Whenever I sit down to read tarot, I always start off with a short little meditation. I find that meditating gives me the space that I need to connect with the energy around me and center myself for the spiritual work that I am about to do. Meditation is also very good for helping to relieve stress as well as helping to sharpen focus. However, many people insist that they can’t meditate.
I have learned some very interesting things about meditation in my own study. I used to be one of those people that “couldn’t meditate”. I always thought that in order to meditate properly, you needed to have a completely blank mind. How does one empty one’s mind completely? The answer…you can’t! There will always be some thought or other that will go through your head, whether you want to or not. The trick is not to become attached to that thought. When a thought such as “Man, it sure is hot in here.” pops into your head, let it go and move on. Don’t start thinking about how you would love a cold drink or maybe a dip in the pool which leads to taking a vacation and then how much you hate your job and what is the job market like now any way….and so on (you can see I speak from experience).
That is where mantras come in. A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of “creating transformation” (wikipedia). In this case, the transformation that is created is the meditative state. Using a mantra gives you an anchor to come back to when your mind wanders. Take for example the mantra “om”. If you are sitting and repeating “om” in your head and you start to think about the heat, you can think “Man, it sure is hot in here…OM.” and you have already broken the train of thought before it starts.
Om is probably the most common and widely known mantra, but a mantra for meditation can be just about anything. There are thousands of other sanskrit mantras. One of my favorites is “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya which roughly translates to “recognizing the divinity within” (*note: I am HUGELY paraphrasing here, but that is the gist of it). Your mantra doesn’t have to be in another language. “love” or “peace” are also great mantras. You could use any word or phrase that you connect with. A name could be a great choice. The name of your mother or your children will help you to stay mindful of your objective. Another good technique is counting your inhalations and exhalations. When you inhale count “1..2..3..4”, pause then exhale counting “1..2..3..4”. The key to successfully using a mantra is putting your whole mind’s focus on the repetition of it. When you stop paying attention to your mantra, that is when your mind will start to wander.
The whole point to meditation is for you to find a calm space. Unfortunately for most of us, our thoughts can quickly lead us away from calm. By incorporating meditation into your routine, you may discover that you find it a little easier to recapture that calm space when you need it. So, just sit comfortably…close your eyes..take a nice deep breath and think….OM 😉