AUM CHANTING

Little needs to be said about the practice for it is so simple and we have already explained most of the relevant points. The following brief description is for awareness of only the sound of Aum. The reader can integrate concentration on the symbol of Aum and reflection on the meaning for himself if he wishes. Sit in a comfortable asana and close the eyes. Start to intonate Aum, either slowly or quickly. Let the chanting be aloud if this is convenient. Try to be aware completely of the sound of Aum. Lose your whole being in Aum. Let the sound emanate from your whole being. Feel as though your whole body and mind is resonating in harmony with the sound. Imagine that you are simultaneously the transmitter and the receiver of Aum. You are like a radio station. Be totally aware of Aum. Continue in this manner for as long as possible (at least 15 minutes is reasonable). Then stop Aum chanting and be aware of the pulse at the eyebrow centre. When you can distinctly detect it, synchronize it with the mental sound of Aum.

Be aware of the internal sound of Aum at the eyebrow centre, vibrating in harmony with the pulse. Continue in this manner for as long as you have time.

End the practice by chanting Aum loudly 3 times.

Duration

Many people practise this simple yet powerful technique for hours. In fact some people try to maintain awareness of the mental sound of Aum continuously, whether they are working, playing, eating or sleeping. It can take one to profound meditational experiences. Practise for as long as available time will permit.

Reflection

This is a method of jnana yoga and can be practised by those people who have good concentration and determination. If you really want to know the meaning of Aum from the depths of your heart, then you will find it. It may take one week, one month, one year or many years, but the meaning will come. It will come like the crash of thunder, it will be like ‘crashing through the sound barrier’. And when you know its meaning, through personal experience, then your whole being will change, for you will know the impossible.

Benefits

The benefits are profound. Firstly, it is one of the most powerful methods of rapidly relaxing the entire mind and body. As such, it quickly brings mental peace and can help very much to prevent or soothe away many psychosomatic disorders. Whenever you feel tense, depressed, angry or any other negative emotions, then you should practise Aum chanting. Though it is a simple practice it can lead to high states of meditation and realizations of higher truths. Little more needs to be said.

Integration with other meditative practices

This is not the last you will hear of Aum, for it is widely integrated with many other meditational techniques. In fact, all meditative practices can be profitably started and ended with Aum chanting. It is an important part of kriya yoga, where it is intimately combined with yogic techniques.

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