The Ohm Symbol & How To Use It

One of the most widely recognised symbol is Ohm (or Om or Aum) but do you know the meaning behind it and how to use it to enhance your meditation or self healing practice?

Ohm is beyond time and is considered the source of all creation, the eternal oneness of all that is. It is thought to be the most sacred symbol in yoga and can be universally used. Ohm (pronounced like HOME without the H) is made up of 4 sounds, corresponding to four levels of consciousness:

‘A’ conscious, waking state
‘U’ unconscious, dream state
‘M’ subconscious, deep sleep state
And the fourth sound is silence which represents the absolute consciousness that illuminates the previous three states.

Ohm can also be thought of as the manifestation of the divine perfection, or the sound of the universe itself. It is a very well-rounded sound that balances opening and closing (yin and yang), sending a smooth vibration throughout the body. One way of using Ohm is as a chant, and to feel the energy vibration and movement within your body, and observe the effects. This is likely to change over time, as your energy changes day-by-day and, if you practise regularly, you will become more in-tune with any energy blockages and flows within your body.

Try this exercise:

  1. Get into a comfortable position and take some deep breaths.
  2. Invite the divine energy to flow for your highest good and continue to breathe deeply.
  3. Imagine the divine energy spreading through your body, noticing where it is flowing freely; are there any cold spots? Or areas where the energy feels stagnant or dark? Take some time to perform a body scan.
  4. Take a deep breath in, and then on the exhale, make the sound ‘ohm’ on one long exhale. You might want to start softly, and then increase the volume and intensity as you continue to chant on the next few exhales. Don’t think about your chant, just try to connect to how your energy feels and where you feel it in your body.
  5. Let the vibrations fill through your body. You may be able to push them out into your energy field as you become more familiar and at ease with your chant. How does that feel?
  6. When you are ready, gradually bring your attention back inside your body and draw your energy to your dantian (your energy store), in the centre of your abdomen.
  7. Let the energy continue to flow and again, scan your body. Do you notice any shifts?
  8. Enjoy this feeling of calm and self-healing for as long as you feel you need to.

You can also incorporate the Ohm symbol into your life and sacred space to remind you of your connection to the Universe. Each part of the symbol itself has meaning:

The lower left curve represents the conscious, waking state of being.
The top left curve is the unconscious state.
The lower right curve is the dream state – the state between the waking and the unconscious.
The semicircle at the top is the maya state. Maya means ‘illusion’ – said to be the biggest obstacle to spiritual development.
The dot at the top represents the absolute state of consciousness – the ultimate state of spiritual bliss where you can just be.