In the beginning was the word, and the word was “Aum/Om”. It created a vibratory thunder of life in the cosmos. Amen: and so it is in creation. The cosmic, primordial sound resonates throughout space and time. A silence follows as it reverberates in the ethers. The word travels in waves and creates all form. As the number three is recognized for the trinity, it unifies universal intelligence.
Once we bring union to our mind, body and spirit, we unify with the divine. You know; “Where there’s two or more gathered in my name…”. Applied to the cosmos, this is Brahma. This principal applies to the self as well as the collective consciousness. When it applies to the self, this unifying principal is yoga.
Aum/Om represents the vibrational trinity of creation, preservation, and liberation. It is also expressed in terms of creation, preservation and destruction. The acronym is expressed as follows:
A = Creation – waking state
U = Sustenance – dream state and consciousness of thought for manifestation
M = Destruction – dissolution of the ego and union with the divine
Ancient Kemetians practiced yoga and knew the importance of sound waves. Most know by now that it was sound frequency and harmonics used to build ancient Kemet. I have yet to experience the acoustics so many people emphasized in the temples they’ve visited. The ancients recognized this practice of harmonics as “toning”; similar to “tuning”.
“Aum/Om” pronounced properly, includes all vowels, and sends vibratory energy from the crown chakra to the root. The letter “M” was once considered a vowel, and creates the heaviest vibration. Many vocalists use the concept of vowel unification for vocal exercises, using the standard list of vowels. The “oo” sound is used for the letter “u”.
Chanting the word “Aum/Om” clears dense, or negative energy from your surroundings. It also clears the mind as vibration fills the body. In Hindu culture, the lesson is to recite “Aum/Om” 108 times to signify oneness, zero point, and the infinite. It reduces to ‘9’ which is completion.
Internally, chanting stimulates the vagus nerve, which is responsible for the electrical activity of the brain. It operates the parasympathetic nervous system and some critical involuntary responses such as breathing and digestion. We can stimulate the vagus nerve vocally or manually for its numerous benefits. Vagas nerve stimulation (VNS) relaxes the mind as it reverses fight or flight responses, and reduces heart rate, inflammation, and pain.
Countless clinical studies have been performed and confirm the benefits of meditation and chanting. The vibration produced by the sound of ‘Aum/Om’ soothes anxiety and depression as well as so many other imbalances.
Imbalances in the body simply signifies disharmony, which leads to disease. Like the musician tunes his/her instrument, your body is your instrument and must be kept in tune. Studies are now proving the relationship of music to healing. As it turns out, music runs alongside opioids for pain management in its effectiveness.
This was proven in several post operative procedures such as heart surgery. Although it does not substitute the need for opioids, it’s a good supplement and accelerates healing. ‘Aum/Om’ resonates at a frequency of 136.1 hertz. As long as it hovers around 432 Hertz, music is healing.
The vibration of “Aum/Om” doesn’t require a meditation session to be beneficial. Any hum-a-long, sing-a-long can generate the benefits of this mantra. Simply making the “Mmm” sound produces vibration throughout the body, especially the heart. It doesn’t cost a thing, and soothes discomfort. The sound made by “S” does the same.
During labor, the “S” sound is encouraged in rapid succession to ease the pain of childbirth. Although words like ‘Omega, Amen, Amin, and Ase’ complete our thoughts and prayers, it is the sound of “M” at the end of words like ‘Shalom’, ‘Hum’, and ‘Aum/Om’ that produce the reverb needed to project energy further through the nostrils.
Some say ‘Aum/Om’ is the energy that travels behind the sun, or the cosmos in its entirety. Others call it the ‘Atman’ (self within). Despite the different ways we recognize this vibration in various cultures, it takes us to a place of unification. The ancients called this state of consciousness ma’at, zen, nirvana and perhaps other names I have yet to learn.
In conclusion, I certainly hope I’ve dropped what you consider gems for your treasure chest. Now you can choose your zen spot, and recite this mantra a few times although, 108 is recommended. Even a few however, will change your mindset. While you’re musing and sighing in the land of ‘ahhh’. I’ve done my part so I’m following De La Soul and Redman back to the land of “Ooh” Baby. Ase’, Ase’, Ase’.
Sheila T. Zimmerman ‘22
CCA Staff. (1, jul 2017). “Ayerveda Yoga, and the Meaning of Om, Aum,, Amen, Amin,, and Hum”.
https://www.ayurvedacollege.com/blog/ayurveda-yoga-and-meaning-om-aum-amen-amin-hum/. Accessed July 3, 2022.
De La Soul (feat. Redman). (2000). “Ooh”. Tommy Boy Records.
Pfefferie, E. (n.d.). “What Do Om Vibrations Do For Us In Yoga”.
https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/om-vibrations-yoga-1682.html. Accessed July 2, 2022
Kalyani BG, Venkatasubramanian G, Arasappa R, et. al,. “Neurohemodynamic correlates of ‘OM’ chanting: A pilot functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Int J Yoga. 2011 Jan;4(1):3-6. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.78171. PMID: 21654968; PMCID: PMC3099099.
Voss, J., Good, M., Yates, B.; et., al. “Sedative music reduces anxiety and pain during chair rest after open heart surgery”.
Zimmerman, R. (2, May 2013). “Say Om: Researchers Find Gene Action After Relaxation Pracatice”. https://www.wbur.org/news/2013/05/02/genes-altered-after-relaxation-practice