Soham in the spine and
Mantra online: The sound of the Soham
mantra is repeated
108 times in the audio
background of this web page.
(Turn on the
sound on your computer.)
(You may need to use Internet Explorer, as some browsers
may not create the sound automatically.
If sound is not automatic, click
here; your player should then play continuously.)
here to watch an 8 minute video on Soham Mantra.
There is also:
online repetitions of So Hum mantra is about 17 minutes
of meditation practice, at a rate of about 6 1/2 breaths
per minute, which is extremely relaxing both for
meditation and reducing stress in the autonomic nervous
system. The Hummmm... sound is intentionally somewhat
longer than the Sooooo... sound, as this
increases the effect of the relaxation and meditation by
releasing the autonomic nervous system.
- Inhale silently with
- Exhale silently with
Click here for more info on
Index of this web page:
Training the breath
Five ways to practice
40 day practice
the practice is designed for you to do silently,
by remembering the mantra internally. You cannot repeat
the mantra aloud with the recording, as you would
have to be speaking during your inhalation, which
does not work. Instead, you remember the mantra in the
mind, the way you automatically remember a song you
like. When you practice So Hum Mantra without the
recording, it is still done silently and internally.
As you allow your
mind to flow with the Soham Mantra, also gently train your breath. This
breath training has a tremendous effect on calming the mind.
Allow there to be no pauses
between breaths. Inhalation naturally, smoothly transitions
into exhalation, and exhalation naturally transitions into
The breath itself is quiet, with the sound of the mantra only
Gradually eliminate any jerkiness or irregularities, so that
the breath is smooth. The bumps in the breath come from the
mind, and calming the breath will in turn calm the mind.
comfortably slow breath is very beneficial. The rate of the
mantra in the recording will bring your breath to a
Breathe with the diaphragm,
the large muscle connected all the way around the inside of
the lower rib cage. The muscles of the lower abdomen and the
upper chest are not needed to breathe diaphragmatically.
ways to practice:
Place your attention in the area of the diaphragm,
in a palm-sized space, just below the breast bone.
Allow the inhalation to flow in unison with the
Sooooo... of the Soham mantra. Allow the
exhalation to flow in unison with the sound Hummmm...
of the So Hum mantra. Observe the feel of the motion
from the inside, and allow there to be no pauses
between breaths. Inhalation naturally transitions
into exhalation, and exhalation naturally
transitions into inhalation. The breath will
naturally become smooth and quiet. The sound of the
Sohum mantra will gently regulate the speed of the
With inhalation, allow your inner attention to move upwards with
Sooooo..., from the base of the spine to the
top of the head. With exhalation, allow your inner
attention to move down with Hummmm..., from
the top of the head to the base of the spine. You
might also look for a thin, milky white stream
flowing there with the breath, though that is not
necessary if you do not see such an image. Once
again, you gently transition between breaths, with
no pause between the breaths.
Similar to the breath along the spine, allow your attention
to flow with So Hum mantra between two chakras, or energy centers that
may be needing special attention or balancing. For
example, inhale from the navel center to the heart
center, and exhale from the heart to the navel; or
inhale from the heart center to the eyebrow center,
and exhale from the from the eyebrow center to the
heart. Whichever two chakras are used, the
inhalation is upwards, and the exhalation is
Place your attention at the bridge of the nostrils,
feeling the touch of the air moving in and out of
your nostrils. Coordinate the inhalation with the
of the So Hum mantra. Coordinate the exhalation with
the sound Hummmm... of the Soham mantra. If
one nostril seems to be flowing less freely, it is
good to place the attention on that nostril. When
both nostrils flow freely, there is a joy that
comes, and the mind wants only to do meditation. It is
called sandhya, the wedding of the sun and the moon
and tha of hatha), of ida and
left and right energies of the subtle body. This
allows energy to flow in the central channel sushumna.
three methods above: Sequentially do each of the
three practices above with So Hum mantra, starting with breath
awareness at the diaphragm, followed by the breath
along the spine, and then breath awareness at the
bridge of the nostrils. Divide the time
approximately evenly between the three, or however
feels comfortable and natural. Remember, the
difference between the So Hum mantra methods is the placement of
your attention, while you continue to breathe
smoothly, quietly, and with no pauses between
The period of 40
days has been widely recognized as an auspicious period both in
the East and the West since ancient times. A traditional way to do
an extended mantra practice is to choose a number of repetitions
per day (e. g., 1-4), and to do that for 40 days.
The mind likes to
have a beginning and end to a practice, a sense of completion, such as comes
with a 40 day (or longer) practice.
time per practice session: Mind finds comfort in
knowing that it will do the practice of one round of 108
repetitions (or some other number of rounds), and that each
will take a predictable amount of time (17 minutes per round
of 108 repetitions).
number of rounds: Mind also likes the
predictability of doing a certain number of rounds done per
day. Mind may resist at times, but once it gets started in the
practice, mind likes the habit.
number of days: Mind also likes the plan of knowing
how many days or months a practice will take to complete. This
can be very beneficial in stabilizing a noisy mind, which is a
By running your own
experiment for 40 days, you can decide for yourself whether or not
the practice is beneficial.
It has been said that there is
freedom in discipline; choosing to do a regular practice frees the
mind from wondering each day, what will be done today. Once again,
it is important not to do the mantra practice with rote
repetition, but rather, with feeling and awareness.
A noticeable level
of mantra siddhi (power of the mantra) is said to come with
125,000 repetitions of a mantra (Such an extended practice is
called a purascharna). This is equivalent to 1250 rounds of
a mala. A mala is a set of counting beads with 108 beads. Only 100
are counted, with the other 8 considered an offering to the
divine, however you personally hold that.
Listening to this So
Hum mantra recording of 108 repetitions (17 minutes) is equivalent to one
round of a mala (You can also use the Soham
CD). To complete the equivalent of 1250 rounds of a
mala, or a total of 125,000 repetitions of So Hum mantra, will take this amount of
hr, 8 min
hr, 25 min
hr, 41 min
hr, 58 min
Such an extended
practice with So Hum mantra can have a tremendous effect in stabilizing the mind in
preparation for advancing in meditation. Such a practice simply
must be done personally to understand the benefits. It does take
quite a commitment to do this practice every day for such a long
period, but it is well worth the effort.
In choosing the
level of practice per day, it is important to have stability from
one day to the next, and to not skip any days. It is best to
choose the level that works for you consistently, rather than
changing the number from day to day. For example, if two rounds
per day is a good number (34 minutes), then it's better to stay
with that amount each and every day, not to do none on one day,
but four on the next day.