meditate

 

By Daniel Scharpenburg

 

This is very similar to the practice of following the breath.

But, instead of following the breath, we’re going to follow a mantra instead.

The mantra I am writing about today is SO HUM.

This mantra means literally, “I am that.” It is supposed to bring us from normal awareness into expanded consciousness. It’s a oneness mantra, designed to remind us that we are one with the world around us, not separated from everything. We are one with everything and holding this mantra in our minds during a meditation is supposed to remind us of that.

I’m not someone that believes that words in other languages are magical.

We aren’t using a Sanskrit mantra because Sanskrit is special, we are using it because it’s easier to hold in our minds. It’s designed that way on purpose. It’s easier to carry the mantra SO HUM than it would be to carry “I am that” or “I am one with everything.”

First, establish the time of the meditation. Set a timer for an amount of time that you think you can do. A lot of people like to start with just 5 or 10 minutes and try to do more after they have an established meditation practice.

Find a comfortable place to sit. Adjust your posture so that your spine is erect without being stiff. Allow the rest of your body to relax. Rest your hands in your lap or on your legs. Allow your eyes to gently close. Bring your full attention to the feeling of sitting still. Allow your breathing to be natural. Bringing attention to your head, release any tension that you feel in your face.

Scanning the body slowly downward, relax your neck and shoulders.

Feel the rising and falling of your chest with each breath. Bring your attention all the way down your body to the places of contact with the floor (or chair if you’re sitting in one). Feel the pressure and density of your relaxed upright body.

Bringing your full attention to the present moment and acknowledge everything you’re experiencing. Thoughts are happening, sound is happening and there are probably mental and emotional sensations. Allow these experiences to be as they are, but bring your attention to the sensation of breathing. Bring your awareness of your breath to the foreground in your mind.

Take a few moments and investigate where you can feel the air entering and leaving your body.

Now, as we breathe we are going to carry this mantra in our minds. When we breathe in, we are going to mentally say “SO” and when we breathe out we’re going to mentally say “HUM”.

Every time a thought arises in our minds to distract us, we’re going to bring our attention back to the mantra, SO HUM.

SO HUM.

SO HUM.

We will continue to do this practice until the timer goes off.

 

 

Photo: (source)

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

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Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project, the largest virtual mindfulness community in the world.

He was trained and certified as a meditation teacher at the Rime Buddhist Center. He took lay ordination there and also took the Bodhisattva Vows. He ran the Dharma School program there for four years, teaching Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice to school age children every week(including his two kids). He taught beginner meditation classes there several times and also a class on Mahayana Sutra Studies. He spent time there studying and practicing with over a dozen Buddhist teachers of various lineages.
He spent time as a novice monk in the Five Mountain Zen Order and also received personal instruction in the Chinese Zen tradition online through the International Chan Buddhist Institute.

He gave up his monk robes to be a regular person. He now writes and teaches independently.

Find out more about Daniel on his blog and connect with him on Facebook and Youtube

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