not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Workshop #3 was om-mazaing! Thanks to everyone who came out! 

Everything that exists in the physical,mental, emotional and spiritual realms does so on a vibratory basis (sound waves). So our universe is created through patterns of frequency. Our bodies are made of frequencies, which is why sound, light, music and chanting have the power to change our vibration (and heal an individual). Ancient teachings and modern science agree: all living things, all things in existence, are made up of vibrating, pulsing energy.

(From the story of creation from the Bible "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God (John 1:1) both Christianity and Hinduism agree that in the beginning there was the vibration through which everything was brought into being). 
^^^ The sound OM most closely resembles this cosmic vibration. "The whole universe comes out of a single vibration … whether we call it the 'Big Bang Theory' or we call it 'AUM,' it's the same thing. There is a single vibration that went forth from pure consciousness and elaborated itself so much that, eventually, it created the impression that there are solid things here, physical things here."

Our sound absorption is similar to our digestive system. Whenever sounds enter our ear it meets our eardrum creating a vibrating effect. The sound then moves through our bones and tissues and reaches every cell in our body. Our brain then analyzes and processes the sound. These vibrations created by sound move through the whole body, releasing (pent up) energies and negative emotions. Just as a sound can disturb someone, sounds can also help us to relax, soothing the nerves and generating positive endorphins- cleansing the mental and emotional systems. 


Mantras, when repeated, help 
-the mind to achieve a sense of balance
-produce certain positive vibrations 
-elevate the mind to a higher level of consciousness
-cleanses the system of its negative energies and vibrations 

"Contemporary medical research has shown that chanting and other forms of vocalization actually oxygenate the cells, lower blood pressure and heart rate, increase lymphatic circulation, increase levels of melatonin, reduce stress-related hormones, [and] release endorphins19." 

By chanting this great mantra, we can better align ourselves with the energy of the heart; as with a finely tuned instrument, we can then offer ourselves more fully from a place of clarity and connection."

The Sound OM:
-considered to be the manifested sound of the Divine, it is the most holy sound of the Sanskrit language. 
-to be healthy means to be "whole" or "holy", and it is said that this can be achieved by continually chanting OM, bringing perfect wholeness to each cell
-one of the best ways to *bring the vibration of unity into the diversity of creation* is to chant OM (this is why we begin and end class with OM)

Sounds are usually created when two objects come together, hitting one another (cymbals, drums, vocal chords, waves against the shore). OM is not, and therefore is known as the "unstruck sound", the sound of primal energy. 


Upanishads are a collection of philosophical texts which form the theoretical basis for the Hindu religion. There are more than 200 knowing Upanishads, and the Manduka Upanishad contains the first and most definitive explanation of the divine syllable AUM, the cosmic vibration that underlies all existence. 

The Manduka Upanishad is the shortest of the Upanishads. It's only 12 verses long, breaking down the mystic syllable Aum. 

The four elements of AUM represent the four planes of consciousness:
-the 3 psychological states of waking, dreaming and sleeping
-the transcendent 4th state of illumination

There are 3 letters in the word AUM:
A: stands for a state of wakefulness, where we experience externally through our minds and sense organs 
*pronounced "ah" as in father

U: stands for the dream state, in which inward experiences are available
*pronounced "u" as in who

M: stands for deep sleep, where there is no desire and consciousness is gathered in upon itself. THIS IS LIKE LOCKING THE DOOR TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD AND REACHING DEEP INSIDE OURSELVES
*humming with lips gently closed 

Silence ("Turya"): the fourth, transcendent state: 
neither inward-turned nor outward-turned consciousness; neither knowing, nor unknowing; invisible, ineffable, intangible, devoid of characteristics, inconceivable, indefinable; it's sole essence being the consciousness of its own Self; utterly quiet; peaceful; bliss; without a second; this is the Atman, the Self. This is the silence at the end of the sacred syllable. WHEN YOU REALLY FOCUS ON THE SILENT SOUND, YOU COME INTO THE PRESENCE OF STILLNESS, PRESENCE AND PEACE. 

"creation, sustenance, dissolution, and reabsorption"

Realms of Experience:
A: jagrat (waking state/ conscious state)
U: swapna (dreaming state/ subconscious state)
M: shushupti (deep sleep state/ unconscious state)

Three Gunas (according to yoga the human body and mind are made up of three gunas, which are principles or tendencies):
A: rajas - passion and dynamism
U: sattwa - harmony, clarity, light
M: tamas - ignorance, darkness 
*the silence represents the transcendence of all three Gunas-- pure consciousness. 

Three principles of existence:
A: Brahma (creator)
U: Vishnu (sustainer)
M: Shiva (destroyer)
*the silence represents the underlying reality which underlies and is beyond that which is created, sustained and destroyed. 

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