Ajapa Japa Dhyana(So-Ham meditation)
Ajapa japa Dhyana, is a meditation on spontaneous repetition of a mantra.
Like we already know, concentration is a very important if not the most important practice to help us reach meditation. Ajapa Japa is, in this sense, a very simple and effective practice to reach this goal. To be able to concentrate the mind we need an object on which we bring our attention on. Ajapa japa use many different objects for this purpose.
Japa mean repetition of a mantra. When the suffix “a” is added to “japa” it mean that the repetition of the mantra become spontaneous. The Yogis have discover that our breath was having a particular sound, while breathing in the sound created was like the sound “SO” and while breathing out the sound created was like “HAM”. So they realise that we are unconsciously repeating the mantra “SO-HAM” all day long.
With Ajapa japa practice we’ll be consciously repeating the mantra So-Ham using the breath and the sound to focus our mind. A third factor will be use to increase our focus and this will be according to the movement of the breath and energy in the body.
There is an important psychic pathway in the body its name is shushumna. It is where we want our energy to flow freely and harmoniously . This pathway begin at mooladhara chakra (perineum for man and cervix for women) and end up at ajna chakra (pineal gland). With this practice will be visualizing the energy moving up from mooladhara to ajna and down from ajna to mooladhara.
The breath, the sound, and the movement will be the anchor for the focus of our mind. Unnecessary to say that it is enough to keep our mind out of the usual daydreaming mode!
Another important aspect of the practice is the purging of the mind. During the practice we’ll be doing SO-HAM for a while then we’ll stop this practice and allow our mind to evacuate or to express it unconscious content by focusing on the dark space at the for head area call “chiddhakasha”. Like looking at a movie screen we'll let our mind play its deepest and far rooted memories film. Taking a witness attitude, we’ll learn about our unconscious self and its surprising content.
Those deep rooted memories have significant influences on our behaviour andour way of thinking and deeling with our environment. By allowing them to surface and acknowledging there presence we take a step to understand our self and subsequently to modify our own attitude, pattern and behaviour.
Continue this practices of SO-HAM keeping ujjayi, ketchari and awareness on the movement, breath and sound. Be completely focus on those object. Become the breath, the sound and the movement.
After about 5 to 10 minutes stop the practice, breath normally and focus on chiddhakasha, the screen in the dark space at the forehead area. Keep focus, let the mind shows its content, don’t censure any thought or feeling. Allow anything to surface be attentive take a witness attitude. Don’t get emotionally involve into what you are seeing or feeling let it be. If you feel to cry you cry, but you cry with a witness attitude. It is a time of purging, your mind has deep rooted memories and it is a perfect time to allow them to surface and show themselves to you. They are part of you and you need to acknowledge them. Now you see them with different eyes and it is time to redigest them with awareness and compassion to you and other.
End up the practice by chanting Om three times, do palming one time and open your eyes slowly when you feel ready.