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 About Om  

Om is called the root mantra and often precedes other mantras.
The Maitrayaniya Upanishad describes it as "The sound of the soundless Absolute." It is on the sound of Om that Yogins and Yoginis focus their attention when in meditation. The Maitrayaniya Upanishad states "Just as a spider climbing up a thread finds open space, so indeed the meditator climbs up by the means of Om and finds personal freedom."
The Mandukya Upanishad, which is entirely dedicated to Om and it's meaning begins with the following passage:
"Om! This syllable is the whole world
The past, the present, and the future…..everything is but the sound of Om.."
The same Upanishad describes Om as made up of four parts; these four parts represent the four states of consciousness- waking, dreaming, sleeping, and the fourth state which is transcendental or the true self beyond the desiring mind. The first curve represents the waking state, the second the dream state, and the third curve represents the dreamless state. The crescent moon represents our not seeing things as they really are, and so is called maya, which means the veil of illusion, and the little dot represents the true state beyond the perceptions of the mind.

THE PRONUNCIATION OF "AUM"

The sound of "Aum" is made from the single monotone "A" (pronounced "Ah") continuously. The "U" and the "M" sounds are brought about by the modification of the original sound by partially and then totally closing the lips.

The technique is as follows:
Make the sound "Ah" with the mouth wide open. Holding the vibration of the "Ah" sound adjust the lips to make a smallish circle like the open end of a tube. The "U" sound will result.
Still holding the vibration of the "U" sound (the modification of the "A" sound) close the lips and the "M" sound will result.
The A or Ah of the open mouth represents the beginning of creation, the U or OO with the mouth half closed represents the continuation of creation, the M sound of the mouth closing represents the end of creation. Om/Aum, is all.

Om then, represents the universe in harmony; the dance of life in its entirety. It is taught in yoga, that if we can understand the presence of Om we understand everything and can live in peace and freedom. Om is the sound of freedom and peace. We end each Yoga session with the chant of three Oms. The first is dedicated to our own inner peace and freedom, the second for those close to us, and the third as a universal wish for freedom and peace.

 Positive Thinking  

The first words of the Dhammapada, the teaching of Buddha says:- "All that we are is the results of our thoughts. With our
thoughts we make the world. If we think in
a negative way then that negativity will
follow us, as sure as the wheel follows the
ox that draws the cart. If we think in an harmonious way, happiness follows us as sure as our shadow, never leaving us"

It is important for our own well being to train ourselves to let go of our negative thoughts and replace them with more contented positive ones. This of course does not mean that we passively accept life's injustices.

Sometimes we MUST confront bad situations, we must deal with things but then we must let them go. Buddha also said "Letting go is the secret to happiness". Holding onto our negative thoughts can literally kill us, scientists have discovered there is a link between people's state of mind and their health.

If we are depressed, anxious, chronically pessimistic, angry or irritable, our chances of getting a major illness are doubled. The stress hormones generated by those negative states of mind flood the body and reduce the ability of the immune system to fight disease.

Positive, happy thoughts produce neuropeptides that are precursors of chemicals such as endorphins, which give us a feeling of well-being and happiness. When such chemicals are flowing through our system, we manage stress very well; our immune system is raised and so can prevent disease.

We know that is is possible to break our bad habits. People do it all the time. We can choose a happier and healthier way of living. What we must do is watch our thoughts, act when we need to, in an assertive clear way, then let go and move onwards. We need to constantly remind ourselves of the danger of negativity until we have broken the habit.