Repeating mantras in yoga is called Mantra Japam. In its literal meaning, mantra translates as an ‘expansion of the mind’ or“a seal of the mind”.
Through repeating ceratin mantras, we can transform the mind from it’s usual discursive (moving from topic to topic without order) ramblings, to the mind of Shiva (in Tantra, Shiva is our essential nature of spacious, expansive equanimity).
In Tantra, we can practice mantra for our own enlightenment and/or to effect our external circumstances. Tantrik mantra practice includes both deity mantras and bija mantras, which we will explore in our monthly satsangs thoughout the year.
You can practice mantra japam with mala beads. I recently purchased a beautiful mala from a wonderful Tantrik Yogini named Kendra. If you are interested in purchasing one, you can contact Kendra through Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/mala.kendratoothill/posts/
For now though, here is a way of getting you started in your mantra japam practice:
1. Repeat any public domain mantra (yes there are mantras that should only be given through direct initiation with your Guru/heart teacher), in particular chakras. For example, chant the Maha Mritjunjaya Mantra at the ajna chakra).
2. Using a mala, repeat 108 mantras in the following way:
a. 1-25 out aloud
b. 26-50 whispered
c. 51-75 lip synced
d. 76-108 silent
The first one hundred should be chanted for your own liberation and the last 108 for the benefit of all beings!
When repeating the mantra, really hook your mind onto the mantra and drop into the pure potential (the parashakti) experience of the mantra before it becomes audible sound.
Tat Astu Shivo’ham!