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Have you ever come home from a particularly long day, fell into a chair and let out a long ahhh...? Or perhaps you've been trying to figure out a particular problem for hours, or even days, when suddenly the answer pops into your mind out of nowhere, and you

instinctively make the sound of ahhh, as if to say, ' Of course that's it! Now I understand?'

It's no coincidence then, that the sound of Ah is also considered to be one of the most powerful sounds (mantras) that we can repeat during meditation, either by chanting it out loud, or repeating it internally (or doing both). Along with Om and Hung (Hum), Ah is a seed mantra which is known to have the power to settle the mind down quickly, and bring us to rest in our essential nature as Awareness. If you doubt this, why not try it right now?

Close your eyes and take three refreshing breaths, and on your out-breath, internally repeat the sound of Ah. What you will find is that repeating the sound brings a calm focus to the breath, along with a very relaxed awareness of the present moment. Why not make it a part of your daily meditation for a few weeks and see what happens? If you need further inspiration to practice this mantra, here is a teaching from the great Dzochen Buddhist Master, Sangye Nyamjor, who lived a long time ago, and knew a thing or two about what this great mantra can do for you:

The Ah Mantra

The perfected Buddhas arise from Ah.

This Ah is the most sublime of all the letters.

The Ah can conquer all samsaric and nirvanic states.

The Ah is like the mother; giving birth to everything.

The Ah is like the father; all-creating; magical.

The Ah is the tantras of the Ati Yoga.

The Ah is the tantras of the Chitri Yoga.

Arising from within, the Ah is non-arising.

The Ah is the ultimate of every utterance.

Self-exisitng, Ah transcends arising.

Knowing One, the Ah can liberate in everything.

Everything, without exception, is perfected in the Ah.

Nothing in itself, the self-existing Ah appears in every way.

Samsara, nirvana and the path are all mastered in the Ah.

Sangye Nyampor

(Thank you to Kurt Sparkhul for sending me these powerful words).

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