As you all know, meditation has become as much a part of my daily routine as brushing my teeth. I firmly believe that in order for me to be the best channel I can be to radiate happiness and positivity to the world, I need to take measures that not only clean my body but also my mind and soul too. The same way brushing helps to remove plaque off your teeth is the same way meditation helps to keep the mind from being cluttered and ultimately keep the body’s aura free from negative energy.
While most of my meditations are in my room or at yoga, I like to jump at the opportunity to participate in group meditation, or a new type of meditation that I haven’t done before. For those who haven’t meditated that much, every experience is different. I mean, I have never had the same meditation experience twice which means that every experience is a new journey. Today’s journey was active conscious meditation with renowned meditation teacher Punnu Singh Wasu. I didn’t know what to expect from today’s class but I knew that there was a good chance that it would be memorable since Kevin, my friend who is also a meditation teacher, had recommended to me how good this guy was.
The class was held at the Yoga Barn, Ubud’s infamous sacred paradise that holds daily yoga, meditation and other esoteric practices. The room quickly filled up as the clock struck 3 pm on a Monday afternoon. There would have been about 150 people in the room, bottoms on meditation cushions and eyes glued to Punnu as he stood at the front of the paned glass room in his modest white tunic.
“Today’s meditation is about manifesting your truth, who you really are” he explains. “We will chant the mantra ‘So Hum’. Does anyone know what that means?” The class stared curiously. I had heard these words before in another mantra that I use in my Reiki practice but I didn’t actually know what the words meant. “I am that?”, a girl spoke from the back of the room. “Correct. ‘So’ means ‘I am’ and ‘Hum’ means ‘that’. The mantra is about realising your truth, the soul that is beneath, and manifesting who you are meant to be in this world.”
I was excited about the chanting. When I first started meditation I found chanting very uncomfortable but as I’ve progressed in meditation practice I find that it aids the quietness of the mind. There’s also something extremely beautiful about singing in a room full of others. It creates harmony, something we seem to be lacking in this day and age.
The meditation commences. “This type of meditation may bring up intense feelings and emotions. Let them come” Punnu says.
As we all close our eyes Punnu starts the chanting. “So Hum”, the room orchestrates into a concurrent melody. At first, the chants are slow but then they become faster and faster. Then, slow again as we repeat the same rhythm. My lungs fill with more oxygen than they are used to and it creates a tingling sensation throughout my whole body. I let the feelings come as Punnu advised. I can feel the sensations as I go deeper and deeper into a meditative state, beyond the conscious mind and beyond thought. My hands are starting to tingle, I can no longer feel my body.
During the second part of the meditation Punnu asks us to stand and breath “So Hum” into every ounce of our being. My eyes hadn’t opened. I had forgotten I was in a room full of 150 people. I was now going deeper into my self. The standing sequence focuses more on the breath. Breathe in “So”. Breathe out “Hum”. I can hear the breath of the students becoming deeper. Some let out loud sighs of relief on the exhale, some scream as if releasing intense amounts of built up anger and sorrow into the room. I notice the sounds but do not focus on them, I too am going into a deeper state of consciousness. As each breath comes I feel more and more emotion. At first, it is sadness, kind of like frustration that wants to be released. Tears start falling down my cheeks, but I am not sad. I am free. They are tears of relief as if I am letting go of something, something holding me back. I now hear cries in the room. The space erupts with roaring noise. Students, like me, are releasing their deepest emotions and tapping into their truest selves. It’s now as if I am in a marketplace. I hear the noises but do not focus on them. There is silence in my mind, but not around me.
By this time the sensations in my hands are extreme. I feel as if my hands weigh 100 kilograms each, the energy radiating off them is nothing like I have ever felt in my life. I experience a small bit of fear as my mind switches on again. “What is this? What is going on with my arms?” The mind tends to like to make sense of things. I let it come and I surrender to it. I am feeling strong at this moment, I am feeling as if I can do all the things I am meant to be doing. “You got this” I hear my higher self say. The energy travels up my arms and into my body. I feel light and heavy, connected and awakened.
I hear Punnu’s voice. “Now it’s time to dance into Asamprajnata. Move your body however you feel.” Asamprajnata is the objectless state of meditation, an extremely high order of awareness, beyond or deeper than other layers of meditation. I start to sway my hands to the music, it’s like I’m painting my energy into the space around me. I remain in a deeply high state of meditation, so deep that I start to visualise things. I am walking through a garden. I gently brush green palm leaves out of my way with my hands, I can even see the shape of the leaves as I push past the trees. I walk further down to a running stream and run my hands softly through the water. I feel at one with the earth all around me, nature in it’s truest form. I am in a pure state of bliss. At this moment I feel tears roll down my cheeks as I let out cries of immense joy, the type of cries you express when you are in a state of overwhelming happiness. My cries join the orchestra of human expression surrounding me. We’re together but we are alone. My eyes remain closed. I now feel angels around me as my body moves to the rhythm of the music. I am dancing with them. Although I don’t physically see them, I feel their presence. They bring loving energy into my space and for moments we are dancing in a realm of pure love. I am not on earth anymore, nothing on earth could ever compare to this sacred space I am dancing in. It is an arena of perfection, nothing good or bad, nothing north or south, nothing right or wrong. It is a realm of pure, peaceful oneness.
My higher state of consciousness doesn’t allow me to try and make sense of what is happening. I just experience it wholesomely until I hear Punnu’s voice. “Now lay on the ground, with your heart and chest touching the ground. Breathe into mother earth with gratitude.” I thank the angels and slowly leave that realm back down to earth. Physically, my chest connects with the wooden floor. My heart connects deeper than that, it sends loving gratitude through the layers beneath me and into the earth.
As the meditation comes to an end I come back into a state of consciousness and my mind starts up again, like a car engine. It tries to make sense of what happened, it tries to associate the feelings with reason. I wonder what to do now. But then I realise the mind contains only thoughts and there is nothing I need to do. I consciously decide not to attach myself to the moment, just to send it extreme gratitude and let it join the millions of magical moments that make up this beautiful life.