What Is Om Meditation?

Laura M. Sands

Om meditation is one of several types of meditation in which users recite a mantra or chant while meditating. During meditation, the word "om" is repeated multiple times and is believed to contain cosmic energy that helps relieve a person’s individual suffering. Some medical studies even suggest that om meditation may help relieve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) suffered by soldiers who have experienced active combat.

Om meditation may relieve the symptoms of PTSD.
Om meditation may relieve the symptoms of PTSD.

Also known as transcendental meditation, om meditation is purported to increase mental clarity and calm nervousness. By using om chanting meditation, practitioners report the ability to make better decisions, as well as the benefit of living with a more peaceful awareness of the world. Other reported benefits of meditation include enhanced memory function, better interpersonal relationships, more restful sleep and significant stress reduction.

Chants are used while meditating during om meditation.
Chants are used while meditating during om meditation.

Those who engage in mantra meditation maintain that most people can learn to practice this type of meditation with relative ease. By simply being still and repeating a mantra, the body shifts toward a natural state of relaxation. Some people merely repeat "om" several times in a rhythmic fashion during meditation, while others repeat the words "hari om" instead, where "hari" is translated as "the remover." Often, this type of meditation is practiced alone, but can also be practiced in a group setting or with the guided assistance of an audio recording of a mantra being repeated multiple times.

Om meditation is purported to increase mental clarity and calm nervousness.
Om meditation is purported to increase mental clarity and calm nervousness.

Unlike other meditation techniques, om meditation does not require intense concentration and effort, nor does it require those doing meditation to intentionally attempt to control their mental state. Mantra meditation, instead, relies on the energy created by the mantra to help quiet stress and produce the desired results from meditation. Practicing meditation also does not require special preparation, as mantras can be simply whispered, spoken out loud or even silently repeated in the mind even while a person is immersed in an otherwise busy setting.

One reported benefit of om meditation is more restful sleep.
One reported benefit of om meditation is more restful sleep.

Doctors who have studied the effects of practicing om meditation on soldiers returning from war have found this particular meditation technique to be particularly helpful in reducing stressful thoughts and memories. Soldiers who suffer from PTSD have shown marked improvements in coping with stress and anxiety, and appear to benefit from better sleep habits after engaging in mantra meditation. Om meditation has also helped soldiers more positively adjust to civilian life with improved communication with others and fewer negative reactions to stress.

People who practice om meditation typically chant the mantra throughout their practice.
People who practice om meditation typically chant the mantra throughout their practice.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments

truthunter

What does "om" really mean? "Om" is the hindu symbol of the absolute. Sacred to hindus representing brahman. Hindus say that to call this concept of brahman "god" is in a sense somewhat imprecise. But they say that brahman is "the essential building material of all reality" "substance from where all things proceed" "material cause and efficient cause of all creation". They capitalize "material cause" and "efficient cause" like people do when referring to their god. Sounds like they think brahman is god. Why don't they just say its their god?

In virtually every form of yoga, they chant to brahman. Sounds like a religion to me.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: