Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Do you ever have those times in yoga where you chant om and you feel like everyone is in perfect harmony?  That happened tonight, everyone in the room blended their voices together and created an amazing energy, and then gave that energy back to the space and to each other.  It was really cool.

Have you heard this?  Last night's chanting reminded me of it, it's the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra sung by Hein Braat (many think it is the only recording of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, but it isn't).  I heard it for the first time in a strange yoga class I used to take by my house, when I first started doing yoga almost 5 years ago.  We sat with a candle in front of us, in a very small, dark room and stared at it, letting the light shine into us and meditating on the flame.  It was a surreal experience and I would suggest trying this kind of meditation.


Our teacher last night said something else during class, he said that every living thing emits a tone.  Instead of just reading that line, THINK about it.  Every living thing emits a tone.  All the trees, all the bugs, all of the animals, all of us - we put out a sound - TOGETHER.  (It made me think about that dream I had last night of cockroaches in my bed, and how I wanted to squish them all!  I felt bad about it, I would silence their tone!)  It's interesting to think like this, this concept that we are all connected, all working as one to make this harmony on the Earth.

The sound of Om (aum) was actually the first sound in the world, accoring to the Hindu religion:

As creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as sound AUM.  Before creation began it was shunyākāsha (meaning "no sky"), the emptiness or the void.  The vibration of aum symbolizes the manifestation of God.  Aum is the reflection of the absolute reality, it is said to be adi anadi (meaning without beginning or the end and embracing all that exists).  The mantra aum is the name of God, the vibration of the Supreme. When taken letter by letter, a-u-m represents the divine energy (Shakti) united in its three elementary aspects: Bhrahma Shakti (creation), Vishnu Shakti (preservation) and Shiva Shakti (liberation, and/or destruction).
So, I bet if we take a moment and listen, we will hear it.  We will hear the trees, the bugs, the wind, and all of the people around us, working together to make a common sound.  (Don't listen for the sound they make, instead listen to the sound being made in the silence, there is a sound there.)  I feel like as we get older we rush through life - rush through working, rush through the weekend, never taking a moment to just listen.  We forget to slow down, to live in the present and remember that we are all connected, making sweet music together.  It reminds me of that Walt Whitman poem, "I Hear America Singing" (it's the English teacher in me!), where everyone is working together to make this country, continent, world run smoothly.  We forget about this as we rush on by, always waiting for something, or looking forward to something, never focusing on the now (see what is).

I read tonight that the earth actually emits a tone itself called the Schumann Resonance.  (This is for real!)  Every living thing on Earth has grown up listening to this "heartbeat."  This could be the tone that the Hindus were talking about - religion, after all, usually does have some basis in history.
So, as I go through my day tomorrow I will try to slow down and hear the music.  I will remember this the next time I want to crush an ant, swat a fly, treat someone negatively or try to save a dying plant - that all of these things have a tone and that tone is contributing to the silent harmony being created all around us.  I will remember that mantra being sung, and what the word aum actually means and I will emit my own tone to join up with everyone and everything else around me.

Put out your energy into the world, put out your tone.  Feed off each other's energy and become one together, harmonize.  Don't hurry, slow down and take the time to hear the music. I bet we are all making such a beautiful song together . . .

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