Mantra Yoga Meditation 

17 April to 22 May 2018
Tuesdays, 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
Allerton Park, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire
£75 including course materials and audio recordings of the course. 

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In this six week evening class we will explore the healing and transformational power of mantra, the ancient Yogic science of inner sound.  Mantras range from simple one-syllable sounds, such as the famous mantra OM, to recitations of many syllables, and can be thought of as sound equations of consciousness. Their inner resonance brings about deep changes in the mind and body as we repeat them in meditation, mostly silently within.

Mantras strengthen our concentration and helps us to access deeper states of meditation, as well as bringing many other benefits. There are mantras to remove obstacles on our path, for physical healing and vitality, to enhance our creativity and to release old patterns of thinking and feeling that no longer serve us. Mantras help us connect with the inherent wisdom, awareness and compassion at the core of our being and are tools we can draw on to experience the stillness and spaciousness of our essence nature. 

The word ‘mantra’ comes from the Sanskrit roots ‘manas’ meaning ‘mind’ and ‘tra’  meaning ‘to free from’; so mantra is literally a meditation method used to free us from obstructed and unhelpful patterns of mind.  Mantras as meditation methods are used in both Buddhism and Hinduism and in this course we will focus on mantra from the inner yoga tradition of Hindu non-dual Tantra.

The mantras of the yogic tradition are in Sanskrit, which is the language of the ancient Indian Vedic civilisation. Sanskrit is not only a language of communication, but of sacred vibration. In other words, it is the vibrational quality of the sounds resonating internally when we repeat them, rather than the meaning of the words, which can alter our state of consciousness.  The oldest known mantras can be found in the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures of Indias, dating back at least as far as 1800BC.

During this evening class you will be introduced to the technology of mantra and to several important mantras for stilling the mind, clearing obstacles, bringing vitality and healing, and to help you access greater states of wisdom and awareness. You will learn the building blocks of mantra - the Sanskrit alphabet and simple one syllable ‘seed’ sounds - which represent consciousness in vibrational form. Finally we will work with some of the ‘great’ or ‘maha’ mantras of the Hindu Tantric tradition – such as the Gayatri mantra, or the ‘Tryambakam’ mantra – to help us connect with - or rather to realise that we are never not in union with - the universal, cosmic source of our awareness. 

The course will be very practical but to give us context we will also discuss and explore the historical roots of mantra, such as the Vedic Upanishads, in which many mantras still used today can be found.  

The course will consist of six weekly evening classes and will be guided by Zeenat Cameron, director of Insight for Wellbeing. It will be practically focused, with guided meditation and time for sharing and discussion in the group. The class is suitable for those with some experience of meditation or related disciplines, such as yoga.