Mantra can be a very powerful tool to align the chakra system through the power of vibration. It puts the power of the body behind the intention of the mind. Om is the universal mantra, often described as the universal sound current. It is a "one size fits all" kind of mantra. Anyone can chant it.

Physicists are now describing the fundamental nature of the universe the same way that the sages have for thousands of years. In superstring or "M" theory, all matter and energy, when reduced to its most elemental form, is composed of infinitesimally small strings of vibration. Everything in the known universe is composed of vibrational patterns interacting with other vibrational patterns. Om is one of the sounds that sonically defines this reality.

We practice the sound OM not only because it is relaxing and energizing, but also because it attunes us to a more profound experience of reality. The universe is built on OM, but not, strictly speaking, in the sonic sense. The ultimate instrument for measuring scientific data is the human body and mind, with its senses. All instruments ultimately are based on and deliver sensory input to a human. Yogic masters just cut out the "middlemen." OM trains the human brain to detect the vibratory state that scientists now assert comprises the fundamental nature of reality.

To say that OM is the sound that creates the universe is a little bit of poetic license. The quantum vibrations of superstring theory are not sound vibrations. They are much more subtle and refined than that. What happens to a sincere yogi is that at some point, after a period of committed practice and pure intent, one begins to hear OM everywhere. This is most easily discernable in a quiet environment. It sounds like "OMMMMMMMMMMMMM" and can be a quite remarkable and blissful realization when it happens. Of course, one needs to have the mind quiet also.

The sound is not physical in the usual sense, but is the brain's interpretation of its extra sensory perception of this cosmic vibration. The brain has to make some sense of what this perception is, so it interprets it as a sound, and the sound is OM.

AUM: The Tantric OM

"Two notes of the chord, that's our full scope,
and to reach the chord is our life's hope.
And to name the chord is important to some,
so they give it a word, and the word is....
AUM"

--From "In Search of the Lost Chord", The Moody Blues

OM as a practice for attuning has a distinctly yogic flavor to it. Like many yogic practices, the OM first activates the third chakra. This helps create the discipline a yogic ascetic must possess. Then it distributes this power through the body and activates the higher chakras, attuning one to the cosmic current. I find it an interesting synchronicity that the most recent version of superstring theory is called "M" theory. Physicists are just one letter away from the "OM" theory of the ancient Masters.

So many ascetic practices seek to deny or escape the body, setting the consciousness of the adept free in the cosmos. Tantra seeks to invoke cosmic consciousness in the body, thus uniting heaven and earth. To facilitate this invocation, Tantric masters altered the practice of the mantra to AUM, which, while attuning to the same cosmic sound current, also noticeably brings power into the body.

The first time that many Westerners heard the sound AUM was in the Moody Blues song "OM" from their 1968 album "In Search of the Lost Chord." This is still a wonderfully beautiful pop mantra forty years after its initial recording. Get a copy and sing along on the AUM parts, it's kind of cool.

Practice: Chanting AUM

1. Sit up straight; loosen your waist, chest, neck and jaw.

2. Take a deep breath.

3. Exhaling start making an "AH" sound. Feel the vibration in your chest.

4. Still exhaling, change the sound to "OO" while contracting the anal and vaginal muscles.

5. Change the sound to "MM" and release the contraction, feeling the energy diffuse throughout the body and head.

Continue as long as you wish. This is also a great couple's meditation for attunement. It can be done sitting face to face, in Yab Yum, or back to back.

For more information go to www.inner-tranquility.com © 22206, 2009 Keith Hall and inner-tranquility.com

Author's Bio: 

Rev. Hall has taught Tai Chi, Qigong, Tantra, & body / mind modalities for 30 years & is a senior student of Prof. Yung-ko Chou, with permission to teach. He has studied at East West Schools across the world & with Dhyanyogi Madhusudandas, S. Saraswati & others. He practices Bioenergetics, Bagua, Tumo, Vipassana, Zen, Spiritual Bodywork, various Yogas, & other East West disciplines. He has published articles on Tantra & Taoist arts in numerous journals & is the Founder of Jade Garden Tantra and Inner-Tranquility.com.