Primordial sound meditation is based upon chanting of Om or Aum, the eternal syllable.
The Upanishads state that Om is the primordial or the 'first' sound of the universe generated by the cosmic vibration that resulted in all creation (think Big Bang).
It is the supreme absolute and runs through the prana.
Paramhansa Yogananda, who popularized kriya yoga in the West, called Om, "The creative voice of God, the vibration of the cosmic motor."
Before we discuss the various ways in which we can do primordial sound meditation, here is how you pronounce Om or Aum.
The 'O' or 'AU' is said externally and the 'M' is allowed to reverberate internally.
The first half of 'O' or 'A' starts in the chest at the anahata chakra, moves upward with the second half of 'O' or 'U' to the vishuddha chakra in the throat and ends with 'M' vibrating the ajna and sahasra chakras in the head.
Three ways in which you can practice primordial sound meditation are:
Steven Sturgess' technique
Steven mentioned a very simple way of practicing Om meditation in his Yoga Book.
Finally, be still and meditate on the spiritual eye (the point between the eyebrows).
Surrender yourself to the vibrations of Om and feel your awareness expand.
Paramhansa Yogananda's technique
The author of the bestselling Autobiography of a Yogi illustrates how to do primordial sound meditation in a yogic way.
Keep a small bench to support your elbows if you feel tired. It is important that you keep your ears and eyes covered at all times while doing this meditation.
In time, you will start to discern the physical vibrations first followed by the astral vibrations and then finally the sound of Om resonating like a mighty ocean.
What are the different vibrations that one can expect to hear?
Different cerebra-spinal centers or chakras emit different vibrations. For example, the coccygeal (mooladhara) chakra at the base of the spine emits a humming sound. The sacral centre or the swadhishthana chakra has a flute-like sound. Lumber centre (manipura chakra) sounds like a harp and the dorsal centre (anahata chakra) has a bell-like sound.
Cervical (vishuddha chakra) sounds like rushing water and the medulla oblongata (ajna chakra) is the symphony of all sounds together.
Do this meditation for 10 minutes in the morning and for 20 minutes before sleeping.
Regular practice will instill in you a deep calmness and great intuitive ability, which in turn will help in dealing with life situations better.
Ancient beej mantra technique as popularized by Deepak Chopra
This meditation involves chanting of "Om beej (seed) mantra namah!"
The beej or the seed mantra is derived from the sound of each individual's nakshatra-pada. Nakshatra is one of the 27 sectors along the ecliptic covering 13 degrees and 20 minutes, while pada is one quarter of the nakshatra covering 3 degrees and 20 minutes.
The position of the moon at the time of a person's birth determines his or her nakshatra-pada, thus making the seed mantra unique to that person.
The sound of the nakshatra-pada is suffixed with 'm' to arrive at the individual's own primordial sound mantra.
You can find your nakshatra here (link opens in new window) by entering your date, time and place of birth.
Once you have your nakshatra ready, all you need is your pada to derive your beej mantra. Look at the start and end times mentioned along with your nakshatra and divide the period between the two into four equal quarters. Then check for the quartile in which your particular time of birth falls. This will be your pada.
Now use this table to find your own unique beej mantra.
|#||Name||Pada 1||Pada 2||Pada 3||Pada 4|
|23||Śrāviṣṭha or Dhanishta||Ga||Gi||Gu||Ge|
For example, if you were born in New York City on January 1, 1970 at 5.30pm, your nakshatra will be Chitra and pada will be 2, making your seed mantra Po and your personal primordial sound meditation mantra: Om Pom Namah!
Begin your meditation with:
Primordial sound meditation, like all other meditations, needs to be done effortlessly without taxing yourself either physically or mentally.
The idea is not to force yourself into chanting the mantra in a set fashion or at a certain pace. Let the tempo of the mantra flow naturally - it may be long or short, fast or slow, loud or soft.
Do not resist any thoughts that may flood your consciousness and
distract you from the chanting. Let them come and go.
Just be one with whatever you experience.
There are people who believe in charging money for giving you your beej mantra. I, on the other hand, believe that something as divine and as natural as the primordial sound meditation should be free and available to all.
Nature's gifts to us - sunshine, air and water are free, so should be meditation in all its forms.
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