(Transformation Outside the Box, Therapeutic Applications of Meditation and Yoga, a presentation before the Academy of Addictions Treatment Professionals (AATP) by Shabad Kaur Khalsa, August 2, 2002, MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, Illinois.)

Posture: Sit in easy pose or in a chair with a straight spine.

Breath: Breath will come naturally while chanting the mantra.

Focus: Eyes are closed and focused at the third-eye point.

Mantra: Sat Nam.

Mudra: Place the hands in prayer pose at the heart center. Inhale deeply and chant “Sat” as you move the hands straight up and then describe a circle outward; chant “Nam” as your hands return to prayer pose at the heart center.

Time: Chant this mantra in an 8:1 ratio; 8 beats on “Sat,” 1 beat on “Nam.”

End: At the end, inhale deeply, hold for ten seconds, feeling the mantra reverberate in every cell of your body. Exhale and relax.

Comments & Benefits: Sat Nam is the most widely used mantra in the practice of Kundalini Yoga. “Sat” means “truth.” “Nam” means “identity,” or to call on the truth, expressing the reality of existence. The vibration of Sat Nam creates what it names. Thus, “Sat Nam” means, “truth is my identity.” It can also mean, “The essence of God is within me.”

Sat Nam is a “bij” or “seed” mantra. Bij mantras such as Sat Nam are the only sounds which can totally rearrange the habit patterns of the subconscious mind.

Yogi Bhajan has said that chanting this mantra “awakens the soul” and more simply means, “really.” The mantra Sat Nam can be used to smooth out and balance mental energy.

When opening the hands from prayer pose at the heart center into a circle you can think about clearing your aura of all negativity; or you might think of the metaphor of the “Tree of Wisdom” growing and blooming open from the seed.