I have been leading a meditation group in Charlottesville, which has been attracting a few practitioners and new students to Buddhism. And because of the potential for new people attending, and due to our only meeting once or twice a month, I want to keep doing the foundational practices for a while(!). Not to mention my own lack of realization to do deeper more potent vajrayana type practices.
We have been doing Khenchen Rinpoche, Konchog Gyaltsen’s Om Ah Hung practice. This is a good beginner’s practice I feel because there are no complicated (at least not terribly so) visualizations, no mantra garland circling the seed syllable at the heart, or deities (yidams) to picture in your mind, and yet it is a potent practice too. It is a purification process and it does plant the seeds for more profound visualizations later.
We have been doing this practice since June, so closing in on 6 months now. I happened to invite my friend who is an older experienced yogi and he had some excellent advice, which deepened things considerably.
In the Om Ah Hung practice, which is a purification practice, we first visualize a white Om at our forehead (I believe it is sitting on the sella turcica or the Turkish saddle part of the sphenoid bone – where the pituitary gland sits – if you want to be specific). This represents purifying the body of sickness and other defilements / obscurations / impurities.
Next we visualize a red Ah in our throat – preferably toward the back of the neck – right in front of the spine (in the central channel). This seed syllable represents purification of the speech – any false speech, whether lying, angry speech, divisive speech, gossip or talking about non-virtuous behavior or black magic (for instance). All impurities of the speech and voice are made pure.
Third, we visualize a blue Hung syllable at the heart level. Again, ideally we visualize it behind our heart, just in front of the spine, again in the central channel if possible. And keep in mind that if we are able to, we want to use the Tibetan characters for Om Ah Hung. If we don’t have those down, then using the Roman letters is fine – literally visualizing a white OM is fine.
See a link to the Tibetan characters here: Om Ah Hung
The blue Hung represents purifying the mind – any thoughts of negative intent, of causing harm (or wishing harm), covetous thoughts or thoughts of wrong view. It can be purified as well.
Lastly, once we ourselves are purified, we might see ourselves as crystal clear “bodies.” Either way – whether we are pure or if we have more work to do 🙂 finally we send out the white, red and blue lights from the three places, wishing to benefit all sentient beings in the world.
Here is a great recording of Khenchen giving these teachings: