“Lama Govinda tells us in his Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism” “the sound values of om and their symbolic interpretation (in the Upanishads) are described in the following manner: O is a combination of “A” and “U”, the whole syllable…consists of three elements… A-U-M. Since om is the expression of the highest faculty of consciousness, these three elements are explained accordingly as three planes of consciousness: “A” as the waking consciousness, “U” as the dream-consciousness, and “M” as the consciousness during deep sleep. Om as a whole represents the all-encompassing cosmic consciousness on the fourth plane, beyond words and concepts—the consciousness of the fourth dimension.
” When you come to chant om then, believe and know that you are chanting the most sacred syllable of all, one that corresponds to the intimate and holy sound of the cosmos. Believe and know that you are chanting at one and the same time the sound of your own inmost divine consciousness, the “sound” that the entire creation is always resonating to, and the “sound” that the Godhead “makes” when and as it creates reality….
” …When you have spent a few minutes meditating on the sacred significance of om, start slowly to chant it. Use one of the lower notes in your voice register; om should never be chanted too high because chanting it too high diminishes its power. Find and hold a note not too far away from the natural note your speaking voice makes when it is speaking tenderly and raptly.
” Don’t wary the note as you chant om again and again. Try always and sound the om with the same amount of breath and vocal power. You will find if you do that the repetition of the same sonorous pitch and sound will calm your whole being and make it receptive to spiritual joy. It will also encourage a kind of “selflessness” that makes the cosmic dimensions of om more accessible; if you are concentrating even slightly on how you sound or one the “beauty” of the sound, its fully transformatory power will be diluted by your self-consciousness.
“Om (A-U-M) should be chanted in three parts, with equal time given to each part. Traditionally, ah is chanted in the region of the navel, oo in the sternum, and mm in the throat…
“…After each chanted om savor the ringing silence that follows and the marvelously joyful way your whole being resonates to it. At the end of the chanting session, chant four long slow oms; directing your intention to each of the four directions of the universe and saying silently:
By the power of this om may all creatures of the East of me be liberated
By the power of this om may all creatures of the West of me be liberated
By the power of this om may all creatures of the South of me be liberated
By the power of this om may all creatures of the North of me be liberated.
” As the last sacred act of the practice, believe and now that your chanting of om has transformed your entire body, speech, mind, and heart into an om, silently sounding together with the om of the universe and radiating divine light throughout the cosmos. Rest in the great joy and peace that his recognition brings.”
Visit Andrew Harvey’s website at http://andrewharvey.net/