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Humming Breath Exercise

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Follow the instructions for inhaling in the Exercise for Complete Breathing (Steps 1-3). Now, as you begin to slowly exhale, make a HUM sound. Keep making that humming sound as long as possible. Pull your stomach muscles in, squeezing out a few more seconds of humming. Then relax. Practice for 2 to 3 minutes.


NOTE This breathing exercise came from the University of Missouri website, a very pragmatic conventional site. However, the "hum" sound reminded me of our mantra practice for the Spontaneous Fullfilment of Desire. It occured to me that the seed sound "hum" could possibly be used as a mantra. I looked it up, and this is what I found:

The seed syllable hūṃ embodies all the principles in all the sutras:

The content of the word are broad, yet no confusion can be found; the form of the word is simple, yet nothing is missing. The word is, indeed, created by the suprarational power and the natural grace of the Tathāgata Mahāvairocana.” - Kūkai. Ungi gi

According To Chogyam Trungpa, collected works volume 5:

HUM is the seed sound in all four orders of Tantra (kriya, upa, yoga, and anuttara) and composed of HA (which expels impure air from lungs), U (of U M) releases irritating thoughts thru the mouth and M clears the remaining thoughts thru nose.

For advanced meditators HUM is a means of developing five wisdoms.

  • H is the mirrorlike wisdom: Clear and continuous
  • A is the wisdom of equanimity
  • U is the wisdom of discriminating awareness
  • M is all accomplishing wisdom, effortless accomplishment
  • A is the wisdom of all accomplishing space (dharmadhatu) ground from which all things originate and to which they return.

So!! How cool is that?


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