Singing OM Breath
Welcome to the tenth and final lesson of the breathing course.
Did you know that in Buddhism, it’s believed that meditation on the breath was Buddha’s main spiritual discipline practiced to gain his state of enlightenment? He explained to his students, “I have gained nothing from meditation on my breath; but let me tell you what I have lost. I have lost my fear of sickness, I have lost my fear of old age, and I have lost my fear of death.”
Today, we are going to use our breath to create a resounding noise and vibration through what is known as the sacred sound, OM.
What Makes This Sound Sacred in Many Traditions?
According to The Miracle of the Breath by Andy Caponigro, science reveals that sound is the first sense to come to a fetus in the womb and the last sense to go in death.
In the Eastern tradition, sound carries a spiritual weight more meaningful than other sensory properties like smell, taste, and touch. Using sound to connect to a higher state of consciousness is a common practice of most spiritual traditions. OM is the soul of your breath and the root of all mantra—a single-syllable seed mantra that is believed to contain primordial energy, as a seed contains a tree. Hindus say aum, Muslims say amin, and Christians say amen.
Also, there is Nada Yoga, a philosophy that the entire cosmos and all that exists in the cosmos, including human beings, consists of sound vibrations. This concept holds that it is sound energy in motion, rather than matter and particles, that forms the building blocks of the cosmos. “Nada” means flow of sound and “Yoga” means Union. Therefore, Nada Yoga is believed to be the process of the union of the individual mind with cosmic consciousness through the flow of sounds. There is a belief that on the path of Nada Yoga, the body is healed, the mind recovers its balance, and the person develops a deep sense of well-being.
So, throughout your day, if you’re looking for a short exercise to clear your mind, simply chant one to three OMs aloud.
How to OM (AUM)
As the full range of the mouth is used, AUM (OM) seeks to cover the entire spectrum of human sound. The three syllables should be pronounced equally.
Sit in a easy sitting position. Close your eyes and relax.
Inhale slowly and deeply through both nostrils. On the exhale, chant the sound of the three-part OM mantra.
Open your mouth wide to start the “Ahh” sound at the back of the mouth. This part of the OM reminds me of getting a physical, when the physician inspects my tonsils with a tongue depressor.
As the sound spreads and resonates through your mouth, throat, and chest, it transitions to a powerful “ooh” sound throughout your entire body.
Finally, close your lips and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, creating the “mmm” sound, toward the end of your exhalation.
Pause at the very end of your breath and then take a slow, long inhale.
Repeat two more times.
When you’re ready to move on with your day, direct your attention back to your body and breath. Move your fingers and toes to bring your mind back to your body, and open your eyes.
Congratulations! You have the knowledge to attain more energy, heat your body, cool your body, calm your nerves, relieve headaches, rejuvenate your digestive system, clear your mind, cleanse your lungs, increase concentration, and release built-up tension.
I hope you enjoyed this course about breathing techniques. Now you have an idea of how to use this incredible tool of your breath to your advantage in any situation. Breathing consciously doesn’t require any special equipment, except your own precious body.
Enjoy your breathing practices!
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