AUM. You've heard it, chanted it or meditated to it. Yet, do you know what the sound really means?

The oldest known spiritual text, the Upanishads from ancient India, says that AUM is the sound of God. That's a pretty bold statement, isn't it? The ancient text goes on to explain that it also represents the three types of consciousness that we experience each day: waking, dreaming and dreamless sleep. These states correlate with the birth, life and death cycle as well as our body, emotions and soul. In Christianity, this corresponds with the Trinity.

To make this sound properly, start with the "A" in the back of the throat. If done properly, you will notice the vibration is strongest in the soler plexus, representing the strength of the physical body and stimulating the stomach,liver and spleen. The "U" is made in the front of the throat. You might notice that the vibration of this sound is strongest in the chest or heart region, representing love, passion and energetic aliveness and stimulating the heart and lungs. With a long, slow, exhaling breath, bring the two vowel sounds together and end with the hum of the "M". You may notice the energy shifting to the forehead or third eye region. This represents presence, mind, essence or soul and stimulates the pinial gland.

That's how you voice it. Now let's talk about the symbolism.

AUM is said to have four parts:

"A" is the realm of awake consciousness and things, including the physical body.

"U" is the realm of dream consciousness and symbols, including emotions and the energy body.

"M" is the realm of dreamless sleep and unmanifest consciousness, including the mind and soul.

The silence surrounding and including the sound of AUM is Spirit itself, the non-dual source and container of the miracle and mystery of all creation.

The "A" represents waking consciousness and physical matter. This realm makes up our perceived reality of physical objects governed by the laws of cause and effect. Something happens and there is a result.

The sound "U" represents a dream state. This realm is the birthplace of myth, archetypes, religious and spiritual symbolism and non-ordinary states of consciousness. The non-ordinary states are realized through deep spiritual practices or drug-induced spiritual experiences. In the dream state, things appear to be separate from us, but we know that isn't real. In our dreams, the things we see are all being created by our sub-conscious mind. The most common way to interpret dreams is that everything in the dream represents an aspect of you. In the dream state, there are no rational laws of cause and effect. Everything is a symbol of something in your mind.

"M" is dreamless sleep. Consciousness is present but with no awareness of any separateness. The experience of this state is called unmanifest consciousness. It is the goal of true spiritual yoga to achieve this completely stilled mind with no thoughts while being awake. This experience of a completely quiet mind is merged with Source and is the closest we can come to being with God.

The fourth and most important part of the AUM recognizes the silence that transcends and includes all of the former states. Pure consciousness is the ground of all being from which everything arises and into which everything falls back. With the recognition of the silence that surrounds and includes the sound of AUM, we move beyond the three realms and realize all is one and all is God.

To sum up:

"A" starts in in the back of the throat to the count of four and vibrates near the soler plexus stimulating the third chakra and stomach, liver and spleen.


The physical body
Waking consciousness and present moment awareness
The beta brainwave frequencies (12hz-38hz)
Jesus living as a man on earth as the son of God within the Christian trinity.

"U" is made in the front of the throat to the count of eight and vibrates near the chest stimulating the fourth chakra and heart.


The emotional, energetic, subtle body
Dreaming, intuitive and symbolic consciousness
Alpha-theta brainwave frequencies (3hz-12hz)
The Holly Spirit within the Christian trinity

"M" is made with the mouth and lips to the count of twelve and vibrates near the forehead stimulating the Six chakra and pineal gland.


The mental realm, soul and causal body
Deep dreamless sleep, psychic phenomenon and intuition
Physical death
Delta brainwave frequencies (0.2hz-3hz)
The Father within the Christian trinity

"The sound of silence" to the count of 16 with a subtle awareness on the seventh chakra.


The non-physical
Non-dual and ever present awareness
The element of Spirit
The mystery and intigration of the Trinity itself

With this new awareness, I invite you start your day with three AUM's in the morning upon awakening, during your morning shower, or during your meditations. Then take three before going to bed. You can do them silently or say them out loud. Be aware of the realms or states of consciousness as you voice the sounds and let your mind flow from one state to another until you meet the perfect silence that surrounds the AUM. That's where you will find the experience of God.

As always, your comments are welcome and you are welcome to pass it along to anyone you wish.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Casteel is an expert in emotional healing and transformation. His practice, SOULutions is also a transpersonal practice. This means that we incorporate the spiritual self that each one of us has and use these beliefs and experiences in the therapy. In short, we deal in matters of the heart, soul and Spirit. We work with our clients to find a complete state of wholeness which is the integration of the mind, body and soul.

"In my role as Transformational Life Coach, I think of myself as a sculptor of sorts. You may have heard the famous line by Michael Angelo when asked how he created the magnificent statue of David out of a simple block of stone, he responded: "He was in there waiting. All I did was the excavating. I just chipped away all that did not belong." So, with my clients, I play the role of being a soul sculptor; partnering with them to delicately chip away all that does not belong.We do this by softening the edges of old wounds and chipping away the self- limiting lies blocking them from realizing and revealing the magnificence of who they already are, in their Essence."

Michael has 30-plus years of experience studying and working with transformational psychology and emotional healing practices. His highly original and creative approach to emotional healing and life transformation blends modern psychology with the ancient wisdom of religious practices. He brings considerable passion to his work helping people release their emotional pain and end the feeling of being stuck and disconnected.

As the innovator of safe and unique transformational processes, Michael has guided many people to authentic spiritual experiences providing a new level of peace and awareness in their daily lives. He has extensively studied and personally experienced the healing effects of every part of his programs, practices and techniques used by SOULutions.

Michael holds degrees and certifications in many healing modalities including psychology, life coaching, theology, advanced hypnotherapy, rebirthing, energy medicine, breath therapy meditations, yoga, emotional release practices, Enneagram studies and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. As designer of seminars like the FIRE of Wholeness Breakthrough Experience, Embrace Your Shadow and The Breath of Life, Michael has presented to thousands of people all over the country, including the 2006 Alliance for a New Humanity with Deepak Chopra.

Michael is on a mission to contribute to the conscious healing and evolution of our planet, one heart and soul at a time. He does this by helping people heal the emotional wound and self limiting lies preventing them from experiencing their authentic self. Traditional therapy spends years negotiating with the ego or false self. In Michael's work he moves people beyond their ego to meet their true self, what he calls their Essence. Once clients make this spiritual connection, they can release and heal the emotional wounds that block them from living their fullest life. Michael is a native of Atlanta and currently resides in a townhome overlooking the Chattahoochee River with his partner in love and life, Leslie.