Why ॐ?

ॐ symbol in circle with leaves

ॐ, om, aum

I’ve heard many different interpretations of ॐ (“om” or “aum”), and each religion or group seems to have it’s own slightly different touch on what ॐ signifies, so I will explain it the way I understand it, and the way I feel it relates to this blog.

ॐ is the first sound. It is said that this is the sound of the universe, a sound of the universe vibrating all at this particular frequency. When we focus, such as during yoga meditation, when we tune out all else and simply become present and silent within ourselves, it may be possible to experience this vibration that unites everything in the universe.

My first experience of ॐ was during a yoga class where at the end a guest instructor asked us to chant “om” with her three times at the end, after giving a brief explanation of what it is. My friend and I looked at each other, we’d never been asked to do this in a yoga class before, and previously I had just assumed it was a symbol that western wannabe yogis had appropriated to market their practice and seem authentic. Everyone else started, so we joined in, and all I can say was it was astounding. Having a room full of people all chanting together you no longer heard individual voices, but just this huge vibration that seemed to course through your entire body- like the cartoons show when someone stands too close to a loud gong or bell. This was so powerful. I can’t explain the feeling other than bliss, as cliché as that may be. There was just this overwhelming feeling of belonging and unity between not only the students sitting in this class, but with the outside world and the rest of the universe. It just felt like everything was going to be okay. It felt like peace.

This may all sound very cliché to those who haven’t experienced it, and that is totally cool, I was skeptical too. But after this experience I felt like this was an amazing way of bringing myself into the present and feeling belonging with the world and the rest of the universe. Because of this, I chose “om” for my blog. I sincerely want this to become a loving, nurturing place of belonging for everyone online. From my own personal journey, I know how it feels to feel alone, and I know the absolute joy of finding someone who is having the same issues as you, or who can empathise with what is going on. I think particularly in the West, we are conditioned to this sort of behaviour where we are taught to disengage from our bodies. Instead, we do not treat ourselves with the kindness and love that we deserve and we become ill. Mentally. Physically. Spiritually. I think there is something incredibly powerful about recognising that we are not alone, that we are in solidarity with the rest of humanity, with the rest of the universe and that we all share some basic elements. I think ॐ is the primordial, most uniting thing we share if we choose to listen to it, and I hope that omBlog can become a space to foster that unity and solidarity with other people and with the world around us.

I hope that omBlog will resonate that sound across the internet to remind readers to find peace within themselves and peace with the world and the universe.

K

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