Learn the 3 Basic Secrets of Om Chanting
Om Chanting removes Distractions
Om chanting is one of the most ancient spiritual practices on earth. Om, also called AUM, is the purest of all mantras. It is not without a reason that humans are carrying on the practice of Om chanting from the yore to the modern digital age.
Om chanting can make the mind calm and balanced. Normally our awareness is scattered to our external world of forms and phenomena. Besides daily activities, modern human life has thousand sources of distractions like the social media, emails and apps notifications, and what not. We almost always live in our mental world of our thoughts, memories, hopes, aspirations and desires. The soothing sound of Om can immediately bring the mind back to the present moment.
When we consciously do the Om chanting, mentally, or vocally, 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 the Om mantra vocally.
Om Chanting Expands the Consciousness
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 that Vedic sages called the sounds ‘Shabda-Brahman’, meaning, Sounds – the infinite consciousness. Om is the sound of creation, the sound of the Infinite Existence itself.
Now when you chant Om mantra consciously, the sound vibration of the mantra immediately resounding 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 and merges with Om, giving you an intuitive taste of transcendence of the limited body and mind.
With the Om mantra chanting, our awareness can become multidimensional, as we can move within us 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 Thousand Suns Deep Meditation, I have taught this spontaneous entering in the meditation to many. Using this technique, meditation happens effortlessly even for the beginners in meditation.
Entering the sound of Om in a group chanting session, 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. It is an experience worth remembering.
How to Chant Om – The Secret
Normally, most people chant Om with little or no awareness to where the sound comes from, and where it is going. This type of mechanical chanting has very little benefits compared to aware, deliberate chanting – chanting with the awareness of the effect of the sound vibration on your body and breath.
There are several methods of Om Chanting. Om or Aum can be chanted vocally, in a loud voice, in an inaudible voice, mentally, with your breath, or in the witness mode. Each an every method has its own benefits. We have elaborated it elsewhere.
You can experience Om mantra at the micro level within your body, in the rhythm of your breath, 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.
1. Vocal Om Chanting:
Vocal Om Chanting is called ‘Vaikhari’ in Sanskrit. The word ‘Vaikhari’ means flowering. Visualize a tree bursting in to hundreds of beautiful flowers. When you chant ‘Om’ or ‘Aum’ loudly, each and every utterance of ‘Om’ blossoms like a beautiful flower. Utter the sound as A–U—M—M–M–M–M; or, O–O–O–O–O—M—M—M–M…
Notice that in the beginning, the sound is coming from your navel area, from the Solar plexus chakra, also called the ‘Manipura’ chakra. In the middle of the utterance the sound vibration of Om travels through your Heart Chakra, also called the Anahata Chakra.
In the end, the sound vibration of Om reaches the Third Eye Chakra, also called the Ajnya Chakra. After that the sound vibration becomes very subtle, passing upwards and called the waves, or ‘Kala’ in Sanskrit. When it crosses the Crown Chakra it is called the point or the ‘Bindu’, just before disappearing into silence.
2. Inaudible or Middle Way Om Chanting
When you chant Om in such a way that the sound almost dissolves in the sound of breath, it is called ‘Middle Way Om Chanting’, or the Madhyama, in Sanskrit.
What is the ‘Middle Way’? It is just in between loud and clear Om chanting and purely mental Om chanting. You chant Om or Aum in such a way that no one can hear it, but you make the movements of your vocal cords, lips and tongue the usual way you utter the sound.
When you chant Om, in this way, become aware of the movement of that inaudible sound energy from your navel or Manipura chakra to upwards towards the crown. In the inaudible form, this sound energy is more potent and powerful to bring change in your psyche than the audible sound.
3. Mental Chanting
In this way, you chant Om or Aum mentally, without moving your vocal cords, tongue or lips. This type of chanting is called ‘Manas japam’ or mental chanting. In the beginning, there is an effort to chant Om mentally.
You chant Om, mentally, and listen to the sound vibration. However, as the practice ripens, it becomes more refined. You no longer make any effort to chant. You, as if, hear your breath chanting ‘Om’. It is a very powerful state, which can even continue when you sleep.
Transcendental or Para Stage:
Even beyond the stage of silent Om Chanting, there comes a time when the sound becomes light. It is a very blissful state of pure silence.
Gradually, with practice, your awareness can be shifted to the macro level of existence when you can 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.
The Transcendental Awareness
Gradually, the Om mantra shifts your point of reference from a physical or bodily being to a voice-being, having a sound body. Om meditation transforms you from being a separate body hovering in space to being the space itself, which contains everything.
Note: Copyrighted material: Excerpt From the book Meditation Walking the Path of Peace: A Guidebook for Stress Free Living by Banani Ray