This blog is written by Alex Renfrew, a former participant of the Mindfulness Project from England. He stayed for about three weeks at the project. His experience with meditation before the Project was limited. He thought meditation was something to be practiced in silence and with a still mind. During his days at the Mindfulness Project, he learned and opened up in many ways to meditate which ranged from breath awareness to body scanning and love and kindness meditation. However, the one that really stood out with him was the Ohm shower meditation.
Hence his eagerness to share his experience.

From skeptical to feeling lost in the moment

Ohm shower meditationYou begin seated in your comfortable meditation position. The practice basically involves chanting ‘Ohm’ repeatedly for a set time whilst breathing normally. At the Project, we would sit in two circles, one around the other, and there would always be one person sitting silently in the center. The meditation would go on until every person had their time in the center.

For myself, I was somewhat skeptical at first. To watch a large group of people, sit around making strange noises repeatedly made me initially feel a little uncomfortable. I almost felt like a lost child watching as everyone else embraced something I couldn’t follow. But what the heck, I am only here once so I closed my eyes and began to chant.

I soon relaxed into the practice and as time went on and people’s paces changed it sounded like a round of Ohm’s beginning and ending at all different times. This meant the sounds at any moment would change slightly but I would always have the internal vibration and that connection from within grew as I went on. I smiled halfway through at the fact I was really enjoying it. The melody seemed to flow around the shala connecting us all. At one point, I experienced a brief flash: the chorus sounded like church bells and I could really feel I was getting lost in the moment.

Newfound peace and friends during Ohm meditation

Ohm shower meditationI felt a tap on my shoulder and knew I was next to sit in the middle. So I sat up straight, took deep breaths and absorbed the flowing harmony. I had been chanting ‘Ohm’ for around 25 minutes and I had a strange feeling raising from my chest at the newfound peace. The sounds and vibrations around me felt much more powerful. I had to stop thinking at this point and just be in the moment. After what seemed only seconds I rejoined the group chanting. This time it felt comfortable to slip back into the chanting. Sadly, it wasn’t long until we were told to stop and everything was completely quiet. At this point, I felt slightly lost and as if something was missing. But I still felt an overall positive feeling from the meditation.

After a brief silence, we hold hands with the person each side of us and thought of the good times we have had with that person. Once again I felt a connection. The energy generated over the meditation was now creating vivid pictures of the people I was sharing this experience with. I felt filled with so much positivity seeing in my mind Rasmus dancing as nothing else mattered at one of the birthday parties we had. However, from my right hand, the empty feeling was creeping back as Alex was leaving that morning after his time at the Project. At first, the image of his big smile and the effect he had on the group was clear in my mind. But the overwhelming thought and subsequent sadness of some of the group members leaving took over.

In now what seems perfect timing we very slowly released our hands and sat back in our position. Alone. The feeling was overwhelming and I guess reflected feelings I had after a recent separation I didn’t realize were still so strong. Ten days had passed and now great people were leaving. The powerful ‘Ohm’ vibrations had stopped and it felt like the strong connection was slipping away.

Drawing out feelings

I opened my eyes and they immediately locked with another participant. I noticed tears in her eyes but more so I realized I had tears. The feeling was quite overpowering and I quickly went to clear my head. I returned and saw everyone was embracing and holding each other. There were a lot of tears but so much more connection and love. It was a beautiful moment.

I can only say that for myself the meditation resonated with feelings that were already inside me and on a level, I didn’t know still existed so strongly. It felt rhythmic in the moment and powerful after. For myself, I find peace in my usual meditation practice and this was the first to go deeper. To draw out the feelings that I think needed to address. There are many types of meditation out there and some will resonate with people and others not so much but the ‘Ohm meditation’ was an experience I’ll never forget.

Ohm shower meditation

Why we practice Ohm Shower meditation

Ohm is a sacred sound that is known generally like the sound of the universe. Ohm is all-encompassing, the essence of ultimate reality, and unifies everything in the universe. The Ohm sound is a short mantra, which we chant to connect with and energize the chakras, especially the third eye and crown chakras, this helps us connect with our divine selves.

We use Ohm because of the sound and the vibrations. They help to calm the mind and the central nervous system. The Ohm meaning also signifies unity so when we chant the sound with multiple people, it brings the group together. Chanting helps to align the body, mind, and soul, which is why people feel more connected with themselves after meditating and practicing the chant.

Ohm is usually spelled as Om or Ohm but pronounced as it consists of the three letters: AUM. It stands for the three states of the mind:

  • A: Waking state
  • U: Dreaming state
  • M: Deep sleep

The state of mind beyond those, they call Turiya. Turiya is the deepest meditative state you can reach: the absolute state. The Ohm mantra is guiding you towards silence in your mind. In the Ohm shower meditation, we continuously sing ohm all together. When you sit in the middle of the circle, you will get to a mode of pure receiving, to absorb all the energy in. And when you are part of the circle, you feel one with the group, and experience how your own sounds are no longer distinguishable from the group. All to experience true silence in the end, even if it’s only for a small moment.