Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why do we "aummmmmm" ??

Ello all!

Tonight I am especially reminded about the three parts of all things, because today has had so many fresh beginnings and closures in it - new teaching prospects, my boyfriend's new career shift, my best friend beginning her new life in a new city. I am reminded about the sound of Aum.

The first time I ever heard the word "aum," I asked my friend, "what does it mean?" He told me, "it is the sound of the entire universe. it's said to hold every sound of every thing in it." This was remarkable to me, unfathomable even.

The first time I was taught to chant the sound of Aum, my teacher taught it in three parts, one for each sanskrit syllable: the beginning, middle and end. Each part resonated with a different vibration that I have heard corresponds to certain chakras (A with first 3, U with next 2 and M with top 2) and helps to facilitate clearing them.

This 3 part idea about Aum is widespread and comes with many fantastic symbols.

A = beginning, birth,creation, Brahma
U= middle, life, preservation, Vishnu
M= end, death, destruction, Shiva

A syllable is pronounced like the a in "mama"
U syllable is pronounced like the "oo" in "who"
M syllable is pronounced like "ma" but with proper diction sounds more like "ng" with the tip of the tongue pressing off of the palate

Often you will find teachers closing, opening, or otherwise sealing a class by leading everyone through a single [or triple] chant of the sound of "aum." This is symbolic! It represents an offering up of one's practice to a higher vibration, to the macrocosm, to the greater yogic community, to send a collective and intentional vibration through the chakra system and 'seal' in the benefits of the practice, to meditate on the 3 phases of all things...

That is why yogis aum, among other reasons [like: it feels good to make sound! and... harmonizing is cool!]

So in the spirit of the all encompassing sound of Aum I ask you, dear readers:
What is beginning in your life?
What is being maintained?
And what is coming to an end?

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