By Nathalie Keiller:
A study in science recognizes the relaxing power of the mantra.
The style of meditation I teach is a mantra-based meditation. A mantra is a sound, or a vibration. In Sanskrit ‘manas’ means mind, and ‘tra’ means instrument, or tool. Mantra translates to ‘instrument of thought’; and mantra is part of the technique used in Deep Meditation I have been teaching for the past 12 years on a one-on-one basis, or to small groups. This individual instruction provides students with independence within their practice. The practice is very portable and follows you anywhere you go; you do not need to belong to a group or any institution. Among its many benefits, mantra-based meditation helps those who practise it to be calm, cultivate well-being, and gradually become self-reliant.
I started my own daily practise of this traditional type of meditation more than 25 years ago. It was easy to learn, natural to practise, and brought me rewards right from the beginning. During a mantra-based meditation like Deep Meditation, the meditator uses a mantra in a simple act of repetitive silent speech to help exert calm, or mental quiescence, without the need for intense concentrative efforts. Today, I would like to share with you a recent study about the efficiency of mantra repetition and its calming effect on the brain.
In a study published in 2015 in the Brain and Behavior, a scientific journal, scientists observed that repetitive speech, even in untrained subjects, elicits widespread deactivation or reduction in cortical activity. These regions of the brain include the thought-related Default Mode Network (DMN), which relates to a variety of self-related processes, such as predicting and planning the future, mind wandering, and stimulus-independent thought. Also, these functions have been linked to emotional stress. This study suggests a neurophysiological explanation that accounts for the relaxing power of mantra recitation, and shows that repetitive speech has a readily observable functional MRI (fMRI) signature, hence a significant reduction in thought-related cognitive processes. It is with great joy that I read this article last week because it confirms what my teachers and many years of tradition have taught us. If you are interested in reading all the details about this study, here it is.
In Deep Meditation training you will receive a tool, a mantra, to help you meditate effortlessly. From your first meditation experience you will spontaneously experience calmness, inner silence, or stillness of the mind. It is natural for your mind to rest and mantra-based meditation is a technique that allows this to happen. Such experiences are also called ‘yoga’, another Sanskrit word that translates to union, or connection, or if you prefer a state of unity within. Mantra-based meditation is a tool to experience the calm within. It is simple, natural, and available to you.
Once a month, or as needed, I offer an introduction to Deep Meditation that you can attend for free. In this session you can ask all your questions and learn more about all the benefits of this deep meditation practice.
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Nathalie (natk.ca) has been a meditator for more than 25 years and teaching Deep Meditation since 2005. Her own meditation practice inspired her to share the experience of inner peace and led her to deepen her studies. She was transmitted the knowledge to teach this meditation technique after 500 hours of training between 2001 and 2005. Believing that continuous learning requires a commitment to teaching, she is enjoying the path under the guidance of her principal teacher formally trained by a great master. Her passion for learning and sharing the depths of meditation is the core engine of her life and vocation.
Also, she has been integrating the principles of Ayurveda to her life since 1999, the same year she started to teach yoga. Recently, in 2013, she received certification as an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant and is now facilitating courses about Ayurveda and Self-Care, as well as offering counselling.