs of life and generally have a better time. Its beneficial effects are well known. Chanting mantra, however, is a different matter.
For the scientists studying the effects of meditation, both as it is happening and over the long term, mantra is a step too far. I guess it’s a bit too close to magic spells. Chanting mantras is an unequivocally spiritual thing to do. You are hailing a god or goddess through the specific syllabic code for that deity, be it Green Tara, Ganesh, Lakshmi or (if you dare) Kali, to name but a few.
I have come to believe, through my own experience, that each deity is a personification or representation of a particular quality of life and of the human condition and that when you chant a mantra you are in effect shaking that quality awake inside yourself. Continue reading