A while ago Yoga Journal had an interesting introduction to mantra meditations.
Mantra meditations are based upon sounds that reflect the energy of our authentic or divine nature. The word mantra comes from the combination of two syllables: "man," meaning "to reflect," and "tra," meaning "agent of."
Mantra meditations are a good way to introduce yourself to meditation.
Try the following Mantra Meditation every day for 40-days:
Find a comfortable posture for meditation. Sit in Lotus position (knees bent with legs crossed and feet on the opposite knee) or simply sit cross-legged or in a chair with feet on the floor. Place your palms facing up on your knees with forefinger and thumb touching. Bring your attention to the breath.
Begin with the simple mantra “So hum” ("I am that"). On the inhale, silently say “So”, and on the exhale, silently say “hum”. Keep your focus on the sensation of your breath while silently repeating the “So hum”.
If you would rather chose your own mantra - select a favorite word, phrase, prayer, or fragment of a poem. Ideally, a mantra is composed of only a few words or syllables, so you can repeat it easily, without getting lost in a long phrase. Choose something uplifting that inspires you and engages your heart. Avoid words that stir up thoughts or disturb your mind.
Let your mind come to stillness.
There is no place to go, nothing to do.
If a thought arises, come back to the mantra “So hum”. Practice it for 5 to 20 minutes. Come out of the meditation by taking a few deep breaths and then sitting quietly to see what you feel. You may feel calm and centered. Or you may be flooded with old thoughts and feelings from your subconscious, which might be uncomfortable.
Regardless of your immediate reaction, take comfort in knowing that regular practice has immense benefits: It enables you to experience the present moment more fully and to make conscious choices instead of falling into habitual reactions.