So-Hum Meditation Technique
Meditation is a life-changing habit that has cumulative effects over time. There are many types of meditation, and I encourage you to explore them all and decide what works best for you.
If you’ve never tried it before, you might find this technique simple and effective as a starter. It can also be practiced long-term. Either way, it’s easy and will get you engaged and on your way.
Instructions for So-Hum Meditation
Pick a quiet place where you can sit without distractions.
Sit upright with your back straight. It is important to keep your spine straight, but you also want to be comfortable. You can sit cross-legged if that works for you, but it’s fine to sit on the edge of a bed or couch with a pillow folded just under your hips or against them so that it’s easy to keep your back straight, while resting your feet flat on the floor. You can also sit in a straight backed chair. The idea is to be comfortable so that your attention isn’t drawn to bodily aches, or a focus on your posture. You want to sit easily without strain.
Start by taking in a deep breath and gently push your belly out. Then move the air up into your chest and hold. You can aid this by raising your shoulders up a bit. Now exhale through your mouth. The incoming, holding and outgoing breaths should all be done to a count of 4 each. So count to 4 as you inhale, hold for 4, and exhale to a count of 4. Do this entire routine 4 times. It just cleans you out and relaxes your body. If it is uncomfortable to hold your breath for a count of 4, then just begin the exhale as soon as you have inhaled all the way.
Now breathe naturally without any attempt to guide your breath. Let it have a life of it’s own. Close your eyes and listen to your breath going in and out for a few minutes.
Next, when you inhale, mentally say the syllable “So” and when you exhale mentally say the syllable “Hum”. So-Hum, So-Hum . . . . Continue this for as long as comfortable. A good start would be 10 minutes although 5 is fine. With regular practice, you can eventually increase to 20 or 30 minutes.
Distractions and Thoughts
When you are meditating, thoughts will rush in constantly. When you notice that you’ve gone off on a thought train, just gently bring yourself back to So-Hum and watching the in and out of your breath. This will happen numerous times at first.
It’s important not to get stressed about that. Happens to everyone this way. Some people report that they never were able to return to So-Hum after the first time, but that’s all right. The idea is to stay seated for the full duration of the time you’ve allotted. Don’t get wrapped up in trying to do it perfectly, or even well. This is not an achievement, but a practice. Just do it.
When you’re ready to stop, just open your eyes and sit for a minute or two before getting up. That’s all there is to it.
It is best to meditate on a regular daily schedule. Meditation has compound effects, meaning the more regular you are and the longer you meditate over time, the more effects you will feel. Don’t look for immediate results, even though you may have some.
Pick a regular time of day, and do it everyday.