Practice Tip: Mantra Chanting and Reciting Prayers as a Form of Meditation
Last time, we introduced the four types of meditation, all of which involve quieting the mind of thoughts by concentrating on something else. Among these were vipassana (witnessing thoughts), visualization (concentrating on a mental image), and pranayama (regulation of life-force with breath).
This is by far the easiest method of meditation, especially for those who say they have no time to meditate. You can do it any time and nearly all the time. You can silently chant while doing nearly any task and during idle moments during the day. Since meditation is a process of concentrating on a single thought, and returning to it every time the mind wanders, you can chant silently all day, and after each interruption or whenever you become aware that the mind has fixed on other thoughts, you return to the mantra.
This can be done with any prayer. Simply recite the prayer with concentration, and without allowing distracting thoughts to intervene. Ceaseless prayer in every form, recited silently or aloud with concentration, is a meditation technique to quiet and purify the mind.
Next time, we will discuss in more detail the process of vipassana, or witnessing thoughts.