How does Om chanting and Om mantra awareness affect us?
Om is the purest of all mantras. Normally our awareness is limited to our body and the sensations within. When we consciously utter Om mantra, mentally, or verbally, our awareness enters the sound vibration of the mantra. The sound of Om mantra fills our inner body and also expands beyond the outer boundary of our bodies, especially when we chant Om mantra vocally.
As our awareness enters the sound of Om, with the expansion of the sound of the mantra, our awareness expands too, covering the space within the body and also the space surrounding our physical body. In other words, the sound of the Om mantra uttered by us creates a sphere of sound that gradually expands, merges and melts with the infinite. It is for this reason, sounds are also called Shabda-Brahman (sound as the infinite reality) by the ancient Hindu sages. Om is the sound of creation, the sound of the infinite itself.
Now when you chant Om mantra consciously, the sound vibration of the mantra immediately inside and outside of your body creates a so-called sound body. The mind becomes clear and spacious with the expansion of the sound, your awareness also expands, giving you an intuitive taste of transcendence of the limited body and mind. With Om mantra chanting, our awareness can become multidimensional, as we can move within to become mindful of the point where the sound emerges. We can also move without, to feel the sound merging and dissolving in the infinity of the expanding space.
When you are aware of the Om mantra as your sound body, you enter meditation spontaneously. This is the ultimate objective of chanting Om mantra. You need to know the appropriate way of chanting Om that facilitates your awareness to dissolve in the sound. To my students of Om Inner Sun Meditation, I have taught this spontaneous entering in the meditation to thousands, and I have noticed that using this technique, meditation happens effortlessly even for the beginners in meditation. Entering the sound of Om, you are liberated from the mundane existence, and you cannot maintain a sense of separateness, between self and others, between you and your environment, between your heart and the heart of the Existence. With group chanting of Om, this sense of losing separateness becomes more evident, as all the sounds enter each other, merge and expand towards the infinite.
Gradually, the mantra shifts your point of reference from a physical being to a sound-being, from being a separate body hovering in space to being the space itself, which contains everything. You can experience Om mantra at the micro level within your body, within the throbbing of your heart, or at a deeper level within the space in which quarks dance and dissolve, creating an infinite variety of patterns in your body, mind and the Universe. You can also shift your awareness to the macro level of existence and experience Om as your infinite being, as the space in which the stars and the galaxies have their being and dance in celebration of the grand Cosmic play.
Note: Copyrighted material: Excerpt From the book Om Meditation by Banani Ray