When you’re trying to establish a regular meditation practice, 10 minutes of early morning meditation is a good place to begin. We don’t want to overwhelm ourselves by getting carried away with sitting for long periods of time – that will come later. It’s also nice to establish a meditation routine as soon as you wake up. One Buddhist meditation practitioner teaches his students what he jokingly calls the RPM method – rise, pee, meditate. I like to rise, pee, get a water and coffee, and then meditate. As soon as I started doing this, the ritual came effortlessly, and I’ve come to fall in love with my daily morning meditation practice.
10-Minute Japa Meditation
Here is a simple 10-minute meditation to start off with. Start first thing in the morning and meditate on the mantra, Om Hreem Shreem. This is what’s known as japa meditation. Of the many styles of meditation in the world, this is a good one to begin with.
Find a Comfortable Posture
Now find a comfortable seat. Ideally, you’re sitting on a meditation cushion, in a cross-legged position. Your spine is long and upright, with your shoulders resting down your back. Think of yourself as a dancer with impeccable posture as you sit on your cushion. If you have an injury and can’t sit like this, just lie down. The important thing is that you’re comfortable. (Read more on Effective Seated Postures for Meditation.)
Time to Get Present
Now give yourself the intention of being completely present and awake as you sit in meditation. Close your eyes and let your attention move through your body, noticing where there's any muscular tension. As your attention touches these body parts, allow them to soften and open. Now imagine that your breath is flowing through what yogis call the central channel, or sushumna nadi. Imagine that your breath flows from the crown of your head down into your belly on an inhale, and up into your heart chakra on an exhale. Practice exhaling completely when you exhale, to clear out any old energy that lingers. On the inhale, expand your belly, and on the exhale, contract your belly.
Om Hreem Shreem
Now let your breath flow naturally, without trying to control it. We’re going to bring the mantra Om Hreem Shreem into our awareness. Om is the bija, or seed, mantra of the creation of the universe. It is considered THE primordial sound of everything. Hreem is the bija mantra for the goddess energy of creativity and manifestation, which takes the form of the Hindu goddess, Lakshmi. Shreem is the mantra of all that is good, all that is auspicious. (Learn about The Auspicious Goddess Lakshmi.)
Opening Your Heart Center
As we meditate with this mantra, we’re going to bring the Om Hreem into our hearts on an inhale, and then exhale with the Shreem. Again, on the inhale, imagine that the Om Hreem is dropping into your heart center, and on the exhale, the Shreem is flowing through the heart and then flowing out with your breath. Feel that the energy of Om Hreem Shreem is surrounding you with total creativity, abundance and fullness. You are being loved with these sounds as you inhale Om Hreem, and exhale Shreem.
Now, on the next inhale, take in Om Hreem into your heart center, and on the ehxhale, Shreem moves through the heart and out into the world where you’re making an offering to the universe. Feel the Om Hreem as it drops into your heart, and feel the Shreem resonate through the heart and then radiate out into the magnetic field around your body. Allow yourself to relax into this gentle rhythm of Om Hreem on an inhale and Shreem on an exhale. As you breathe with this mantra, bring your attention to your heart center, and imagine it opening more and more to this sacred feminine presence of Om Hreem Shreem. (Learn more about Invoking the Divine Feminine.)
Let Your Breath Flow
Allow your heart to open and expand with every inhale of Om Hreem, and every exhale of Shreem. There’s no effort or striving here, you’re simply letting the breath flow in on the wings of the mantra, Om Hreem, and flow out on the goddess syllable, Shreem. Let yourself be caressed by this soft rhythm. As you do this, you’re connecting your consciousness with that of the loving goddess energy around you. You become more and more relaxed as you settle into the meditation. Continue for a few more minutes – inhaling with Om Hreem and exhaling with Shreem.
Now just let your breath flow naturally for a few cycles, allowing Om Hreem Shreem to reveal how your inner body wants to meditate freely and fluidly. When you’re ready, allow your eyes to open, and notice how you see the world around you in a different light. Take this mantra with you as you go about your day. Om Hreem Shreem. (Want more? Try A Meditation on the Universal Self.)