I want to practice Anhata Naad (the sound of silence or the Naad Brahma) meditation, but when I sit for it, I can hear the sound very clearly at a high frequency, but after some time, I feel that there is no sound or a very slight sound on which I cannot concentrate. Consequently, I get bored and fall asleep. So how to practice this meditation for a long time? I use earplugs also for noise reduction.
—Ankesh , India
The technique you describe (Anhata Naad) is listening to Aum. Aum is the sound made by the vibration of God’s presence within us and all around us. It is the sound of God’s creative manifestation of the whole universe.
Yogananda, whose teachings we follow at Ananda, taught the technique for hearing this sound which he called the Aum Technique. We teach this technique at Ananda as part of The Path of Kriya Yoga. There are several techniques that devotees practice before being given the Aum technique. These include Yogananda’s energization exercises, which guide us in how to attune to, draw in and direct the infinite cosmic vibratory energy, or life force, in us.
Also included is the Hong Sau technique of meditation, which trains us in concentration on inner divine realities. Both of these techniques help us to hear the Cosmic Vibration of Aum. For this reason, I cannot give you the details of how to practice the Aum technique here. If you would like to learn about The Path of Kriya Yoga and the techniques of Energization and Hong Sau, please visit our online course page (for India).
You might like to read just a bit of what Swami Kriyananda, Ananda’s founder and direct disciple of Yogananda, wrote about Aum. These selections are from the book Demystifying Patanjali by Swami Kriyananda available in India here.
AUM, heard in meditation, is like a steady, low hum, growing in intensity as one’s meditation deepens until its vibration seems to rumble throughout the body. To listen to AUM is an advanced yoga technique, and one properly received in person from a qualified instructor.
…To repeat AUM truly is not merely to repeat it with the voice or the lips, but to merge in the actual sound itself. One hears it first in the right ear, then in both ears, then gradually throughout the body. As the devotee absorbs himself in that sound, he gradually realizes that his little body is only a little vibration of the great vibration of AUM, expanding to infinity. When he attains oneness with that Cosmic Vibration, he enters what is called AUM samadhi. He then perceives all manifested Creation as consisting of the innumerable vibrations of Cosmic AUM.
The Aum technique is one of the best ways to overcome ego consciousness. This is because the best way to overcome ego-consciousness — the main obstacle to spiritual enlightenment — is to expand one’s consciousness beyond the confines of the body. This is accomplished by listening to and merging into the cosmic vibration of AUM.
Through meditation on the inner sound of AUM, one gains the power to overcome all obstacles and to realize his oneness with the inner Self. Paramhansa Yogananda said, “When you are in AUM, nothing can touch you.”