The Soham MantraIn Buddhism and in Tantra yoga mantras are often used as an object of attention in meditation. Mantras work on a subtle level through sound vibration, opening us to deep states of spaciousness and bliss within, while channeling the subtle energy within the body to both vitalise and relax us. There's no need to understand a mantra's meaning or to 'believe' in it, for it to work.
'Soham', featured as June's meditation practice, is one of the very oldest mantras. It can be broadly translated as 'I am that' - 'that' being the universal awareness, presence and consciousness that lies within the core of our being. To practice with Soham brings us into a direct connection with this universal consciousness within ourselves.
Take around fifteen minutes for the practice. Sit comfortably where you will not be disturbed, your spine relaxed and upright. Close your eyes and take a few moments to tune inside, focussing on your breath to guide you deeper within.
After a few moments begin repeating the mantra 'Soham' silently to yourself. 'So' is pronounced the same as the English word 'so'. 'Ham' is pronounced with a short 'a' which sounds like the 'u' in 'cup'. Just be present and listen to the internal sound of the mantra, repeating it slowly to yourself with your full awareness. You don't need to reflect on the meaning of the mantra, but rather receive the subtle vibration of it, and to observe and feel what opens up within you as you repeat it silently within.
If you like you can coordinate the mantra with your breath - thinking 'so' on the inhale and 'ham' on the exhale.
If any activity arises in your mind, simply notice this without judging, and gently come back to 'Soham'.
If you enjoyed this meditation you might enjoy our evening classIntroduction to Tantra yoga meditation.