Likhita Japa is an enjoyable and practical way to practice Mantra meditation.
Japa Mantra is the practice of repeating the Mantra or Name of the Divine. In Likhita Japa, you repeatedly write the Mantra.
The benefits of Likhita Mantra are powerful. Any Japa is, but somehow writing the Mantra brings a purity of focus and a peace in the heart and mind that can be difficult to achieve with other forms.
It seems that written Mantra engages other parts of the body-mind that other Japa doesn't engage.
There is something special that happens in writing... which makes written reflection such a powerful and transformative tool. Whether writing a journal, or Kundalini Yoga self-investigations, or dream work, writing takes the practice to a deeper level than you can otherwise go.
Likhita Japa Mandalas
Here's another meditation technique you can use with mandalas. It combines the powerful benefits of Japa Mantra with mandalas.
Japa Mantra is the spiritual practice of repeating one of the names of God. It calls the quality -- or energy -- of the Divine into you (and thus, into the world).
The mandala above is made entirely of Likhita Japa.
Likhita Japa is the practice of writing the Mantra over and over, around in a design. This helps you concentrate all your being on the Divine and clear away all other thoughts. So the resonance of God can resonate throughout your whole body / mind / energy field.
And from you, it reverberates out into the world, helping lift the planet to a higher vibration.
And the mandala continues to hold the energy of your prayer or mantra. It's like a magnet that keeps drawing the Divine into your life! A very powerful mandala meditation!
(The Flower Of Life pattern in the Likhita Japa mandala, below, is included in the Spiritual Mandala Templates Kit, which you receive free with the Personal Mandala Starter Kit.)
This close-up shows another Likhita Mandala, with the mantra used in conjunction with a drawn mandala.
You can even use "Ave Maria" or the Lord's Prayer in Likhita Japa Mantra.
How To Practice Likhita Japa
Likhita Japa can be done plainly, as writing in a notebook. Ideally, you have a special pen and book kept purely for Likhita.
While you can do Likhita with any implements you have at hand, when you use the tools repeatedly -- and only -- for Likhita, they build up a resonance of the Mantra.
This makes it easier for you to enter into the spirit of the Mantra.
Another way to practice is to create or colour drawings, using the Mantra as lines and shading.
You can draw anything this way, representational or abstract.
Many people colour pictures of deities with Likhita, to bring another level of Divine consciousness to the practice. This definitely has greater results than random drawings.
Another powerful way to practice Likhita is to create mandalas with your Mantra.
Mandalas are a potent (and lovely) spiritual practice in their own right. Combining the two forms of meditation multiplies the benefits you receive from both.
On a practical level, writing the Mantra can help in day-to-day tasks.
Doing Likhita Japa as a form of sacred doodling, when you would otherwise be allowing your mind to wander restlessly or wallow in negativity, is very beneficial.
Even if you write the Mantra while sitting in a meeting or classroom, or talking on the phone, will help re-awaken your consciousness to Divine virtues.
Though this does not substitute for a pure Likhita meditation practice, you will make good use of otherwise injurious mental gaps.
Tools for Likhita Japa
Any pen and journal book will do. But . . .
You'll get the best results when you use a specific pen and book only for Likhita. Find a pen that writes and feels beautiful to you. And look for a book that has smooth paper, which makes writing more pleasurable.
If you want to colour with Likhita, I recommend Staedtler Triplus Fineliner coloured pens (0.3 mm). They have a very fine point and steady thickness, perfect for Likhita, and the colours are beautiful. There is a Ten Color Set with all the basic colours, and if you really want to enjoy drawing, you can treat yourself to the coveted 20 Color Set.
I've tried lots of other pens, felts and pencils, and Staedtler is by far the best for doing Likhita Japa.
These kits have the templates ready to go, and will help you create beautiful, symmetrical mandalas, with or without Likhita.
I couldn't have done the Likhita Mandala (above) with these tools.
Likhita Japa Method
As with any meditation practice, there are some keys...
Keep your spine aligned, and all your body parts in place.
Keep your muscles relaxed. Watch in particular your face, neck, and shoulders for tension.
Stay free of distractions, such as music, tv, telephones, etc. Focus your mind on the mantra.
Intention is vital. As you draw, intend for the mantra to purify you in body and mind.
It's beneficial to imagine the Deity of the mantra seated in your heart or nearby, showering you with their blissful vibrations. (If you are using OM or AUM, you would visualize Light.)
Sit With It
It is vitally important to not rush off after finishing a mantra. Sit with it for about 10 minutes quietly, or humming a mantra or prayer if you need help focusing. Then offer thanks (customarily with a pranam), and when you start your day the mantra will be well-set in you.
Using Likhita Japa as part of a vocalized mantra practice works well. When you are accustomed to hearing yourself sing the mantra, you will "hear" it within your mind as you write.
This magnifies the benefits.
How To Write
It doesn't matter whether you print the mantra or write it in script. You can even do both within the same Likhita.
When drawing a picture with Likhita, the mantra will not always end up evenly. Writing "Om Mani Padme Hum," you may run out of room at "Pad..."
I recommend always finishing the line. Sometimes you can fit it in if you're conscious. Or you can always end on another OM. Other times, you can start the next line with whatever comes next: "...me Hum"
For the rest, just follow your own intuition. You can't really do it wrong.
Mantra Meditation Mantra meditation is one of the great Spiritual Power Tools. It is possibly the most powerful force in the world. When you understand what Mantra really is, you will understand why this is true. And when you practice it for a while, you will experience this for yourself . . . Continue . . .
Interpreting Your Personal Mandala Once you've created a personal mandala, you can continue the art meditation with the interpretation of its meaning . . . like a loving archeologist unearthing new discoveries about your Deep Self . . . Continue . . .