Ayurveda Day 45: The Chakras pt. 2 – Om

Om.

What is Om?

Perhaps it conjurs an image in your mind of a yogi sitting, legs crossed, hands on his legs, palms turned upwards, chanting. Perhaps you imagine a room full of people all chanting it together. Perhaps you think its a bit silly or odd. Perhaps you think it is beautiful and pleasant.

But what is the point of Om? Why do we say it? What does it mean?

Om is said to be the sound of creation. When the universe began, the vibration made the sound Om. Om doesn’t necessarily mean anything specific or have a definition the way that words do. Often when we say words, we have meanings attached to them. I say the word “tree” and ten people will all have different definitions. But Om is just simply a vibrational frequency, and is in fact the vibrational frequency. When used properly in meditation, it can balance all the chakras.

In fact, all 7 chakras have their own sound associated with them. And just as we use diet and lifestyle to heal the physical body, we can use mantras to align the chakras and the subtle body. A mantra is quite simply medicine. Om is medicine. Whereas the individual mantras for each chakra are specific, Om is the only one that can be used for all 7 (if done correctly).

But how is it medicine?

Ayurveda says that the primordial cause of disease is forgetting our nature as spirit – in other words, being convinced that we are separate and that all things are separate. We think that we are parts of the whole when in fact we are the whole and the parts are the illusion. When we take the illusion of time out of the equation, time is happening all at once. If all things were whole at the beginning, then we can access that space before time even existed. By chanting Om, we are connecting to that beginning, that spark of creation, and getting a brief glimpse of the symmetry of all things right before they separated.

Like many things in life, sometimes you just have to try it for yourself. When chanting Om, even silently in my mind, I can feel the way it moves through my body. A vibration, like a shiver, that clears and settles my thoughts. By repeating Om, I am present only with it and it’s effect. I am not thinking of this or that. I am simply being in the moment. It is said that if you are living in the past or the future you are in a Rajasic or Tamasic state. If you live in the moment, you are Sattwic, enlightened.

What is Om?

Om is the way to clearing the mind of all disturbances so that you may be in the present moment and achieve union.

I like Om because it doesn’t have so much attached to it. It’s not complicated like a prayer or our self-talk. It’s just a sound. An expansive and connected sound. Om simultaneously means nothing and everything. You don’t need to be religious to say it. You don’t need to be Hindu. You don’t need to be anything. It’s the sound of all things.

So to teach you good health, I say to you quite simply:

Om.

With gratitude,

S

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