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If you find your mind particularly unsettled in meditation, and you are having trouble staying present to your breath, you might like to try a mantra meditation. In a mantra meditation, you select a favorite word, phrase, prayer, or fragment of a poem to repeat and focus on. Ideally, the mantra is short so you can repeat it easily, without getting lost in a long phrase. Choose something meaningful for yourself, or something that encourages strength and positivity in your life.

Examples of short mantras
– I have time
– Dream big
– May I be at peace
– I am love
– Spread love and kindness
– I am enough
– I deserve happiness
– I am on my own path
– Peace and calm
– Ease and flow
– Let go
– Be here now
– May I be healed
– May (all beings/I) be safe and free from harm
– Thank you

How to do the meditation
Sit on a chair or the floor and make sure you feel supported, aligned, and in a place where you can remain still and relaxed. Close your eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths or do some breathing practices for several minutes, then relax your breath completely.

Repeat your mantra slowly and concentrate on its sound as fully as you can. Repeat it in unison with the natural rhythm of your breath. Either split it so you repeat half the mantra when you inhale and the other half when you exhale, or repeat it on both the inhalation and the exhalation.

After about 10 recitations, repeat the mantra silently by moving only your lips (this helps you keep a steady pace). Then, after another 10 repetitions, recite it internally without moving your lips.

As thoughts arise, simply return to the mantra, knowing this is a natural part of the process. Gently bring your attention back again and again, experiencing the internal sound as fully as possible.

Use a timer if you know you want to practice for a certain amount of time.