A practice to help face chaotic times with serenity and grace.
These are transformational times, but sometimes hard to navigate. From my quiet Canadian home, I witness the stories, the cultural upheavals, the crises that continue to unfold across the world. Emotions are swirling, anxiety and uncertainty is still so high. I feel it. Do you?
In the face of it, some days I find myself struggling with what to do and how to move forward and still stay true to my values. Today I'm struggling with a big question, facing a new twist that has come up this week related to growing my business, trying to decide what to do.
Are you finding it challenging too, maybe something you are struggling with right now, professional or personal?
Things are changing so fast...how do we adapt? What’s coming next? When will we get back to “normal” and what is that even going to look like? It’s not surprising that we might feel stressed and disheartened.
And then I remember that meditation is one of the best tools we have to face these chaotic times with grace and serenity. It’s amazing how a practice of sitting quietly and focusing your mind can give make you feel so much more calm and peaceful, give you the clarity and creativity to help you find your way through any challenging situation.
Meditation has the power to shift your perspective, so you can see things differently. It can help us reduce stress and anxiety, stay grounded amidst the swirl of emotions and challenges and events.
Meditation helps us to let go of distractions (ruminations and regrets about the past, worries and anxieties for the future, scattered thoughts and chattering mind) so that we can focus on the only real time, on what is happening in the present.
So that we can ACT WITH INTENTION and rather than REACT.
When we meditate, we ground ourselves and steady our mind by focusing our attention on one object. That “object” could be your breath, an image in your mind (a candle flame is a good example), compassion for others, or a mantra.
If you want to get started with meditation or inspire your practice, the SO HUM mantra meditation practice is an easy and effective way to do it.
The SO HUM meditation is a simple practice that connects breathe with mantra.
Simple, yet one of the most powerful meditations you can do to find peace and tranquility, to connect with to your inner teacher, to all other beings and to the infinite Universe itself.
A mantra is a word or a phrase in the ancient Sanskrit language that encapsulates a higher ideal. It’s a tool you can use to stay focused in meditation. Mantra meditation is done by repeating a chosen mantra over and over silently to yourself. Focusing on the mantra will help you to step away form the busyness of your mind and away from negative thoughts. But mantra is much more than just a tool for concentration.
It’s a rather magical practice, with much more than meets the eye. Mantra practice uses energetic VIBRATIONS to help us to connect with something greater than ourselves, to energize our minds and bodies, and to create a specific state of being for ourselves. Part of the magic is the sacred and vibrational nature of the ancient Sanskrit language, one of the great spiritual languages of the world.
Ultimately, mantra meditation can transport you to a higher state of peaceful awareness.
What makes SO HUM such a powerful mantra?
There are many many different Sanskrit mantras you can use. The SO HUM mantra is based on a bija mantra.
A bija mantra is a single sound, “seed” syllable Sanskrit mantra that can create powerful transformation. In the Hindu and yoga traditions, it is believed that all matter and energy in the Universe was created from the most perfectly harmonious sound generated by these Sanskrit seed syllables called bijas. The best known bija is Om. Other bijas include Shreem, Hreem, Kreem, Hum, Aim. These bijas can be used as mantras, either individually or together with other words, to help us connect with that universal energy.
The HUM bija represents an all-encompassing spirit of wisdom and enlightenment. It is a mantra of inner fire and carries transformative powers. It is a Shiva mantra that is used to destroy negativity and create passion, fiery brilliance and vitality. It can also invoke Divine protection. It represents the soul hidden in the body. HUM is vibration, it is universality brought down to the human heart.
HUM means “I AM”. SO HUM means I AM THAT
These are powerful words.
SO HUM is a mantra and it’s also a statement of being, an affirmation of existence as pure awareness, a connection to the universal consciousness. It’s a way of reminding us that we are all connected. No matter who we are, where we come from, what we look like, we are all connected. And what happens to one of us, happens to all of us in some way, big or small. It’s important to be reminded of this oneness, especially in difficult times.
Connect these words to your intention and you create space to cultivate the positive energy you wish to live with and to extend into the world. For example: I am joy, I am peace, I am compassion.
So you can see how this simple-seeming mantra meditation can be so powerful.
Here is how you can connect with the power of SO HUM.
What to do when your mind wanders? It will definitely wander to thoughts of your everyday life, your dreams, your worries. And probably pretty quickly. When your mind wanders (not if), it doesn’t mean you aren’t “doing it right”. It’s just normal. So when your mind wanders, just be kind to yourself and gently let the thought or emotion go and bring your attention back to the focus of your meditation today: the SO HUM mantra…breathing in….and breathing out.
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