Hong-Sau (pronounced hong-sau) means „I am Spirit” or „I am He”. Hong-Sau is the Bengali pronunciation of the Sanskrit mantra „Hansa” or „Hamsa”. Repeating this mantra stills restless minds and calms prana in the body.
The Hamsa is one of the key concepts in Vedic, Yogic and Tantric thought. Along with the Kundalini, it holds many secrets of deeper Yoga techniques. Indeed without understanding the Hamsa, the Kundalini force cannot likely be properly developed or understood.
„Ham-sa are two sacred Sanskrit chant words possessing a vibratory connection with the incoming and outgoing breath. Aham-Sa is literally – I am He.” – Yogananda
Hong-Sau meditation benefits:
- opens the ajna chakra, the chakra of guidance and awareness, which is located at the 3rd eye point in the center of the forehead;
- helps develop concentration by observing the natural movement of the breath;
- helps you to experience higher states of consciousness;
- focuses your mind and improves your ability to concentrate.
When practicing this ancient technique, it is a good idea to sit on a straight-backed chair with a woolen blanket placed over it. The blanket should run down under the feet, insulating the body from earthly magnetic disturbances and influences.
Face east and sit erect, without touching your spine to the back of the chair. Always keep the spine and head in a straight vertical line during this meditation. The body should be relaxed, with the hands resting, palms upward on the thighs.
Hong-Sau meditation technique:
With eyelids completely closed or half closed, focus your gaze on the third eye, between the eyebrows. From that center of concentration and calmness, mentally watch the natural flow of your breath coming in and going out. Do not in any way use mental force or will to draw your breath in or to send it out. Try to feel as detached about it as you would if you were purely observing someone else’s breathing.
As the breath comes in, mentally recite „Hong”, at the same time move the index finger of your right hand toward the palm. As the breath goes out, mentally recite „Sau” and move the index finger away from the palm.
The movement of the index finger is only to help you to differentiate inhalation from exhalation, as we are ordinarily not accustomed to noticing which is taking place. If you have no trouble in mentally differentiating inhalation and exhalation, or in reciting the right word with each (Hong with inhalation and Sau with exhalation), the movement of the index finger is unnecessary.
There should be no movement of the tongue as you mentally recite the words Hong and Sau.
Every sound in the universe has a different mental effect and mental correspondence. Hong and Sau are two sacred Sanskrit words that have a vibratory connection with the incoming and outgoing breath.
Gradually, as you become more calm, try to feel the breath higher and higher in the nose. Be sure that your gaze is kept fixed at the point between the eyebrows throughout your practice. Don’t allow your eyes to follow the movement of the breath. If you find that your mind has wandered, simply bring it back to an awareness of the breath and the mantra.
During the first month, you may experience slight headaches due to meditation. This is caused by the massive energy that is generated in your brain and also the reorganization of your brain. It will go away after a few weeks.
Keep practicing this meditation as long as you want to, until it brings you to a deeper state of serenity and the highest sense of calmness.
Image credit – thespaman.co.uk