In this stage there is no loud humming sound, only listening to the inner sound. Continue to keep your eyes closed and your fingers gently, but firmly in your ears; tрis is necessary to block out external disturbances. Try to hear a sound in your head.
At first you may find this difficult, but try. As soon as you become aware of a sound, any sound, try to fix your awareness on it to the exclusion of other sounds. Go on listening. After some days or weeks of practise you should find that one sound is very distinct, becoming louder and louder. Be totally aware of that sound. This is your vehicle of awareness; let your awareness flow towards this sound leaving all other sounds and thoughts. Gradually through practice your sensitivity will increase. Eventually you will hear another sound, a faint sound, in the background; it will almost be obliterated by the main, louder sound that you are hearing, but you hear it nevertheless. You should now listen to the new faint sound, leaving the other louder sound and continue to listen to this new sound. It will become more and more distinct. This is the new, more subtle vehicle of your awareness. Let this sound occupy your whole attention. This will further increase your sensitivity of perception. Eventually you will hear another faint sound emerging from behind this louder sound. Fix your awareness on this new sound, discarding the other sound. Continue in the same manner as already described allowing the sound to occupy your whole awareness. When it becomes loud try to perceive a more subtle underlying sound and fix your aware-ness on this sound. In this manner your perception will become progressively more sensitive. It is in this manner that you can dive deep into your being.
Note: this needs to be practised over a period of weeks and months to bring results. Time is required to perceive these progressively subtler sounds. For many weeks you may be unable to hear even the first sound. All that is required is time and effort. It is a very simple but powerful technique that will bring results if you persevere.
Awareness and duration
In stage 1 awareness should be fixed on the vocalized humming sound and the breathing.
In stage 2 the awareness should be fixed on subtle sounds. If you cannot hear anything in the beginning then you must merely be receptive and try to hear any sound that arises.
Practise for as long as you have time. In the beginning try to devote at least fifteen minutes to the practice.
Time of practice
The best time to practise is late at night or early in the morning, because at this time there are fewer external noises that would interfere with internal perception. However, this time is not convenient for most people; therefore, you can choose any suitable time when the surroundings are peaceful. You must use your discretion in this respect. If you practise beside a blaring radio or in a room full of talking people, don’t expect much success in your practice.
Incidentally, a good time to practise nada yoga is after a long spell of kirtan (collective singing and chanting).
Preparation for other practices
Bhramari pranayama is an excellent method of settling the mind and removing gross tensions. It can therefore be used as a method of preparing the mind for other meditational practices, or simply as a method of gaining tranquillity during times of stress.