In a sentiment of special relevance and consolation in these disembodied times, he reminds us that these mantras can be performed across distance, across wires, cables, and screens, without requiring the physical presence of the beloved—however they are articulated, they are at their core meditations containing all four elements (4).
These days we often hear about "virtual" weddings where couples marry inside computer games or online communities. Although this trend is becoming increasingly popular, it's not new. In fact, it dates back more than 100 years when the first telecommunication devices allowed people to communicate over long distances by typing letters on a keyboard instead of using a pen and paper. These early pioneers were engaging in what we would now call a "videotape wedding."
As communications technologies have improved, so has the quality of virtual weddings available. Today's couples have the opportunity to plan and orchestrate their entire wedding day through social media, web sites, and apps. This gives them the ability to share their excitement with family and friends anywhere in the world, instantly giving rise to what some people call a "global village wedding industry."
A few decades ago, another type of marriage began to appear on American soil: the hippie wedding. These marriages were founded on love, peace, and happiness, but they differed from traditional weddings in many ways. For example, there was usually no bride price, dowry, or paternal permission required for a couple to get married.
Repetition of the mantra assists you in disconnecting from the thoughts that flood your mind, allowing you to fall into the gap between thoughts. The mantra is a tool that can help you with your meditation practice. Mantras are ancient power words with subtle intents that help us connect to spirit, the wellspring of all things in the universe. During meditation, repeating a mantra helps focus your mind and get you into a state where you're more likely to experience insights, or mental flashes, that you may not have reached otherwise.
Mantra means "that which protects." In other words, a mantra is something that protects its user from danger, fear, anxiety, pain, etc. By saying a certain word or phrase over and over again, it creates a protective shield around you. This shield functions as an alarm system for your mind, signaling you when it's time to shift out of thinking mode and into experiencing reality directly.
Because it has energy of its own, the mantra can help release you from mental patterns that may be preventing you from seeing more clearly during meditation. Also, by protecting yourself with this sound shell, you are sending a message to your brain that danger is not real, so it cannot hurt you. Finally, using a mantra can help connect you to its true meaning, which is beyond our human understanding.
Mantras are words or sounds that are repeated to aid concentration and focus, usually in connection with a meditation practice. Some may look simple or banal, but repeating just one word or a couple of words may have a significant impact on your day. A "mantra" can also be referred to as a "thought-seed."
People often choose meaningful phrases that capture an aspect of their identity or inspire them. For example, a person who wants to improve their listening skills might repeat the phrase "my ears are open" during their meditation practice. This mantra helps them concentrate on hearing other people's thoughts and feelings.
Daily mantras can be helpful tools for concentrating on something other than our daily stresses. They can be easy ways to bring awareness to ourselves and our lives, and help us connect with our true selves beneath the skin-name, rank, and phone number-who we are beyond our jobs, relationships, and possessions.
People have used mantras for thousands of years to aid meditation and spiritual practice. Modern scientists are now studying how repeating words or sounds can influence our brains and bodies because these effects have been reported by those practicing Mantrayana (the study of mantras) as well as by those simply thinking about their meaning during their repetition.