Puff ’n’ Om
Om (or aum) is an ancient Eastern chant, mantra, incantation. The sound is said to consist of three different phonemes (“a,” “u,” “m”) and to symbolize birth, life, and death. First, try an “om” sound. Inhale, pause, and exhale with an “om.” Practice this for a minute or two. Now, light a cigarette, inhale, and exhale an “om” (along with the cigarette smoke). Lean into it: in, smoke; out, “om.”
Try to remember to do this throughout the day: each time you smoke, try at least one “om” per cigarette. At some point today, try to “puff ’n’ om” an entire cigarette from beginning to end. As you puff ’n’ om, meditate on the birth, life, and death of this smoking habit. There was a time in the past when you began smoking; the habit was born. You are still smoking, and the habit is still alive. But just as your lungs empty out the tobacco smoke to their own hum, you know that your mind is beginning to wave a final good-bye to the smoking habit. So, as you “om” out yet another cloud of unknowing, know this: habits, just like everything else, have a life cycle. Puff and hum for a while as you witness this habit dissolve in the presence of your mind. And, of course, enjoy the sound of your lungs!
Adapted from Smoke-Free Smoke Break (Pavel Somov, Ph.D. & Marla Somova, Ph.D., New Harbinger Publications, 2012)
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