Anyone who has ever attempted the practice of meditation will attest to the fact that the mind can be quite unruly and difficult to quiet. At any given moment most of us have thousands of thoughts tumbling through our consciousness. Part of this can be attributed to the stimulation of our modern society. We are constantly bombarded with images from television, sounds from radio, and words from newspapers. It can all be quite overwhelming.

If you truly want to increase your spiritual development, you must begin a regular practice of quieting the mind. The reason is simple. You need to be able to hear the messages from your subconscious mind, and you will never be able to do that over the noise of a busy mind.

One of the best ways to begin quieting your mind is through the use of what is known as a mantra. A mantra is simply a word or phrase, preferably with spiritual undertones, that is repeated numerous times throughout the practice of meditation. The idea behind the practice is that when one ceases to perform the mantra, a quiet mind is the result. A mantra can be simple ( as in the case of the chant, AUM) or it can be complex and involve many words.

In Witchcraft we use the mantra, but many of us refer to it as chanting. The outcome is essentially the same. Repeating a phrase again and again increases and narrows the focus of the mind. Mantra can also be used as a way to raise power for various rituals.

The best way for you to use a mantra is to incorporate it into your meditation practice. Once you have chosen a phrase and gone to a place where you can remain undisturbed, begin to softly repeat your mantra. Continue to repeat the mantra for a minimum of 8-10 minutes. As your ability to focus begins to increase, you should try to lengthen the time of your meditation. Work toward a goal of 20 minutes.

I would suggest that you begin by selecting a simple mantra, such as AUM, but you can be as creative as you like.

Here are some suggestions:

I am protected and blessed.
Open my heart, wisdom may I receive.
Show me the path, light my way.

Try creating your own mantra and using it for a few days. I think you will find that your mind is much quieter and more focused.

J. Roslyn Antle, High Priestess
The 7Witches Coven