Long before Hinduism and Buddhism, the wise masters of India practiced and transmitted powerful mantras, of which the Hamsa meditation is said to be the foremost. This timeless wisdom mantra belongs to the ancient Vedic spiritual tradition.
The Vedas are the oldest of man’s scriptures, ancient holy texts passed down through the generations. The mantra itself is part of the oral tradition that has continued through many centuries.
Although this is not a Buddhist meditation, it belongs to the Indian yoga tradition that the Buddha himself practiced.
The mantra itself is deceptively simple. All we need to do is breath in and out through the nostrils. As we do this we repeat to ourselves the syllable HAM on the in-breath, and the syllable SO on the out-breath.
Repeat on the in-breath: HAM
On the out-breath: SO
The syllable HAM represents and embodies the expansive masculine yang energy; the syllable SO represents the centripetal yin, feminine energy. HAMSA means white swan. The swan is an ancient symbol of spiritual grace and purity.
The Hamsa meditation helps us find the grace within and carries us beyond our limited concepts. It helps us shed negative feelings that we are ‘ugly ducklings’ and reminds us that we are all graceful and pure swans. It can help our spiritual life take wings.
Ancient teachings say this mantra is a vibration of infinite consciousness, uniting us each with divine source. It is said that this mantra helps us erase duality and the sense that we are different or separate from each other.
We cannot find the enlightenment we seek until we realize that we are all one; there is no ‘other’. The Hamsa meditation helps us to connect with the divine love and profound energy that flows through the universe and through each of us.
Chant this mantra during your meditation:
HAM on the inhalation
SO on the exhalation
There is a joke in Buddhist circles: “Don’t just do something, sit there.”
(Inspired by Lama Surya Das: Letting go of the person you used to be)