Contemplative Practices in Action: Spirituality, Meditation, and Health

By Thomas G. Plante | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
Mantram Repetition:
A “Portable Contemplative
Practice” for Modern Times

Jill E. Bormann

Living in today’s world with a steady stream of interruptions from wireless cell phones, iPods, and hand-held organizers, the notion of contemplation seems nearly impossible. Yet, the ancient practice of silently repeating powerful, sacred words throughout the day to slow down and center oneself is truly a modern-day stress buster. This chapter will describe mantram repetition as a portable contemplative practice. Recommendations for choosing and using a mantram will be described. Research supporting application of mantram repetition for managing stress in a variety of groups will also be presented. Family caregivers, women in labor, health care providers, adults living with HIV, and combat veterans coping with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will describe their experiences of using this simple tool that deepens spiritual and psychological well-being.

Living in societies that value speed, productivity, and multitasking, leave very little room for thoughtful contemplation or reflection. What was once unavoidable “pause time,” such as waiting an hour to bake potatoes, is now a five-minute “zap” in the microwave. If we want or need to pause, we must plan for it. We feel stressed from the pressure of deadlines or the pace we believe is expected. With computers and

Sections of Chapter 6 are reprinted from Bormann, Jill, “Frequent, Silent Mantram Repetition:
A Jacuzzi for the Mind,” Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, Volume 27, Issue 2 (Wolters
Kluwer Health, 2005). Reprinted with permission from Wolters Kluwer Health.

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