The powerful sound of ॐ is commonly written in English Om and what I want to inspire you to do is change the spelling. This is why.
Chanting the sound ॐ AUM has long been practiced as the bridge from struck to un-struck sound. It is a journey that takes us to the other side of our being. Some regard this sound as the vibration of the universe, others the sound of creation, and many the sonic essence of the divine.
In the language of Sanskrit the sound ॐ AUM is known as the Anahata Nada अनाहत नाद which literally translates to un-struck sound. This makes sense because though we can hear a heart beat, can we really hear the sound of an open heart — one that is giving forth unconditional love?
Audible sound is made when two things strike together thus creating vibration in the atmosphere. The two things could be a hand on a drum, rain upon the ground, two sticks clicking together, or the vibration of your two vocal chords. When sound is made without two things striking it is the sound of pure primal energy.
Chanting the complete sound of ॐ AUM takes you through the three states of consciousness; awareness, dream and void to the forth state which is pure bliss. The vibration of this sound fills you and all that is around you with positive energy. Think of the pronunciation of this magical word as a journey through yourself. Enjoy each phase of the sound as it flows from you. By chanting ॐ AUM you can experience all of your voice as an instrument for awakening. I invite you to join me and give it a try the way I do it.
To warm up, begin with the sound Ah as you inhale, allowing your throat to open effortlessly. Then lightly release the same sound of Ah as you exhale. This is going to give you a sense of relaxing and experiencing a true sense of well-being, feeling that everything is right in the world. You might find that this dispels stale air from the bottoms of the lungs and induces a yawn.
Next, take a second even deeper breath than the previous — this time through your nose. Exhale with a very long sound of Ah — as in mama. A third time take an even deeper breath in through your nose and as you exhale begin on a comfortable high note in the upper range of your voice and let the sound fill your entire being as you sail down through the notes of your voice releasing the air in an even longer sound of Ah as you end on a very deep tone.
Now you are ready to create the sound of ॐ AUM and go on the journey of this bija mantra बीज मन्त्र or seed sound.
To create the entire sound of ॐ AUM we will first begin with the separate sounds — one at a time — within the sound. This helps you to become familiar with each of them and to experience them in your body. Practice the next three sounds separately at first and then you can try stringing them together. I invite you to begin each time with a deep long inhalation through your nose. Just as we did before in the warm up, let the sound Ah come out your mouth as the air expels from your lungs. Creating the sound Ah awakens consciousness, logic, reason and matter. It vibrates in Muladhara Chakra मूलाधार चक्र the Root Chakra at the base of your body.
Next, shift your sound to Oo — as in glue — taking the sound to the back of your mouth and moving you into the dream realm. This activates the torso and along with it the chakras that are anchored there. It is a place where matter becomes fluid and changes swiftly, imagination, divinities and the inner world awaken with the sound Oo.
Continue with the next sound of Mm. It is a humming sound with lips gently closed. Mm buzzes in the front of your mouth and you can even feel it in your nose. Mm starts to relax you and invites you into a meditative place of pure nothingness in the unseen void as it gives vital energy to the upper parts of your physical body.
After you practice each sound a few times try linking them together in one breath beginning with a very long and deep inhalation. As you create each of the sounds notice your lips and mouth changing shape and follow the sounds through your awareness of physical body and emotions.
When chanting the sound ॐ AUM you are inevitably going to experience the un-struck sound — though not with your ears. Close your eyes and take inventory of how you feel through your five senses in the body and notice what you are experiencing emotionally. Ask yourself what is shifting..
Now the idea of spelling ॐ A-U-M should become clearer. Yes, I used Oo to describe the U of AUM earlier but that was to make it easy for you to grasp.
Within the sound of ॐ AUM is the vibration of the true self. It is the sound of being and infinite space. The moment when there is no more sound and you are experiencing silence just after chanting the sound ॐ AUM, is the place of pure bliss. Use this sound to visit this sensation over and over again to take yourself to the truth of what you truly are and to spread love and compassion to all sentient beings.
The image I used here is one of my drawings of a Shri Yantra श्री यन्त्र which is a mystical diagram consisting of nine interlocking triangles that surround a Bindu बिन्दु which is a central point.