By: Stephanie Miller
“Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.” When I Om, I feel that I’m able to pray and meditate at the same time.” -Reverend Diane Robinson
It is said in Hindu mythology Brahma (the creator) had a thought, “I am one, but may I become many?” This thought created a vibration that developed into a sound. The sound was OM. From this sound everything in the universe was created. This sound is also called pranava: that which moves through the breath and sustains life.
The Bible begins its description of Creation with the sentence, “God’s breath moved upon the waters.” Prana is God’s breath. This exchange is so beautiful; through Prana (God’s breath), we chant to creation and to life (past, present, and future). Barriers dissolve and we feel this deep sense of oneness. Chanting OM both internally or externally unifies us as a whole and reminds us that we’re not alone.
OM is our direct link to the eternal, all pervading energy within and all around us. We become both a participant in and a recipient of divine energy.
OM embodies three main characteristics; creation, preservation, and liberation. It has four syllables and is pronounced Ahhh-Uuuuu-Mmmm. The Ahh sound connects us to our physical body and the world around us. It is our material identity and considered the waking state. The Uuu sound brings us into our subtle energy body. This is known as the dreaming state. The Mmm sound brings us beyond mind, energy, form, and identity. It brings us to the causal realm or sleeping state. The final sound is silent. It feels like time and space just stop. This is where we absorb the vibration of the sound, digest it’s healing, and feel a connection to the entire universe.
While chanting A-U-M feel the ‘Ahh’ sound at the solar plexus sending energy up, feel the ‘uuu’ sound resonating in your chest and moving up into your throat, feel the ‘Mmm’ sound at the lips activating energy in the frontal lobe. Chanting OM has profound affects on the physical body as well. We trick the body into exhaling longer (creating more space for a deeper inhale). The vibration also calms the nervous system relieving feelings of anxiousness and stress. When we calm the body, we create space in the mind and can listen more closely to the ‘unstruck’ sound (the purity and silence) of the heart. This state of pure consciousness reminds us of who we truly are.