Sat Nam: Truth is Your Identity

Kundalini 101: The Powerful Meaning of Sat Nam
(From Yoga Journal, April 2018. Karen Virginia)

You may have chanted Sat Nam, one the most commonly used mantras in Kundalini Yoga, without realizing its profound meaning and transformative properties. In the ancient Sikh language called Gurmukhi, Sat means truth. Nammeans name. Together, Sat Nam essentially translates into something deeper: “I am truth,” or “Truth is my essence.”

Sat Nam is known as a bija (seed) mantra—a one-syllable sound that activates the chakras. "It is small and potent. Great things grow from it," said Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to the United States in 1968. "If it is not written in your destiny to be with God and know your higher consciousness, this mantra engraves it in your destiny.”

Sat Nam is like a seed that begins to germinate inside of you. The vibration of a mantra shifts us on an atomic level. In particular, the vibration of Sat Nam initiates the journey to selfhood. Individual truth and universal truth become one and the same.

Sat Nam is about expressing your true identity, not only for the benefit of yourself but also for others. No one else can express the exact combination of frequencies that you do. You are connected to all there is—the vast universal truth. In an infinite universe, you are unique. For the universe to be complete, your vibration is needed.

How Sat Nam Inspires Bravery: Selfhood starts with courage. It requires saying yes to your own truth. And often that “yes” is at odds with your family, with your social surroundings, and with the status quo. If you are reading these words, chances are that you are being called to do more than live the status quo. You are feeling called to make a difference. When you chant Sat Nam, you are using the power of the spoken word, and you can begin to feel very unsettled by living in any other way but in your absolute truth. Speaking and living truth takes courage, but feeling your truth and repressing it is where the real threat is. When you chant Sat Nam from the heart, you break through fear in the mind.
Two Ways to Practice Sat Nam Right Now
Sat Nam is a universal mantra that can be practiced no matter what your belief systems are.

1. Seated Meditation
Find a comfortable seat that allows for a long spine. To chant Sat Nam, imagine sound current vibrating at the very base of your spine. Visualize the vibration of Saaah rising up through the spine activating the frequency of each chakra as it ascends. When the sound comes to the very top of your head—the thousand-petaled lotus—close the first syllable with the t sound, as though kissing your upper palate with the tip of your tongue. On the second syllable, Naam, feel the sound current extending into the energy field surrounding your body.

2. Walking Meditation
When my mind feels overwhelmed with external stimulation or the ideas or opinions of others, I take a walk outside and meditate on Sat Nam. As I take a step forward with my right foot, I silently say Sat and with my left foot Nam. Committing to the practice for 20 minutes brings me back to my own inner truth. The true teacher lives within you, and, at this time in the world, if you rely on the perceptions of others, you may find yourself feeling disappointed and powerless.
Truth is your name.

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chakras © 1997 Wholistic Creations