Japa meditation or bead meditation is the process of hearing and repeating transcendental sound or mantra aloud, but softly to yourself. Japa meditation is an individual practice and is usually practiced alone. Many people like to practice japa meditation in the early morning and evening hours, around sunrise and sunset. This meditation can be practiced sitting in a comfortable position with your eyes closed, but it is equally nice to walk in the woods, by a river, on a beach or in a park practicing this meditation.
Traditionally yogis use a mala (a string of beads), their fingers, small pebbles, or even a strip of cloth or a knotted string to count the number of times they hear and repeat the mantra. Therefore, you will need a set of japa beads to practice this meditation. These are available from Yoga Seeds, or you can use your own.How to Practice
Take your set of beads and start with the first bead on the side of the head bead and hold it between the thumb and second finger of your right hand. As you hold this bead softly say the mantra Gopala Govinda Rama Madana Mohana and then move your fingers onto the next bead and repeat the mantra again. Continue chanting the mantra on each bead until you come back to the head bead. You have just completed one round of japa. To start your next round, turn the beads around and repeat the mantra on the bead you just finished on.
As you softly repeat each mantra try to keep your mind focused on the sound and gradually you will experience control of your mind, as well as a welcoming sense of internal peacefulness.
It is best to allocate a set number of rounds to complete each day. Each round will take approximately four to five minutes to complete. Two to three rounds is recommended to begin with and then steadily increase to six or more.
To learn more about Japa Meditation, come along to our Deep Peace Meditation class.