The Mandukya Upanishad states, “Sarvamomkaraeva” – Om contains all forms, all essence, all perception, all meaning and all language. It in corporates three sounds that cover gross, subtle and causal levels of existence and give the practitioner to the fourth state beyond even that. And this highest level of mysticism can be accessed in one very simple, physical act – the chanting of OM.
What does Om mean?
Though more widely recognized as “Om”, it is important to establish that the correct form of this sound-concept is in fact“Aum”. Only with an awareness of this three-part Aum is the practitioner staying true to the Vedic teaching. The first sound, “A” is the primeval sound, pervading all other sounds and referring to the gross level of reality as experienced in the waking state. The “U” sound takes the practitioner to an intermediate state of subtle awareness, as experienced in the dreaming state. The “M” sound raises you to the level of causal reality or deep sleep state, where all objects merge in a state of bliss. After the three sounds, there is silence, represented by the half moon and dot symbol of Aum’s transcription. Thus,Aum chanting leaves you with a silent opening into the transcendent “fourth state” of Yoga philosophy, best known as Turiya.
The Benefits of Chanting Aum.
Aum chanting is a cornerstone of Yoga Therapy for good reason. Selecting tools from the Hatha Yoga system for personalized healing aims, Yoga Therapy includes Aum chanting for its emotional benefits while maintaining the spiritual core of Yoga. As the syllable of highest mystic significance in the Yoga tradition, it gives the practitioner a vibrational tool for enhanced concentration while directing them to the contemplation of Ultimate Reality. It forms a highly beneficial approach to the treatment of psychosomatic conditions, and prepares every practitioner for the act of union that is Yoga’s truest healing value.
As a tool for awareness, Aum chanting holds the key to a number of Yogic practices. It is an excellent preliminary form of pranayama, requiring control of the breath throughout the process of chanting. Practitioners should get in touch with their diaphragm and develop the use of that muscle by pulling air deep into the abdomen instead of gasping with the mouth. Aum chanting performs incredible work on the throat chakra as well as the vocal cords, and you will not fail to notice a new depth and resonance to your voice after just a few repetitions. As the beejamantra for the third eye, Aum activates your higher intelligence through a form of dharana(concentration) that makes use of tangible physical vibrations to focus the mind.
How to practice Aum chanting.
-Get in touch with the three sounds within the AUM by practicing each separately. Produce the “A” sound with an open mouth and feel its vibrations in the abdomen. Close the jaw halfway for the “U” sound while experiencing vibrations in the chest and throat. Bring the lips together completely for the “M” sound as you feel the vibrations travel from the throat to the third eye.
-Combine awareness of the third eye chakra. As your practice develops and the AUM sound becomes fluid, take your awareness to the third eye. Continue to witness the vibrations as they ascend from the abdomen but keep the third eye chakra as your fixed point of concentration. The third eye is the natural destination of AUM, and when you practice with the right intention you are sure to awaken the higher intelligence situated there.
-After the practice, stay in silence witnessing the vibrations. You are likely to feel that a space has opened in the throat and chest area, so take some time to observe the effects, and enjoy.
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