Answer by Chris Peters:
Forget the philosophy, find out for yourself! Chant it correctly and you’ll instantly understand why every religion in the world uses the word (yes, even Christianity, more on that in a minute). Even atheists would find OM interesting as the sound has a very clear, physiological affect on the body.
- First, know that OM is actually 3 sounds, Aaaaa, Uuuuu, and Mmmmm.
- Aaaaa is chanted with the mouth wide open. You don’t need to intentionally focus on making the vowel sound. Just open wide and the Aaaaa comes out naturally, like opening your mouth for the doctor.
- Uuuuu is chanted by forming a circle with your mouth. Again, don’t try to make a specific sound, just form the circle with your mouth and the sound happens naturally.
- Mmmmm is just that, making a sound with your mouth closed. Kinda like a bumblebee.
- Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. If your mind is super-chatty, try taking 10 deep breaths first. Then chant the 3 sounds, Aaaaa, Uuuuu, Mmmmm separately, with a silent pause in between. You should feel the Aaaaa vibrate in your belly, Uuuuu vibrate in your chest, and Mmmmm vibrate your head. Don’t force the vibration, it happens naturally.
- Then combine the 3 sounds. Just start out with the mouth wide open, Aaaaa, and slowly close it to Uuuuu and finally completely closed to Mmmmm. One smooth, slow motion of your mouth from wide open to closed. You should feel a vibration start in your belly and move up your spine as your mouth closes.
- Repeat the sound 3 times and then notice how your environment sounds afterwards. Most people experience a distinct stillness in the air. Did you contact heaven or just settle your mind? Who knows? Who cares! It just works.
Most of the world’s major religions have a slight variation on OM. In Christianity, it is AMen; in Islam it is AMin, and in Judaism it is ShalOM. Buddhism uses plain old OM.