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16-11-2020 | ORIGINAL PAPER Open Access

Mantram Repetition as a Portable Mindfulness Practice: Applications During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tijdschrift:
Mindfulness
Auteurs:
Doug Oman, Jill E. Bormann, Jim J. Kane
Belangrijke opmerkingen

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Objective

Mantram or holy name repetition has long been practiced in every major religious tradition. Repetition of a mantram as a mindfulness practice is helpful for stress management and resilience building. The objective of this article is to provide an overview of the key features of mantram and the Mantram Repetition Program (MRP) developed in the US Veterans Healthcare System, the evidence base for the MRP, and its applications.

Methods

MRP practices are portable and do not require an extended or regularized period of sitting, in contrast to most methods of meditation. Core functions of MRP practices include focus shifting, frame activation, and fostering of mindfulness. We review scientific research, including multiple randomized trials, that has investigated the MRP.

Results

Research on the MRP has documented reductions in posttraumatic stress symptoms, insomnia, hyperarousal, and depression, as well as enhancement of quality of life, self-efficacy, and mindfulness. Mantram repetition may possess comparative advantages for managing symptoms of various mental health conditions, including posttraumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and chronic diseases.

Conclusions

MRP practices can be integrated into daily routines to manage stress and improve coping, safety, efficacy, calmness, and resilience. The inclusion of mantram repetition alongside conventional mindfulness-based practices for stress management will improve their cultural and religious inclusiveness, enabling societies and organizations to build greater collective resilience. Mantram repetition can be readily used in the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on healthcare workers, patients, and the public.

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