The purpose of mantra meditation is not just to increase awareness but to cultivate mindful awareness. Mindful awareness or mindfulness is an objective awareness of thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is an awareness without judgement or prior conditioning that may influence the way we interpret situations. Mindfulness is also the great reliever of stress! The main problem with worry and stress is that we are getting entangled in our thoughts and as soon as there is a negative thought we often grab hold of it and entertain it, either arguing with it or believing it. This only increases the power of the negative thought pattern and can be detrimental to our health and well-being. We basically get caught up in judging and criticizing ourselves, genuinely believing that our thoughts are our identification or a reflection of who we are. So, how does mantra help? By repeating a mantra, we give our minds something much more positive to grab hold of and secondly, by focusing the mind on a sound, it increases awareness of thought patterns. This leads to cultivating a ‘witness’ or objective observer of our thoughts and through this awareness of automatic thought patterns, we come to realize that we are more than just our old thought patterns. What a relief! This creates more awareness in everything we do throughout the day, relieves us of our stress and anxiety, and helps us to act in situations from a higher state of awareness. Yes please!