By Ed Staskus
Om can be whatever you want it to be, since it represents the past, present, and future. It is both a symbol and a sound. It is omega, omniscient, and omnipresent, all words that start with Om. It’s the same as omelet, all your eggs and veggies on one plate.
Nobody knows exactly how old Om is, although everyone agrees it is along in years. It’s the sound that was never new and never gets old. It is sustainable energy that thrives and survives.
It’s the sign next to the door that says “Inquire Within”.
“In the beginning was the Word.”
Except in the beginning was the vibration.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration,” said Nikola Tesla, best known for spearheading the design of today’s electrical supply systems.
String Theory, a kind of theory of everything, says matter is made of small wriggling bits of energy that look like strings. It’s the vibration of life. It’s what ties it all together.
“All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together,” said Max Planck, who discovered energy quanta and won the Nobel Prize for it in 1918.
We are all electromagnetic fields, our own little solar systems. Just like the Big Bang. The big paradox about the Big Bang has always been the chicken or the egg question. It’s the same with Om. Do we make vibrations when we chant, or do the vibrations of our chanting make us, or does it matter?
Someone once asked their yoga teacher how long it would take to gain enlightenment if they practiced Om faithfully.
“Ten years,” said the teacher.
“How about if I really work at it and double my efforts?”
It might take ten minutes to chant Om 108 times. At that rate you’ve got the rest of your life. Or, at least, you’ve got right now.
Why chant Om 108 times? Because 1 represents one thing, zero represents nothing, and 8 represents infinity. It’s the whole ball of wax wrapped up in one package, bound up by a red string.
Om is like getting a big bright box with a bow on it for your birthday. You open the box and find out it is empty inside.
“Aha!” you say. “Just what I wanted.”
It’s got that old time religion, the hand on the plow. It’s got the flow, the vibe. There’s no lip-synching it. It doesn’t even have to do anything, just be in the room. When you’re chanting there’s suddenly more air in the air, like you’re at the seashore, back before the Machine Age, back before the air got sucked out of everything.
“We know that all things in the world are electric forces at their root,” said Swami Krishnananda. “Every object is an electromagnetic field. Om is a vibration. The whole world is made of subtle vibrations. Everything in the world is made of energy. When we chant Om we are generating energy.”
Om is energy breath life. The basic building blocks of everything are strings particles atoms molecules. Prana is life sustaining life-force lifetrons. Om gets your lifetrons moving up and down your spine. When the energy gets to the top of your head, you get perception discernment awareness.
It puts you in the groove. It’s the sound that puts you in tune with the old, but that keeps you young. It’s the virgin spring and the end of time. When you chant Om 108 times you’re on the road back to the Big Bang and looking ahead to the Big Kablooey.
The distance between the earth and the sun is about 108 times the sun’s diameter. The diameter of the sun is about 108 times the earth’s diameter The distance between the earth and the moon is 108 times the moon’s diameter.
There are no coincidences, unless you believe every single moment is a coincidence. It is no coincidence Om is the Tibetan Hum, the Muslim Amin, and the Jewish Protestant Catholic Amen. Om is the seed mantra, long before there were forks in the road.
Om is a one-syllable word made up of three syllables. It’s the three-in-one lunchbox. It’s like the Holy Trinity, except you don’t have to worship it, just do it.
Awe, when it vibrates in your belly. Ooo, when it vibrates in your chest. Mmm when it vibrates in your mind. Say it loud and say it proud. There’s a fourth syllable, the sound of silence at the end, but that’s just merging into nothingness. It’s the sound of the universe.
The Om frequency has been likened to the sound of the sun as recorded by NASA several years ago. It took NASA 40 days and 40 nights to do it. 432 Hz is the sound of nature, of the earth, of everything. Let the sunshine in. It’s better than being lost in the dark, lost in space.
The rhythmic pronunciation of Om slows down the nervous system and focuses the mind on one thing, slowing down, getting meditative, concentrating energy in one place. Chanting Om means being fully present. Be here now is one of the eight limbs of yoga.
Meditation is not concentration, but concentration is meditation.
Om may have only one lyric, but it’s the chart-busting song of all time, the ‘Rock of Ages’ without the blood and judgment.
“If you give it good concentration, good energy, good heart and good performance, the song will play you,” said the Band’s Levon Helm.
Om gets best when the sound goes down, from out loud to an undertone to stillness to the void, as silent as a sunbeam.
You are what you think. That is the basic principle of existentialism. When you chant Om you find out who you are. Om is home sweet home. It’s getting back to where you came from. It’s the sign in the front yard that says you’re on the right track.
“If you lived here you’d be Om now,” is what the sign says.
Ed Staskus posts stories on 147 Stanley Street http://www.147stanleystreet.com and Cleveland Ohio Daybook http://www.clevelandohiodaybook.com. To get the site’s monthly feature in your in-box click on “Follow.”